Blank Sign Book
Eleven essays on beauty, invisibility, formlessness, abjection, and political emotion.
Author/Editor: Anne Lesley Selcer
Blank Sign Book is a collection of innovative art writing from poet and essayist Anne Lesley Selcer. Writing in the confluence of politics and aesthetics through the work of Ana Mendieta, The Otolith Group, Juliana Huxtable, Dolores Dorantes, Janet Cardiff, Ragnar Kjartansson and more, Selcer’s debut collection culminates the interdisciplinary thinking and formal risk of fifteen years of public critical writing.
Selcer’s work has been nationally and internationally commissioned and solicited by museums, galleries and art magazines. Anchored by the feminist, queer and decolonial thought of Susan Sontag, Saidiya Hartman, Lisa Robertson, Micha Cárdenas and many more, Blank Sign Book explores representation from the image to the agora. The essays are embedded deeply within the pleasure of art and the power of artist. They consider topics from the materiality of the internet, protest, sound and gentrification, to teenage literary obsession, femicide and decolonized time. Blank Sign Book unfolds within Selcer’s decade long investigation of Western beauty, from which two award-winning poetry publications have emerged. With lyricism, incisive clarity and a deep commitment to the power of art and artists as a vehicle for experimental advocacy and radical insight, Blank Sign Book displays Selcer’s capacious and assiduous grasp as an art writer and cultural thinker to be read for decades to come.
Blank Sign Book emerged from Anne Lesley Selcer’s tenure as inaugural Art Writing Fellow at Southern Exposure.
Paperback | 18.5 x 12.25 cm
Published 2019 by Wolfman Books
Anne Lesley Selcer Anne Lesley Selcer (US) is a writer and artist. Their book Sun Cycle, winner of the CSU Poetry Center Book Prize, investigates image, vision, power and gender and is named for the star that makes vision possible. They are also author of Blank Sign Book, a collection of essays about art and politics. They have been commissioned by Artspeak and 2nd Floor Projects for limited edition text pieces, and often write for art spaces, most recently ON FIGURE/S: Drawing after Bellmer for The Drawing Room, London. Their writing can be found in Prelude, Jacket2, Hyperallergic, Open Space, Art Practical and Fence and has been included in several anthologies. Their language-based video, sound and text pieces have exhibited, screened or been performed at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, ProArts, Southern Exposure, Krowswork, Visible Verse, Experiments in Cinema, San Francisco Cinematheque’s CROSSROADS festival and Artists’ Television Access (among other venues) and are forthcoming at film festivals in Moscow and Brazil.