Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Kawara | I Am Still Alive















On Kawara
I Am Still Alive
Berlin, Germany: Edition René Block, 1975
[208] pp., 21 x 24 cm., slipcase
Edition of 450 numbered copies

In 1969, On Kawara sent a telegram that read "I AM NOT GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE DON’T WORRY", followed by "I AM NOT GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE WORRY" and " I AM GOING TO SLEEP FORGET IT".

These were followed, a month or so later, with another that read "I AM STILL ALIVE." Almost nine-hundred more identical telegrams would follow, addressed to dozens of friends and acquaintances, for more than three decades. By this time Kawara had stopped writing about or explaining his work. In response to inquiries from journalists or curators, he would typically send a telegram reading "I AM STILL ALIVE".

This first edition by Edition René Block (another would follow in 1978) contains reproductions of the telegrams. It is available here, from Harper's Books, for $1750.00 US.



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