Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's This Mess?!

Since the shredded but resuscitated Joe's Temper #26 seems to be the most popular piece in Untidy: The Worlds of Doug Harvey I figured my first actual post (!) concerning the show should be about it, and the Joe's Temper phenomenon in general. The Joe’s Temper series is based on a 1939 comic-strip style advertisement for Soft-Weve Waldorf brand toilet paper found in a romance magazine. This saga of spousal abuse and dysfunctional relationship healed through brand preference was first the basis of a series of improvised vocal compositions by the text-sound group Rainbow Chug Bandits, which eventually evolved into Mannlicher Carcano. Discrepancies between the textual content of the original and some of the language-based works are attributable to the fact that the earliest derivations were based on an off-register memory of the narrative and dialogue, which I had wandered around muttering to myself during the autumn of my first marriage.

A large number of JT works followed, including collages, prints, performances (including a collaborative chamber music piece with the group Gnu Music), a mail art campaign, the curation of a JT themed group show, and numerous paintings, including Joe’s Temper #26 and the modular, infinitely self-replenishing installation painting Joe’s Temper #31.

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