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Monday, November 16, 2009

My 1978 artist book collaboration with - Anna Banana and John Gaglione (vile7)

I've laid out the cover and first four pages below, the large Hi-Res .pdfs are here: cover - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - my piece:

Robert Jacks really tipped me into this exercise, other than numerous 'designed graphics' using rubber stamps, either illustrated of found - I had never made an artist book until this opportunity. This opened my eyes to the collaborative nature of the beast. I first seized upon all my early photographs and postcards of aboriginals I've collected these from my first year at high school. I picked the strongest looking local fellow I had, I then xeroxed his body and rubber stamped his head - in red coloured ink.
(spilled blood) . . . It was my first white boy statement about my view of colonial history and an early high-jacking (appropriation) of a 'black fella' card. Aboriginal history had been buried in white men's re-constructions. I knew of no local aboriginal art other than Kath Walker's writing and her family's activism. I had lived in a shared house with Marcia Langton and met her sisters and aunties. I wanted to make my own early art statement in their defence.
The vile has 193 original artworks of 179 artists listed, I've gone looking for a re-buy price in today's marketplace. I've found other earlier issues, seems that Vile 7 is a collectors rarity. There is an interesting John Held Jr. text here about Vile 7 being the 'first systematic attempts to compile information on the publications, exhibitions and activities within the field." So glad I was part of it . . . here is an Anna Banana page selling the remaining issues. Note 193 pages (not 93) as stated, The Dossier Edition (made in DaDaLand) that all the artists did was an edition of 300, (not 200) as stated. This may be a second edition? Should that be $2,000.00 (not $200.00)? Noreen Grahame valued my copy at $1,500.00 in October 2009 by the way. NGA have one.
Peter Anderson and Robert Jacks recent catalogue mention - here.


  1. Thanks Mal this looks amazing - does Peter know about this one too? xP

    1. Hi . . . no I don't think so, Noreen Grahame who once sold my artist books searched and did a valuation for it - US$1,500.00 Not one was on the market at that stage . . . pretty interesting when you look at my work using an aboriginal image from a postcard that I owned - twenty years later two contemporary artists have used this same image!