Stephen Duncalf : The ‘X” mas Files (ed. Simon Cutts)
Cards, Folding Cards and Notes from Stephen Duncalf 1994-1999
Hardback, 39 pages
Published by Coracle Press, Ballybeg, Grange, Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland
2 in stock
Stephen Duncalf: The Xmas Files is a random cross-section of extracts from postcards, folding cards and notes. He sent these to Simon Cutts between 1994-1995. The title is a deliberate pun, as Simon Cutts writes – a reference to ‘the eponymous movie in dubious taste’. But also, he sent many as Christmas greetings and as such they typify a certain kind of artists’ seasonal communications. They are from other times of year too, sent by post, often on odd bits of scrap materials.
Simon Cutts observes ‘these jottings reveal the searching sensibility of their author, battle-hardened to the point of entrenchment, sheltering in a world of his own making’
About Coracle Press
Coracle Press is a small and completely individual publishing press which has been operating for over 35 years. Writer and artist Erica Van Horn and poet, artist and editor Simon Cutts, direct it now from a small farm between the hills of South Tipperary, Ireland. They have been there since 1996. However, they began in London in the nineteen seventies, as publisher, gallery, and a space for books. Their last London book shop project project was ‘workfortheeyetodo’ in the mid-nineteen nineties. They also had a Norfolk connection, between 1989-2012, printing many of their works from a printer, Crome and Akers, based in King’s Lynn.
From their remote spot in Ireland, they continue as printer-publisher, editor of spaces. They describe their practice as ’employing many of the devices and formats of hypothetical publishing inherent in the small press’. Their books have both critical and playful dimensions. But they are also steeped in poetry – they call it a residue of poetry – concerned with the mechanisms of the book as a manifestation of the poem itself. They are also mindful of their many collaborations with other artists and writers, which evade any clear category.
Being open to new ideas and approaches marks all their projects. Limiting their scope or over-categorising their content or defining their range does not interest them. The books themselves are not so concerned with craft tradition, limited-ness of edition, hand-made paper or elaboration of binding. While each one has its unique character and appearance, what they want to achieve is the plain and simple case-bound book, the sewn paperback. They are working constantly at extending the category of ephemera. Making quirky visions, askance views, eccentric perceptions widely available is what they are all about.