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How to Read Music In One Evening, 1974

How to Read Music In One Evening, 1974

Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan

Signed by both artists

published by Clatworthy Colorvues, 1st Edition (only)


8.25 x 10.25 inches

Condition: New $750 , other copies with cover marks or discoloration $300

First edition, first and only printing.

Photographically illustrated wrappers; no dust jacket as issued. Found images edited and arranged by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel. Unpaginated (60 pp.), with black-and-white plates throughout. From Sandra Phillips: "In 1974, Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, produced their first collaborative book, How to Read Music in One Evening, A Clatworthy Catalog. This comprised a series of drawings and rather lowbrow photographic illustrations lifted from cheap ads or instructional manuals: the sort you would find on the back of comic books or inside matchbooks or in the pages of the (now defunct) Sunset House catalog. The advertised electric neck warmers, machines to strip corn off the cob, tape to repair the water hose for your car were arranged and cropped, and these wonderfully ordinary, naive pictures were reordered and became a mysterious and funny metaphorical book essentially about sex. Those strange gray pictures which demonstrated how a mechanical nose hair trimmer worked, or how to place potatoes on a metal spike to cook them more efficiently, resembled the collaged work of Jess, or Bruce Conner.In How to Read Music, however, the pictures were arranged with a respect for the authority of the original image, which, while cropped (and excising the text) retains its identity while at the same time is altered by the anomalous relationship it has with the other pictures. Even though the mechanics they illustrate is decidedly low tech, mop handles, shoulder strap details, the consistent theme is of people using mechanical devices in a kind of banal but utopian association, women smiling giddily as they try on sunshades or telephone receivers. Only toward the end is there even a sense of foreboding: a close-up of a hand gun near a man's shirtless chest, a man's face covered with a ski mask except for the eyes and nose, a box of jewels and documents with ghostly flames licking its surface.


To see more images from this project visit Mike's Flickr's page

Let us know if you want the book to be signed.

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