Beautifully published book - the complete black cover with cut-out slip-case caught my short attention.
Paintings - Ed Ruscha
Poetry - David Breskin
Music - Nels Cline
DIRTY BABY presents a provocative trialogue between the paintings of Ed Ruscha, the music of Nels Cline, and the poetry of David Breskin. The title refers to the fact that when different art forms mate, there is never a purebred offspring, but rather a muttish and raunchy one: gloriously dirty.
The sixty-six pictures in the book are drawn from two bodies of work, the Silhouettes and the Cityscapes. In these works, Ruscha uses censor strips in place of the words or phrases which characteristically occupy a prominent place in his pictures. Their very obfuscation gives the missing words a powerfully subversive presence: language is emphasized even as it is obscured.
Breskin has divided the book into two “sides” in the manner of a vinyl record. Side A presents a kind of “time-lapse” history of Western Civilization. Side B returns to the cradle of that civilization, charting the American misadventure in Iraq. For his poetic form, Breskin uses the ancient Arabic ghazal, a perfect foil and fencing partner for Ruscha’s language-sensitive strategies. To this mix, Cline adds music for a large ensemble: at once lyrical and edgy, heartfelt and raucous, his music ranges from acoustic impressionism to dense, dark electronica.
One to look forward to.