A book about books, a catalogue and an art/bookwork in its own right. By now the appropriation and paraphrasing of Ed Ruscha constitutes a genre of its own. The first were 1968 Bruce Nauman with Burning Small Fires
and 1971 ‘Ed Ruscha’ (actually Joel Fisher) with Six Hands and a Cheese Sandwich, with further appropriations or hommages over the decades, and in the last years it almost became fashionable, the evidence is massive.
There is actually none of the books published by Ruscha in the 60ies, which has not been paraphrased yet, be it the GAS STATIONS (e.g. Jeff Brouws, Toby Mussmann, Eric Tabuchi, Michalis Pichler, Anonymous, Michael Maranda), the FIRES (e.g. Bruce Nauman, Jonathan Monk, Yann Sérandour, Thomas Galler), the APARTMENTS (John O’Brian, Anne-Valerie Gasc, Eric Doeringer), the PARKING LOTS (Hermann Zschiegner, Travis Shaffer), the SWIMMING POOLS (Jen Denike, Taro Hirano), the REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITIES (Adam & Kate Davis, Eric Doeringer), the ROYAL ROAD TEST (Tom Sachs, Simon Morris, artha Hlady) or the SUNSET STRIP (J.F. Schnyder, Jonathan Monk, Derek M Sullivan, Tom Sowden), even the Palm Trees (Tadej Poga č ar, Eric van der Wejde), COLORED PEOPLE (Jonathan Monk, Tanja Lazetic) and Hard Light
(Achim Riechers) have been taken up explicitly. The assembly attempts to span a larger arc of tension, integrate Ruscha’s own books and put him into a evolution line in particular with the publications of Hiroshige and Hokusai, whose titles show great parallels in rhythm and use of numeric and vague enumerations.
The missing link could be Yoshikazu Suzuki’s GINZA HACCHO, buildings on Ginza, Tokyo, published as an accordion foldout book – in 1952, hence preceding Ruscha’s SUNSET STRIP for 13 years – in the same streetview style which was for very long considered essentially Ruscha.
Anonymous, SIX HANDS AND A CHEESE SANDWICH (1970)
― Statement from artist