17 x 11.5cm, unpaginated. Original foil embossed boards. This book is a first printing of the famous German text which translates as “The influence of the mind on the body” – first published in 1908 by the pioneering psychotherapist Paul Dubois. Latham has taken this book and with the use of a drill and a jigsaw has cut a shape (a “C”) all the way through the book including both boards and all internal pages. Half way through the book (pages 50 and 51) Latham has signed the work with his surname in red ink with each word on a different right hand page as part of a dedication partly in English and partly in German – “9th and 10th December 1968 Von John Latham zu Gerd Vorhoff” . Vordhoff was an artist in Fluxus circles but more importantly the Gallerist for the Aachen Gallery which was involved in so many important events and performances including Beuys, Vostell and Paik’s happenings.
This is an unique conceptual bookwork which was created in the same year as the artist’s famous Still and Chew (where Clement Greenberg’s book, ‘Art & Culture’ was reduced to a vial of liquid by chewing and the addition of acid). This deliberate desecration of one of the first books considering the role of wellbeing and mental health is a very rare conceptual artwork indeed.
The condition is fine if one accepts that the original book has had some minor condition issues (some bubbling to the covers of the boards and browning).