Driving Lessons: Thirteen Stories
Driving Lessons: Thirteen Stories, by Tim Coursey
SMU Pollock Gallery, December 12, 2020 – March 13, 2021
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Driving Lessons: Thirteen Stories is a risograph-printed text, the basis of Coursey's show at the Pollock Gallery. The work invokes questions of provenance and a sense of being lost in a different era. Despite being so beautifully produced, the text of the stories is far from final; Coursey points out that these texts have yet to see a copy editor, and he “takes no offense at being read with a red pencil in hand.” The stories almost harken back to those by newspaper writers of the 19th century, tossed off as quick amusements to submit for the next day’s paper. Likewise, the illustrations that make up the book refer stylistically to the work of commercial illustrators who excelled at producing a narrative picture in minutes. This sense of the slapdash is deliberate, and is foundational to Coursey’s practice: both writing and drawings are the product of steady work over the last few years.
In creating his book for the exhibition, Coursey worked with RISO BAR, the risograph printing collective behind the concurrent exhibition at the Pollock. RISO BAR’s mission is to empower artists to experiment in self-publishing, and push the bounds of their practice through this liberating technology. Coursey designed his artist book with the riso process in mind, making use of the technique’s lo-fi aesthetic that is similar to screenprinting. The resulting manuscript suggests a newsstand edition for an 8 x 5½-inch, digest-size pulp magazine.
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