The key to Hollywood: art’s birthday; New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver. February 23, 1974. Lowell. Sharp Darling, Willoughby.
The key to Hollywood: art’s birthday; New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver. February 23, 1974
The key to Hollywood: art’s birthday; New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver. February 23, 1974
The key to Hollywood: art’s birthday; New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver. February 23, 1974

The key to Hollywood: art’s birthday; New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver. February 23, 1974

[Los Angeles: the authors, 1974]. A challenge for the cataloguer (and vastly more for the conservator). A drawing of the Hollywood Sign and the above title arranged in a design are printed on a 9 x 12-inch manila envelope. The envelope bears an 8¢ Tom Sawyer stamp but no address and was not mailed. It is stained on the back side and brittle in spots, with large tears on the lower corner. Inside are a small envelope stamped “Artist’s proof” with an engraved card, plus the remnants of a very large balloon (more about that later). The card reads: “In celebration of Art’s Birthday, Lowell Darling and Willoughby Sharp present the DeccaDance, 1964 1984, with Image Book, The New York Corres Sponge Dance School of Vancouver, General Idea, The John Dowd Fan Club, Mr. Peanut, Dr. Brute, Ace Space Co., and The Eternal Network. The Elk’s Lodge, 607 South Park View Street, Los Angeles; Saturday, February 2, 1974 at 9:00 p.m.” The "The New York Corres Sponge Dance School" is a play on Ray Johnson's "New York Correspondence School" of mail art. Lowell Darling is a conceptual artist with a flair for the outsized and outrageous. Willoughby Sharp was a video and film artist and curator, and the co-founder of Avalanche magazine. The small envelope is badly stained and fragile; the flap is stained and detached. The card also is stained, and a portion of the lower left corner is present but torn off (not affecting the text). The balloon must have been huge, and it must have been some color, but what? Now it is a dark chocolate, its outline roughly that of a sugarloaf mountain, about 19 cm in both directions. It is composed of many layers of thin, rubbery material pressed together over a period of more than 45 years. Its maximum thickness is about 1/4-inch and its weight 3.4 ounces, about the same as a dense pancake of medium size. Its “front” bears a 1.5 x 4-inch white sticker printed in dark green, “Dada is everywhere” (and this is the proof of that dictum). Also included are additional pieces of lowelldarlingiana: a two-page holograph letter and envelope mailed to Bob Smith from Canada on May 15, 1977, with a long article from the [Portland] Oregon Journal, all of these browned; PLUS an engraved, folding card 14.8 x 11.3 cm (closed) with the following text inside: “‘Divorce’ Kathleen Darling and Lowell Darling invite you to witness the Dissolution of their marriage with their Legal Counsels and Father Guido Sarducci at Womanspace, 743 Grandview, Los Angeles, California, 8:30 p.m., February 1st, 1974. Not surprisingly, OCLC does not locate any copy. Item #100633

Price: $500.00