Waldemar Januszczak Tag

Little Sparta: Finlay, n.d. (April 1988) An original vintage xerox 30 x 21cm, 1pp with a Press Release from Finlay announcing the appointment of two Parisian lawyers - Maitre Zylberstein and Maitre Nordman. it notes that the former represented Daniel Buren when he was in conflict with the French Government and the latter a prominent member of the French Communist Party and represented the victims of the Nazi Claus Barbie in the (then) recent trial in France.
The statement announces that "actions for damages are being taken against Jonathan Hirschfeld and a number of French publications as well as against the French government. A "Droit de Reponse" is also being sought."
The statement also announces that "on the night of April 26 the French Section of the Saint-Just Vigilantes carried out a series of poster raids on enemy territory. Among the target-buildings were the French Ministry of Culture, the offices of Art Press and Galeries magazine, the Hirschfeld residence, and the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme. The posters carried a text from Dante: "Lasciate Ogni Speranza Voi CH'Enratre!".
Those words are the famous warning over the gates to Hades - Abandon hope, all who enter here!
Finally the statement notes "the smear campaign being carried out by Waldemar Januszczak of the Guardian, Gwyn Headley the publicist, Wim Meulenkamp, Warren Davis of the National Trust and others in England and Holland. "Appropriate action is being prepared."
A copy of the press release distributed by Finlay to friends and supporters as part of the latter's information campaign against his opponents - in it all of Finlay's enemies are name checked.

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London: s.p., n.d. (c. 1987)
15 x 10.5cm, 1pp. Eight different cheaply printed postcards attacking Finlay by the Guardian art critic who had fallen out with the poet.
The attempt at parodying Finlay in a format popularised by the artist is mostly awful. Possibly one card hits the mark but the appropriation of an image from Anselm Kiefer of the artist "heil hitler"-ing is shameful, and most are poor attempts at revenge - one might forgive the drawing of Little Sparta with enemies all around, but the attack on Finlay for not being Scots is simply stupid (Finlay's parents were of Scottish heritage and Januszczak's one possible place of moral high ground was for Finlay's ill advised call for his repatriation given he was British), the claim of hypocrisy over bursaries does not stand up (Finlay took nothing after the dispute with the Arts Council), and the aggressive quote from FInlay whilst slightly damaging is just an example of Finlay's polemic when angry. Angry letters are not meant to be poetry.
Here is a hard truth for Waldemar Januszczak, when he has gone and his columns in a newspaper long forgotten (most newspaper articles are forgotten in a week after all) Finlay will still be celebrated for his artistic achievements. That must hurt. All VG+. Very scarce.

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