Archie Rand & Anne Waldman
160 pp • 2021 • 1st edition of 100 • $40
Limited-edition, full-color exhibition artist book featuring collaborative works by artist Archie Rand and writer/poet Anne Waldman.
Design by Yizhi Liu
Freight+Volume is thrilled to present Blood Moon, a unique, sequential series of poetry/collage collaborations co-authored by artist Archie Rand and poet Anne Waldman that extend word and image artworks to some of the most fascinating realms derived from the tradition of the graphic poem, on view at 39 Lispenard St. in the project room from December 17th, 2021 through January 15, 2022, with a public reception on December 17th, 6-9pm.
With a thrown-together feel, Archie Rand and Anne Waldman’s collaborative works are studies in synchronicity. The melding of word and image has a dynamic effect that abstracts from the visuality of Rand’s imagery; while Waldman’s poetic lines impart a wayward flavor in terms of which Rand’s visual agglutinations appear more piquant, savory, or sweet.
In themselves, Rand’s images are sectional landscapes bereft of any fixed location. A woman in handcuffs, a robed man standing next to a bridge, the profile of a girl in prayer—these flashes of imagery have little context, although they communicate with a visionary directness. Underscoring them with words, as Waldman does, Rand’s psychedelic visions, snapshots of our collective unconscious, become less like hallucinations and more like memories. This inverts the relationship lyricism generally has to imagery. While a lyrical consciousness generally overflows with emotional presence, in the works featured in Blood Moon lyricism fixes relationships where the mind would otherwise free-associate.
Turns of phrase take on a radically decontextualized meaning in relation to Rand’s images. One piece, for example, features three images, which overlap and rebuff each other in the manner of a collage. These images include the profile of a girl in prayer, a partial closeup of a woman touching her face in fear, and upright cacti from some desolate Spaghetti Western desert. Taken together, these three threads of imagery create a kind of surrealistic holy trinity, which might have prompted the text (situated below the images, like a caption): “Late Ordovician Mass Extinctions.” While this phrase generally has a precise scientific meaning, here “Ordovician” almost describes some otherworldly liturgy, while “extinctions” come to refer to ritualism as much as death.
What makes Rand’s and Waldman’s collaborative works so entrancing is the way they recreate a character, setting, or phrase whose meaning seems universal is scope. The symbiotic conflation of text and image produces an air of mystery—or at least something which suggests some hidden narrative. Depicting only glimpses of particular scenes and figures (a healer, a statue, a woman’s fingernails), the propulsive tissue of words and pictures takes on a power which awakens and soothes simultaneously. What results is as much a poem as an imagined landscape: a movement through different fields of energy stretched across storied panels of visual information.