Paranoia on the High Seas by Thomas Lawson [White Wine Press No. 3]
White Wine Press No. 3
Thomas Lawson offers a historiograhic text penned under the name of Rev Thomas Ffyshe Palmer, a political prisoner at Botany Bay, who describes a series of events in a letter to a friend that he hopes, once made public, will arouse the conscience of the nation and make them more fully aware of the despotic nature of their Government.
In English and in Spanish. The book can be turned upside down and read in the reverse direction for the two different versions.
Thomas Lawson was born in Glasgow in 1951. He studied at the Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh before moving to New York to complete his education and follow his ambition. There he established himself as an artist with an interest in the relationship of power to representation. Throughout the 1980s his paintings and photographic works were exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe. He also organized exhibitions of emerging art for such institutions as Artists Space and P.S.1. wrote for Artforum and Flash Art, and edited and published REAL LIFE Magazine. In the late eighties and early nineties created large, temporary murals for public sites in Gateshead, Glasgow, Madrid, New Haven, and New York. Since 1991 he has been dean of the Art School at CalArts in Los Angeles, where he also teaches. He continues to paint and write, and he is an editor of Afterall.
This collage piece is part of a larger project centered on the life of the Scottish radical Thomas Muir, a political reformer turned revolutionist who lived at the end of the eighteenth century. The project takes many forms--from painting to installations to writing all based on archival materials spiced with invention. The events recorded here were first published in London in 1794, in the form of a letter from one of Muir‰۪s associates, Thomas Ffyshe Palmer, to a political ally. The original has been cut and pasted, dramatically shortened, and adulterated with foreign material both contemporary and invented. I think of it as a sketch for a history painting.
White Wine Press is a series of texts, one hundred being the goal, as an open project that seeks to wander a world. We are looking simply for those voices that have an urgency of saying. The artists are free to write about any subject, preferably about something outside the overwhelmingly present frames of their own work, or at least to come at the same in tangential fashion. In other words: state an interest.
The texts will be published in the original language and in an English translation. If the texts are written in English, they will be accompanied by a Spanish translation and thus cover two large linguistic areas. Our basic animal condition, as Charles Olson put it, is move/meant. We are now in movement and thank the artists for providing state/meant. There is no story that is not true.
56 pages, Softcover, 4.5 x 6.5 inches, 2006