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Seminal Beat

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“Chances are you’ve never heard of Wallace Berman, but you’ve probably heard of someone he hung out with.”

Long-time readers of my other site will know that I’m a fan of Beat poet and conceptual artist Wallace Berman. Berman pioneered mail art through his magazine Semina and in 1957, alongside Ed Kienholz and Walter Hopps, co-founded the Ferus (latin for “wild”) gallery. Within months of the gallery’s opening, Berman’s first and last solo exhibition (in his lifetime), was raided by the Hollywood vice squad following a complaint about “lewd material”. There was an exhibition of the Semina circle’s work in March of last year and I would direct you to RealityStudio‘s detailed review. I mention Berman and Semina not only because I’ve come across a website dedicated to the Ferus gallery, but because Stewart Home has pinched the Semina name to commission an exciting series of works through Book Works and there’s still time to meet the Semina (2008) May 30th deadline (just). The first two books in Home’s Semina series—“where the novel has a nervous breakdown”—will be Index by Bridget Penney and One Break, A Thousand Blows! by Maxi Kim, to be released in June as an edition of 1,000 copies, followed next year by Mark Waugh‘s Bubble Entendre. 3:AM hope to grab a word with Stewart Home soon.

First posted: Sunday, May 18th, 2008.

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