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Klein, Yves / Wilp, Charles
Prince of space. Musik der Leere von Yves Klein / Tanz der Leere...
London & Düsseldorf: Sight & Sound Production, [1959 or 1965].

#17333. LP vinyl record (33 rpm), T 74975. Housed in white sleeve (31 x 31.5 cm.), with titles printed recto/verso; some pressure marks and minor spotting, but an otherwise well-preserved copy of this infamously sensitive sleeve. With inner sleeve featuring (ironic) technical details for ideal listening, in both German and English. The record itself is Mint, with black titles printed to white labels.

One of the true milestones in artist records: with Prince of space / Musik der leere, Yves Klein translated his obsession with the Void into the realm of music. Not unlike Cage’s 4’33”, the content here is silence—but in this instance, Klein inscribed his silence onto vinyl—as “composed” by Charles Wilp’s Outer Space Philharmonic Orchestra—leaving it vulnerable to the vissicitudes of each record’s lifespan (e.g. clumsy scratches, dull needles, dust, etc.). Side B—under the title Tanz der leere—pushes the gambit further by separating silence into four titled tracks; playing with the susceptibilities of imagination.

Uncommon to the trade; the present copy is remarkably fresh. With only a single OCLC record discovered (BnF).

Without colophon, this work has traditionally been attributed a date of 1959 (e.g. Maffei, p. 114; Schraenen, p. 40; Broken Music, p. 160); but van Toorn and Prenger (2017, p. 205) have recently amended the date to 1965 (presumably owing to the dates on inscribed copies from Wilp), rendering this a posthumous work of Klein’s.

For a poster from Wilp’s outrageous advertising campaign for Afri-cola, see here. For more Klein, see this invitation to a 1969 group exhibition in Milan, and this Brooklyn jump into the void.


1200 USD

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Jason Rovito, Bookseller / ILAB, ESA, RBMS / Avant-garde. design history, human sciences / Because the Cloud forgets