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COUM Transmissions. Copyright Breeches

Press/Orga: Beau Geste Press

Year: 1973
Country: United Kingdom
Format: Mag/Lit
London: COUM, 1973. 1st edition.
One of 200 copies. 24mo. Stapled wrappers. Unpaginated (60pp. print- ed on rectos only). A ‘work in progress / in- terim report’, litho-offset in Cullompton by the Beau Geste Press. As Simon Ford explains in Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions & Throbbing Gristle, copyright became a major theme of COUM’s work in

1972. The book project started in April 1973 when Genesis P-Orridge sent David Mayor ‘a parcel containing three “copyrighted” photographs of [Cosey Fanni] Tutti. The book, [sic] consisted of purple tinted photographs of objects, places, and people, all marked by P-Orridge with the copyright symbol (like an artist’s signature, a symbol of ownership). His project was a further development of Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the ready-made (where the artist merely needed to sign or select an object for it to become a work of art). In P-Orridge’s case the artist only had to copyright an object or situation for it to be transformed into a masterpiece, his masterpiece. The truly megalomanical [sic] scale with which P-Orridge carried out his appropriation and copy- righting parodied career artists who treated their art works as commodities, as things that could be bought and sold, just like other products.’
Also amongst the photographs are copyright situations at FLUXshoe Nottingham, involving Paul Woodrow and the Midland Group Gallery, and images of P-Orridge in his ‘Copyright Breeches’, described by Ford as ‘a pair of flared trousers... made for him by Tutti and covered in a patchwork of stencilled copyright symbols’. Near Fine, with a little unobtrusive soiling to the upper wrapper. Also present are the stamps ‘FILE UNDER COUM’, ‘FLUXarse VOID’ (a take-off of Fluxus West and its stamp), and the date 29 JUNI 1974.