Futurism's Bastard Son


Mark Pezinger Verlag announces the publication and European release of Billy X. Curmano Futurism’s Bastard Son at Kunstverein Kassel parallel to the international art exposition Documenta in Kassel, Germany,  August 8, 2012. The U.S. release is scheduled for the New York Art Book Fair, Museum of Modern Art, P.S. 1, Long Island City, September 27, 2012. Curmano will perform at both receptions

During the life of an artist countless photos are taken, numerous videos are shot and plenty of text is written. In the case of a performance artist this material is even more extensive and also more important, because it provides witness to past events. Futurism’s Bastard Son documents selected major and minor works spanning several decades of output from this very eccentric Italian-American artist, who in addition to producing traditional objects has been buried alive, swam the length of the Mississippi River and often performs for cows and other under-served audiences in what is sometimes referred to as “Performance or Live Art”. Art historians often place the birth of this form with the Italian Futurists.

The World Wide Web allowed artist publisher Thomas Geiger and graphic designer Astrid Semme free access to Curmano’s archives. With his cooperation, a transatlantic collaboration evolved and resulted in Billy X. Curmano Futurism’s Bastard Son. It tells of an artist’s life as art in 128 pages with text from multiple sources and 164 black and white images. The text was culled from the artist’s own writings and project plans, lyrics, video transcriptions, reviews, articles and exhibition catalogs. The volume is letter sized with stitched binding and French flaps on both covers. An artist’s edition of fifty copies includes a signed and numbered artist-altered world map from Swimming the Mississippi.

He’s the only human being in recorded history to claim the distinction of swimming the entire length of the Mississippi River. He was buried alive for three days in a much ballyhooed effort to bring art to the spirit world that included a New Orleans-style funeral complete with Christlike resurrection. He once imprisoned himself in a tiger cage to protest the inhumane treatment of POWs in Vietnam. Maverick? Eccentric? Full-blown madman? Billy X. Curmano will be delighted to let you decide. - Mary Beth Crain, LA Weekly, 1999

Editing: Billy X. Curmano, Thomas Geiger, Astrid Seme
Graphic Design: Astrid Seme
Language: English
22 × 28 cm, 128 p., stitched binding, edition: 500, 24 €
Paper: Munken Lynx
Cover: 300 grams Pages: 115 grams
Artist edition: 50 / 500, includes a drawing by the artist


In honour of this occasion we would like invite you to our exhibition at the Kasseler Kunstverein where Billy X. Curmano performs during the opening night:

Mark Pezinger Verlag
reading disorders thinking out loud
Kasseler Kunstverein
August 8th - 20th

August 8th, 8pm: Live Performance by Billy X. Curmano
August 10th, 8pm: Discussion with Billy X. Curmano, Astrid Seme, and Thomas Geiger about Futurism's Bastard Son and the double-edged relation between performance art and its documentation.

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