TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT December 2020

books

Morgan Bassichis's The Odd Years

Photo: Brian Green

The Odd Years (Wendy’s Subway), by Morgan Bassichis, is among my favorite books of the year. Is it poetry, comedy, a book of to-do lists? Yes! It is also a historically important artist’s book that I place in a lineage with Ed Ruscha’s A Few Palm Trees (1971), Lawrence Weiner’s Works (1977), Martha Rosler’s Service: A Trilogy on Colonization (1978), and Glenn Ligon’s A People on the Cover (2015), as well as canonical pieces of Conceptual art such as Lee Lozano’s language pieces and Hanne Darboven’s calendars, marked with her distinctive spirals. The Odd Years is a collection of weekly to-do lists scrawled on found pieces of paper or on the title and index pages of books. Each list is beautifully scanned and all are bound together in one purple hardcover volume. A Conceptual art book for our time, The Odd Years combines Conceptualism’s protocols with the anxiety of the absurdly demanding—punishing, grinding, perplexing—daily preoccupations of our era, when everything necessary is marginal and the marginal find no time or support for daily self-care. Add to that the ridiculous proposition of what it means to be a singular self at this moment, when the “I” is an intersection of many selves caught up in a collective revolution. Meditate with this book to find your own answers. Make it your daily psalter and compass. The artist takes seriously a maxim drawn from the Kabbalistic text Zohar: The Book of Splendor: “Everything aspires.”

Gregg Bordowitz is an artist who splits his time between Chicago and New York.