October 2013

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Talk is Cheap

Talk is Cheap, Vol. 1, No. 6, and related flier, c. 1988
Collection of Albo Jeavons


“Back in the 1980s I was part of a collective that put out a free, radical paper called Talk Is Cheap. I designed a few special covers for the paper with the idea that each one was an artwork. This cover arose from thinking about how rare it in this culture to see images of men kissing. In fact they are not just rare, but actively suppressed. I got together a photo shoot of me and my friend Bob and got an image of us kissing that I liked, and put together the cover with a short text. We took the laid-out paper to our usual printer and – crazy – they refused to print it because of the cover image. It’s kind of nice to be proven right, but – wow – I really didn’t expect it. While we scrambled to find a printer who would print the paper as designed, I threw together the single-page “Talk is Suppressed” special edition of the paper to distribute in our regular spots. We found some wonderful old communists over in Camden who had a print shop and who were more than happy to print the “scandalous” kissing cover, and they became our printer for the rest of the life of Talk is Cheap, so the story had a happy ending.

“I’ve always been a collector, but I’m not systematic about it, I’ve never been one to put a lot of effort into it. I enjoy finding things as I move through the world, but I don’t tend to search for things. Most of things I’ve collected over the years relate in some way to artistic or activist projects I’ve worked on, and to the concerns related to those projects. I do have a lot of books, and a stupidly large collection of vinyl records. Early collections include: advertisements with phallic imagery in them; eccentric and visionary ephemera by religious and mentally ill people; antique porn; queer and anarchist ‘zines, fliers and posters; neckties; and body modification/decoration materials.

“I’m a bit of a packrat, so I’ve been trying to rein in my acquisitive urges. My most recent collection is almost entirely digital: a huge collection of images of naked men bathing together, all found online. When I find the time I’ll be putting together a magazine of the images and some writings on my thoughts around them.”
– Albo Jeavons

Collection of Susan Guggenheim


Feminist ephemera

“This is part of my collection of early feminist writings, from the beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement. I bought these works when I joined the Movement in 1972, when I was in college. One was supposed to read a list of stuff in preparation for joining a Consciousness Raising group. So I did. In the beginning of the Movement, we talked about collecting this material for a post-revolutionary archives. In fact, several archives were born from this idea – there are archives that I know of at Duke University, and also in Chicago, Montana and London. I collected these items with the thought that one day I could contribute them to an archive devoted to the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement.

Feminist ephemera

“I don’t collect anything else – only a few pieces here and there. Some art, some books, some writings, some films.”

-Susan Guggenheim 

Alex Lukas


Artist Alex Lukas often incorporates appropriated photographic images of cities culled from ephemeral sources including vintage magazines and posters into his work. Lukas’ interest in ephemera, extends to his own studio, where he carefully saves material used in the making of his prints, drawings and paintings. This includes these boards, which appear to be beautiful abstract works, but are actually the residue of his process.

Some great process photos of the making of the untitled 8 color offset-lithograph also included in the show can be found here.