the spon with the wrinkled knees

November 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Posted in art, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Spon 11: The Cultural Detritus Issue

(Cover and selection of inside pages pictured above – click on thumbnails for full size scans)

The venerable Dr Adolf Steg, oft mentioned in these august pages, has truly surpassed himself with the latest issue of Spon.  By taking his usual working method of collage and appropriation to some sort of logical end point he has produced a meta-fanzine that is part scrapbook, part time-capsule and part snapshot/print screen of Steg’s mental state.  This satisfyingly hefty tome elevates a traditional fanzine format – stapled A5 booklet – to the realm of handcrafted outsider art object.

When poring over this compendium of magazine articles, comics, letters, photographs, drawings, pages cannibalised from other fanzines with post-it notes and other detritus ‘tipped in’ it is tempting to reach for metaphors like ‘a core sample revealing the layers in sedimentary rock’ but this is inappropriate for something so chaotic and atemporal.  A child’s (baby Steg?) drawing dated ‘May 1971’ is stapled to a Judge Dredd comic from the 80s which in turn rubs up against a letter from Simon Morris which must have been written in the last few weeks which is overleaf from a fanzine review of an early 90s Seefeel record etc. etc.

Remarkably this stuff is not copied, you are looking at the actual ephemera itself.  As such, each of the 25 copies that Steg tells me he has assembled is unique and can contain scraps that have been in his possession for much of his life.  Some parts seem even more poignant for having the years of accumulated meaning shorn away by juxtaposition, some are mysterious, some fascinating, some dull and/or nonsensical.  It is an intriguing, hypnotising object. 

I have no idea if any more of these are available, nor whether the good Doctor might want anything in exchange, but there is no harm in asking.  Contact details can be found on The World of Steg website.

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