Complete fifth "Mexico" issue of Berman's legendary artist's magazine.
"SEMINA was to conventional magazines what spiking the reservoirs would be to tap water." — Aarons & Roth
Privately distributed and "handset on a beat 5 x 8 Excelsior hand-press" by Berman, SEMINA combines the early DIY-ethos of the Mimeo Revolution with the aesthetics of the burgeoning mail art movement. From the beginning, the magazine was an innovation, "not a choice of poems and art works to exercise the editor's discrimination and aesthetic judgment, but the fashioning of a context," as Robert Duncan described it. In other words, an artwork in and of itself: "Taking a dose of inspiration from Dadaist and Surrealist periodicals [...] SEMINA was heterogeneous in content and physical materials. The magazine manifested in equal measure Berman's passion for the crafted object and his love of poetry, but issues also encompassed photography, collage, and drawings [...] hand-printed on a variety of papers [...] [m]ost issues were looseleaf and unsequenced, the order left for the reader to determine" (Aarons & Roth, 340).
Contributors to this issue include: Antonin Artaud, Wallace Berman (as "Pantale Xantos," a photo of Lamantia shooting up), John Chance, Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz, Kirby Doyle, John Hoffman, Larry Jordan, Robert Kaufman, Philip Lamantia, Christopher Maclaine, Michael McClure, Anne McKeever, William Margolia, David Meltzer, John Reed, John Wieners, and Ruth Weiss.
Given their rather fugitive nature and with editions rarely exceeding 300 copies, all of the issues of SEMINA are scarce.
Read more: Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna, Semina Culture, 42 and 59-61; Aarons & Roth, In Numbers, 339-44; Kugelberg, Semina, 85-106; Clay & Phillips, From A Secret Location, 78-79; Allen, Artists' Magazines, 295.
First edition. [Larkspur, CA]: Wallace Berman, . Original printed folder featuring a photo by Charles Brittin of a phallic sculpture. Containing in an interior pocket 18 inserts letterpress poems, half-tone photographs, reproduced drawings etc. on various colored papers by more than a dozen contributors. One of 350 unnumbered copies printed by Berman. Light wear to folder, minor toning to paper. Overall bright and sharp.
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