Electricity Plague Chronicle
Electricity Plague Chronicle
Aquatint, Collage, Etching, Hand-painting, Ink, Monoprint, Offset print, Rubbing, Wood block
16.5 × 12 × 0.5 in
Library of Congress (LoC)
Book I in the Ad Astra Australia Series
Dazza, a Melbourne-based rogue art dealer and documentarian, gave Weber a bizzare collection of prints and print reproductions ranging from Japanese woodcuts from the 19th Century to prints by Syndey cult painter Madam Lash. Weber took this extremely diverse print survey of underground and popular culture and did wax rubbings and ink painting over them (he calls this process disrubtions). Then he folded the prints into a unique book which functions as a sort of catalog of cultural collision.
Weber interperses rubbed texts from historical plaques from Sydney, Melboure, and Brisbane that commemorate and even celebrate the colonial invasion of Australia, along with texts that note Aboriginal history while simutaneouly signifying its attempted obliteration.
Notable plaques rubbed include those from Botany Bay where Capt. Cook first landed and shot at Aboriginal peoples, the “Apology” plaque of the State of Queensland in Brisbane, and various poem fragments from the literary plaques on Library Way in New York City.
The book is a meditation on invasion, on the plague of so-called progress, and uses a found concrete poetry and visual and tactile collage strategies to form an evocative reading experience.
Ad Astra Australia
A disrubted artists book series and micro-exhibition/performance by Marshall Weber.
A series of four multi-media one of a kind collaged artists books, each a unique collaboration between Marshall Weber, and three American and two Australian artists. The media is wax rubbing collage and mono-print (disrubtion), ink and natural pigment painting on found drawings, photographs, etchings, inkjet, photo-litho, silkscreen, and other print media from Australia supplied by renegade art dealer and documentarian Dazza (Darryn Hahn, Melbourne) and photographer/human rights activist Tim Page (Brisbane); and from New York, as supplied by M. Weber. In the case of one book (Warra Warra Wai) the disrubtions are on vintage, used, international nautical maps from the 1980s and 90s procured, collaged, and bound by Christopher Wilde.
The plaque matrices for the rubbings were from historical markers and memorials in Brisbane Melbourne, and Sydney, and in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The books use a visual concrete poetry collage approach with critical and emotional perspective on conventional history and memorials. Instructively, I have often heard both artists and activists in Australia say, “after they get rid of the people then they put up a plaque to commemorate them.” The Ad Astra Australia project attempts to rescue and resuscitate these memorial tombstones that are walked over and forgot along with the communities whose obliteration they signify. The point is not just to make the public aware of the plaques but to throw the heraldic verbiage and the military aesthetics of the State and Corporate powers back into the popular discourse in honor of those dislocated communities.