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Announcing the Inaugural Specific Object 2004 Publication of the Year Award Given to Jonathan Monk and Book Works U.K. for the publication “Cover Version”

image from Announcing the Inaugural Specific Object 2004 Publication of the Year Award Given to Jonathan Monk and Book Works U.K. for the publication “Cover Version” image from Announcing the Inaugural Specific Object 2004 Publication of the Year Award Given to Jonathan Monk and Book Works U.K. for the publication “Cover Version”
February 3, 2005

Specific Object is pleased to announce that it has named Cover Version, by artist Jonathan Monk, the Specific Object 2004 Publication of the Year.

Published by Book Works U.K., Cover Version is a crafty and sly artists’ book, laden with a particular sense of not simply humor or self-awareness but something that melds these disparate positions together - as is true with much of Monk's work at large.

Of course the book itself is a beautiful formal object too, but on some level that's irrelevant - it's a great book. Plain and simple.

Upon notification of the award James Brook of Book Works responded: “That is fantastic. Cover Version is one of our favorite books too – on first glance it appears really simple but on further scrutiny reveals itself to be full of complex ideas.”

According to Book Works, Jonathan Monk is an artist who loves other artists. His work draws on oblique autobiographical references and personal anecdotes together with art historical strategies and legacies to express a critical camaraderie in his subject. Cover Version features a selection of seminal publications from Monk's extensive collection of artists' books. Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner and Edward Ruscha are represented side by side to form a cogent series, which presents a contemporary investigation into materiality and the problems of signification in conceptual art publishing.

An integral section of Cover Version is a transcribed telephone conversation between Jonathan Monk and Seth Siegelaub, which unfolds and discusses their mutual obsession with book making and collecting whilst speculating on the nature of the object. This "collectable" book also has three different covers designed with its monetary value in euros, dollars and pounds, a direct reference to Lawrence Weiner's 1968 publication Statements.

Designed by Jérome Saint-Loubert Bié, Cover Version’s physicality nods to a heritage of the publications by Monk’s heroes, LeWitt, Ruscha and Weiner. The interview between Monk and Siegelaub, the pioneering art dealer and artists’ book publisher of the late 1960s, broadens a readers understanding of the publication and the world in which Cover Version operates.

Cover Version is offset-printed; staple bound; full color; 19.7 x 15.8 cm.; 138 pages; produced in an edition of 1,000 unsigned and unnumbered copies. ISBN 1-870699-74-2.

Each of the three version of the book are priced at $20 plus shipping and sales tax where applicable.
Quick links to the book on Specific Object’s website – where the book may be purchased online - are:

United States Edition

United Kingdom Edition

Euro Edition.

About the Specific Object Publication of the Year Award
From 2004 forward Specific Object will select a Specific Object Publication of the Year. Winners of the award will win a cash prize of $500 [United States Dollars] and the title of Publication of the Year. Rules for consideration for the Specific Object 2005 Publication of the Year award can be found :

About Specific Object
Specific Object, is a personal venture by David Platzker, which aims to aggregate interesting objects in any artistic medium and present them in temporary locations on an ongoing basis, as well as to present these objects - and additional objects of interest - online at

Specifically, Specific Object is an attempt to isolate distinct works of value - historically, monetarily and / or personally valuable - and show them in an isolated context without the artifice of visual confusion or clutter in hopes of allowing these works, or objects, their own place, space and time. The material to be shown will range from artists’ publications, ephemera, prints, multiples and other editions to literature, music / audio works and unique artworks of the contemporary world.

From 1998 through 2004 Platzker was the Executive Director of the non-profit institution Printed Matter, Inc. He is also the co-author, and co-curator - with Elizabeth Wyckoff - of “Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process” (International Print Center New York & Hudson Hills Press, 2000); and - with Richard H. Axsom - the book and exhibition entitled “Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg: A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-1996” (Madison Art Center & Hudson Hills Press, 1997), which was awarded the George Wittenborn Award for Best Art Publication of 1997 by the Art Libraries Society of North America. Platzker has also curated exhibitions of the works of John Baldessari, Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Oldenburg, Dieter Roth, and Edward Ruscha in addition to commissioning or curating exhibitions at Printed Matter of Angelblood, Larry Clark, Erin Cosgrove, Meg Cranston, General Idea, Jenny Holzer, Reverend Jen, Allan Kaprow, Yoko Ono, Ryan McGinness, Sonic Youth, Tom Sachs, David Tremlett, Richard Tuttle and the Guerrilla Girls.

In November 2004 Specific Object acquired the inventory of Barbara Moore’s bookstore "Bound & Unbound." Through her bookshops Bound & Unbound and its predecessor Backworks, founded in 1976, Moore has been a seminal and innovative champion of artists working in alternative mediums.

For more information regarding Specific Object please visit its website:
or email