Back in 2000, Gabriel White and I collaborated on a book of poems and photographs called:
I guess the idea of the title was to elide Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice (1950) with Wim Wender's Paris Texas (1984), but the real subject matter of the book was Auckland: the "parataxis" of its monotonously repetitive vistas and locales.
It was subtitled "a colouring-in book" because, I suppose, it was up to the reader to bring some colour to it.
We had a big launch at Gabriel's flat in Westmere, and promptly sold out of all the copies we'd laboriously assembled out of crudely-copied xeroxed pages (Gabriel had a very art-brut aesthetic at the time, which meant no frills and no smoothing out of the results of the raw democracy of the photocopy machine).
I too was keen on the idea of a kind of samizdat A4-sized poetry chapbook. Readers seemed to grasp the point of it at once ("Some of them have even said they liked the poems," as Gabriel remarked to me a couple of weeks later).
The main problem is that the book has been pretty much unavailable ever since. I'm not sure we could quite reproduce the spirit in which we made that first collaborative text, so I've decided to compromise by putting the whole text up here online, with all of the images included. You'll have to click on them if you want to see them at anything resembling their proper size, though.
And here we both are in 2000, photographed by one of those odd photo-booths (beloved of adolescent schoolgirls) which add hearts and flowers and comic characters to your strips of passport photos. Don't we look sweet?
- FRONT COVER
- Swallows and Amazons
- Cheating Heart
- A Town Like Parataxis
- At the Warhol Look Exhibition
- Stories We Tell Ourselves: At the Richard Killeen Retrospective
- DICTIONARY DEFINITION
- BACK COVER & LAUNCH ADVERTISEMENT
© Text: Jack Ross (2000) / Images: Gabriel White (2000)
Oh, and if you're curious to see more in the same vein, I've also posted the entire text of a proposed book version of The Britney Suite which Gabriel and I put together a couple of years later, in 2003, but which never actually ended up seeing the light of day until now.