Dec 10, 2011 – Jan 21, 2012
Titled after a 1969 publication by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein, A document presents a selection of works by Eugenio Dittborn and Emily Jacir along with the Thek/Klein collaboration. Working in three distinct places and times, each artist looks to the photographic document as a primary source.
The first of Eugenio Dittborn’s Airmail Paintings (1984- present) were made on 210 x 154 cm sheets of brown paper. These large format papers are folded into grids of the same proportion as the overall sheet, creating a series of page-like spaces in which silkscreened faces from Dittborn’s archive of anthropological and criminology photographs are printed alongside texts, collage and painted elements. Also included in A document will be The 2nd History of the Human Face -- an early example of a sub-series of the Airmail Paintings which now numbers 30 Histories. All of Dittborn’s Airmail Paintings travel to their destinations in special envelopes made by the artist on which the itineraries and quotations are noted. The envelopes are part of the exhibited work simultaneously serving as container, label and documentation. Recently featured in 8ª Biennial de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Dittborn will next exhibit in the La Triennale "Intense Proximity”, Palais de Tokyo , Paris (April – August, 2012).
Emily Jacir’s installation Material for a Film was commissioned by and first exhibited in the 52nd Biennale de Venezia (2007). Based on the life and assassination of Palestinian poet, Wael Zuaiter, Material for a Film was also exhibited in Beirut and New York. Seven autonomous photographs of elements such as a telegram sent after Zuaiter’s death, Janet Venn Brown’s notes on Mossad agents, Zuaiter’s bullet pierced copy of 1001 Nights, family photographs and pages from Dante’s Divine Comedy, will be presented in A document. Here the narrative has been broken, each work reflecting the project as a whole in a condensed form. Since her last New York exhibition, Jacir’s work has been seen in There is always a cup of sea to sail in, 29th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, The Last Newspaper, The New Museum, New York and Sharjah biennial 10, United Arab Emirates. Her work is currently on view in The Walls That Divide Us, Apexart, New York.
A document by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein was originally published by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Moderna Museet Stockholm. The exhibition at Alexander and Bonin will include several examples of A document as well as some of the original materials used to create the work, including Klein’s vintage black and white photographs, Polaroids, and a 1968 issue of Time magazine. Also included in the exhibition is a pair of Thek’s wax ‘meat cables’ which were installed in the Amsterdam studio in which A document was staged.
The document follows my concept of what a book should be like, and Paul’s wish to turn his diary into a kind of catalogue – a three-dimensional album, each double page a photograph of a still life with pictures, drawings, books, cards, and objects…The book has the dimensions of an open newspaper, actual size. Turning the pages of the document, one turns the pages of a diary. The pictures and the objects placed on the newspaper keep changing and seem to be in constant movement. Most of the photographs are from the studio, documenting works in progress created for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition. There are pictures from other exhibitions, porno magazines, whatever was lying around, everything that surrounded us in our daily life.
A reissue of A document, co-published by Edwin Klein and Alexander and Bonin will be available.
 Klein, Edwin. "A document made by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein." Paul Thek: Artist's Artist, edited by Harold Falckenberg and Peter Weibel. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2009. 353-56. The text had been re-edited by Klein for this reprint, it was originally published in: A document made by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein (New York: Janos Gat Gallery, 2002).