March 16, 2009

Blinky The Friendly Hen Is Too A Storybook For Children

By the third time we read it tonight, with the kid on one knee and K2 clamoring on the rest of me like a chicken-laden jungle gym, I think we briefly equalled, if not surpassed, the surreal ridiculousness of Southern California conceptual artist Jeffrey Vallance's 1979 classic, Blinky The Friendly Hen.

Blinky is a deadpan artist's book in the documentary mode of Ed Ruscha, or any number of serious Process Artists from the 1970's. Except that it's a record of a funeral for Blinky, a frozen chicken which the artist bought at Ralph's and buried at the LA Pet Cemetery in Calabasas.

The slim paperback I bought at the library for 50 cents turns out to be the second limited edition of 2,000, published in 1996. It's not as rare as the 1st edition of just 550, and not as slick as the 30th Anniversary commemorative edition with a bonus behind-the-scenes DVD, which was published last year, but I'd be happy with it at twice the price.

And despite what the Amazon blurb says--"Not a storybook for the kiddies"--Blinky very much was a storybook for the kiddies around here. They practically ate it up.

Blinky by Jeffrey Vallance Is Currently $25 at Amazon [amazon]
Jeffrey Vallance's Wikipedia entry and a glowing review of his 1995 show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art [wikipedia, frieze]

1 Comment

I just sent Jeff your link. I'm sure he'll be amused.

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