A.L.McFadden & J.Elsaesser/ A Wrecked Tangle Press
A dozen blown eggs filled with letterpress poems and related objects. Break to begin, 12 x 4 x 2.75 inches, edition of 13.
Letterpressed cover & linoleum block prints, embroidered muslin bag, photobooth strip, fishing hook, matchstick, pearl, receipt & carbon paper, Number 15 from an Edition of 20, 4 Â˝ x 5 inches, $75
The title and form of Strike Gently are derived from the instructions and format of a matchbook. It addresses the stages of a relationship as combustibility and the chances for a spark. The paper’s grey scale is meant to evoke both emotional variance and the ashes of a spent match. The first chapter, ‘Dear’, consists of a series of notes or letters between potential lovers, attempts to make contact. ‘Catalysis’ addresses the causes of movement, from motion towards that which sustains, to thoughtless, drifting movements. The chapter, “. .” contains Venn diagrams as applied to personal connection; what is shared in contrast to what cannot be common ground. The last diagram, a single carved-out circle, suggests either complete unity or total isolation, and is followed by a piece of carbon paper with the translucent outline, or impression, of the word “struck.” The carbon pages correspond to themes of pressure, what is made visible by light, as well as the proof or remainder of what has transpired. The section ‘I.We.You’ further explores moments of oneness or separateness, using only the pronouns I, we, and you, to achieve a sense of universal accessibility. ‘The Language of Flowers’, a series of prints arranged in a match-like configuration, references the Victorian-era practice of sending coded messages via flowers. ‘The Argument’, unsurprisingly the last chapter, consists of seven feet of receipt paper detailing an argument between unidentified speakers. The scroll is bound by thread secured on either end by a fishhook and a pearl, which must be “cast out,” or pushed through the page to release the argument. The overwhelming length and complicated binding of the argument force the reader to move physically away from the book and to a certain extent disassemble it. After the scroll has been unraveled it cannot be brought back to its original state, a reflection on the emotional ramifications of an argument. This kind of experience-oriented reading is the overarching goal of our work: to create books that are permanently altered by the reading process.
A.L. McFadden is a brunette prose poet living in Brooklyn with a passion for small objects.
J.R. Elsaesser is a brunette prose poet living in Brooklyn with a passion for small objects.