Public Collectors - May 2018 Newsletter. Publishing, Prison, Putty, Philly
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Since the last newsletter, I've completed one new publication and there are several more on the way this summer. Oh and that privacy thing that's going around? Don't worry, I'm never gonna sell your email address. Here's a fast update - rushed into your inbox primarily to let you know about an event happening tomorrow in case you'll be in the Indianapolis area this weekend or in Philadelphia the following weekend.

— Marc Fischer / Public Collectors

Library Excavations #8: Therapy Art

Earlier this month I completed a new publication in my ongoing artist book/artist periodical hybrid Library Excavations. As with all past issues, you can purchase this through Half Letter Press.

For Library Excavations #8: Therapy Art, Public Collectors explored the many books devoted to therapy and personality development in two different public library collections.

The drawings, paintings, collages and sculptures in this booklet were originally published in psychology and art therapy books, dating from the 1950s to the year 2001. I find art produced by people in therapy, or during psychological evaluations to be deeply affecting, with its vulnerability emphasized through the use of common materials.

Therapy art is a category of creative work that is not always given a space for reflection outside of a clinical or academic setting. In the books used for this publication, illustrations are often accompanied by a therapist’s diagnosis. Sometimes there is an analysis of form in relation to a subject’s treatment, personality growth, or rehabilitation after a trauma. Reproductions are usually limited to a couple examples by each maker, and authorship is concealed. The works I have included here are presented with a belief that under fair use, their meaning is transformed when shown outside of a clinical context. I hope that my respect for the people who made these works comes through in this selection.

Therapists and clinics that serve the mental health needs of people are of critical importance, but profoundly undervalued in American culture. This is certainly true in Chicago, where I live. Here, the current Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed half of all of the city’s mental health clinics to resolve a budget deficit in 2012. Currently he is demanding funds for a $95 million police academy. Everything is wrong with these priorities.

Pick up past issues!

Thanks to the support of friends like you, some earlier issues of Library Excavations are either sold out or almost gone. Issue #1 is sold out and #2 and #5 are just about gone as well. If you missed anything or want to get a complete set that includes out of print issues, Half Letter Press is your friend.

Everyday Incarceration

Recently I was invited to contribute to the exceptionally thoughtful Instagram project @everydayincarceration. My participation started earlier this week and will continue a bit longer. I highly recommend following their work and reviewing past efforts. My project is titled “Model Prisoners” and it is an extension of my ongoing work with the project Library Excavations.

The photos in this series are cropped details from advertisements in 1990s issues of Corrections Today, the “professional membership magazine” of the American Correctional Association. This same magazine was used to create the first issue of Library Excavations.
Models posing as prisoners (or possibly prisoners themselves – which seems unlikely but it’s never clear) are featured in ads for a range of security devices, monitoring systems, or other offerings from companies that service the prison industry. The ads typically play up the stereotypes of prisoners and only rarely present their humanity in a thoughtful way.

Public Collectors is proudly participating in Putty

I'll be in Indianapolis tomorrow, May 26th as a guest on the live art talk show known as Putty which happens at the State St. Pub on 243 North State Ave. Thanks to Erin Drew for inviting me to participate and to Charles and Kay Fox for hosting me! Oh, and I'm bringing publications so don't forget to check out the merch table.

The Joong Boo Residency Program is ending soon!

I launched the Public Collectors Joong Boo Residency Program in August 2016. This artist residency consists of me buying Korean lunch for the resident at Joong Boo Market on 3333 N. Kimball Avenue in Chicago. I also take a photo and write a report. There have been 35 artist residents to date. The Residency Program has been such a great experience and such a successful experiment, however at the two year point, I've decided to end it and start a new residency program in Chicago. I will announce details of that residency later in July and I hope all interested artists will apply!

Residencies are still available through July. To apply for a Joong Boo Residency, simply contact me, tell me about what you do (links to any websites would be great) and let me know the date and time that you would prefer. Note that residencies are intended for individuals and, under normal circumstances, Chicago residents are not eligible for Joong Boo Residencies. View all past residents here.

Public Collectors in Philadelphia

The group Temporary Services and our publishing imprint Half Letter Press will be at the Philadelphia Art Book Fair and I'll be hanging out at our table all weekend with the latest Public Collectors publications. Please stop by say hello or bring me a soft pretzel covered in fake cheese! Philly is my hometown and I'm excited to reconnect with the place and its people.

Congrats! You've reached the bottom of the newsletter and I STILL haven't sold your email address or violated your privacy! Thank you for reading this far and as always, thank you for your interest in my work.
— Marc / Public Collectors

Public Collectors organizes exhibitions and events, participates in exhibitions organized by others, creates exhibition opportunities for collectors, teaches, lectures, responds to research inquiries, and makes its own publications. The administrator of Public Collectors is Marc Fischer. He is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Our mailing address is:
Public Collectors c/o
Half Letter Press
P.O. Box 12588
Chicago, IL 60612

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Public Collectors · ℅ Temporary Services · P.O. Box 121012 · Chicago, Il 60612 · USA

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