TrenchArt Monographs - experiments in language, and the aesthetic essays in this anthology investigate the why of those experiments. The essays challenge, too, what an essay looks like, what an essay can do. Manifestos, lists, performative pieces, visual art, critical essays, marginalia, and the entirely unclassifiable
TrenchArt Monographs: hurry up please its time ed by Teresa Carmody and Vanessa Place, Les Figues Press, 2015.
From 2005–2013, the TrenchArt book series was the cornerstone of Les Figues Press. The series took its name from “trench art”—artistic creations produced by soldiers made in wartime using whatever material was at hand, from shell casings to scrap metal to bone. It is art born of conflict and forced community: here we are, together in the trenches.
Each year, the Press published four TrenchArt titles. Accompanying and preceding the release of each annual set was one hand-bound collection of aesthetic essays distributed exclusively to Les Figues members. TrenchArt Monographs: hurry up please its time collects these essays and brings them, for the first time, to a wider readership.
The books in the TrenchArt series are experiments in language, and the aesthetic essays in this anthology investigate the why of those experiments. The essays challenge, too, what an essay looks like, what an essay can do. Manifestos, lists, performative pieces, visual art, critical essays, marginalia, and the entirely unclassifiable—these pieces pull, prod, and play with the concept of “language” from all directions, misdirections, and sometimes no direction at all. This is critique pregnant with poetry, with image, with mutilated lips, with the scent of camphor in hot celluloid.
The text that emerges from TrenchArt Monographs: hurry up please its time is intuitive and revelatory. “Les Figues,” as Vanessa Place writes in her editor’s preface, “was very much born from the desire for cross-talk as conversation,” between writers and artists, between texts. As the why of writing is offered up, it is immediately given up in favor of other possibilities for reading, writing, and listening. And, if you listen closely, you’ll hear the swelling cross-talk, looping in on itself, transmuting, proliferating.
Harold Abramowitz, Danielle Adair, Stan Apps, Nuala Archer, Dodie Bellamy, Sissy Boyd, Melissa Buzzeo, Amina Cain, Jennifer Calkins, Teresa Carmody, Allison Carter, Molly Corey, Vincent Dachy, Lisa Darms, Ken Ehrlich, Alex Forman, Lily Hoang, Jen Hofer, Paul Hoover, Alta Ifland, Klaus Killisch, Alice Könitz, Myriam Moscona, Doug Nufer, Redell Olsen, Pam Ore, Renée Petropoulos, Vanessa Place, Michael du Plessis, Frances Richard, Sophie Robinson, Kim Rosenfield, Mark Rutkoski, Susan Simpson, Stephanie Taylor, Axel Thormählen, Mathew Timmons, Chris Tysh, Julie Thi Underhill, Divya Victor, Matias Viegener, Christine Wertheim