Johanna Drucker's Artist Books
An online repository of facsimiles, metadata, and commentary

Kidz

1979



Project Statement


Kidz was written in California, in the late 1970s, as the punk energies were still present in the pop culture world. The text is a scree against patriarchy and authority, an anti-Oedipal stream of maniac infantilism in dark prose, but meant to be funny, outrageous, irreverent. Conceived as a little pamphlet, the project resulted in a limited edition of this very brief work. It consists of a white cover wrapping a single sheet in the interior printed with black ink. The paper was Rives, thick, cottony, precious, object-like, and capable of sustaining the imagery, transforming it into an artifact.


Production Narrative


The linoleum cut on the cover was easy to produce, but the interior of this project was done silkscreen. I'd never done silkscreen, and I painstakingly lettered the entire text onto the screen, right-reading, but on the wrong (upper) side of the screen. As soon as I started pulling prints, the block began to crack and pull off. I got only a handful of good images for the interior, and was too overwhelmed to try to redo the printing.


Critical Analysis

Design Features

typographic: Hand lettered interior and exterior, produced with silkscreen, not really typography, more calligraphy, and with the scratchy, scribbly quality of punk aesthetics.

imagery: The imagery of wicked children.

graphical: The overall graphic effect is striking, stark, aggressive.

textual: The text is dark and funny, wicked, and irreverent.

Work

Agents

Johanna Drucker

type: initiating

role:
artist
author
printer

Publication Information

publisher: self-published

dates:
publication: 1979-00-00

publication history: One edition only.

Aesthetic Profile

subject:
artists' books (LCSH)

themes: childhood, sexuality [A. Schutte]

themes: anger

content form:
prose (local)

publication tradition:
artists' book (local)

inspiration: Knut Hamsun's Hunger and German expressionist woodblocks.

related works: Jane and S Crap S Ample were all done in the same cycle of production as Kidz, the fall and winter of 1979 through early 1980. I also did a punk-rock performance, "First Rush," for which I still have the poster. It was a Cortland Corners, billed as a poetry reading. I read/sang a work with tape recorder, "How Come You Want to Kiss Me When You Know I Eat Shit?" while wearing an outrageous outfit with underwear on the outside, goggles, a bathing hat and other strange and bizarre things.

other influences: A general punk sensibility was clearly influential, though I was never really a punker or involved with that music or the scene.

community: other The poets were always a community at that time, and after, since I'd returned to the Bay Area. Though by that time, I was increasingly estranged from the core group.

Related Documents

manuscript type: texts

location: other

note: No manuscripts remain that I can find of any kind.

General Comments

title note: The orthography was deliberate, of course, and meant to introduce a dark, punk, expressionist commentary.


Edition

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: self-published

place: Oakland, California, in the warehouse on E. 11th Street.

dates:
publication: 1979-00-00

edition size: 21

Measurements

horizontal: 6 inches closed

vertical: 7.5 inches closed

depth: .1 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)
linoleum (local)

binding: other not bound

substrate:
bookBlock: paper

media:
ink (local)

Appearance

format: codex (AAT)

cover: The cover features a red linoleum print of a frightening looking child with its hands by its head in a taunting position. The title, Kidz, has also been printed in linoleum with black ink, and a top and bottom border has been linoleum printed on the front and back covers.

color: yes Red ink on the cover, black in the interior.

Content

pagination: unpaginated 4 pages

numbered?: numbered

signed?: unsigned

Colophon

none