Elk began in June 2003 and over the next fourteen years 34 issues came into view, always in a consistent photocopied 5 3/8 × 8” format, saddle-stitched, 60 or so pages, with a black and white interior and full-color cover. Concurrently ruminative and roughly constructed, it built upon a conduit of spontaneous connections gleaned from found materials paired into occasionally straightforward but more frequently enigmatically allusive associations. Each spread featured image and text snippet duos borrowed from a plethora of sources, photographs from books and unorthodox periodicals, works of art, historical documents, letters, poems, spam emails, mash notes, and advertisements, placing them into singular contexts in an effort to tease out evocative metaphorical and metaphysical affinities folded into formal and compositional vibrations. Reproducing and re-scaling each picture or extract, it distilled a combination of often unfamiliar source material that negated notions of the distinctions between the precincts of high art and various underground effusions, creating through clarity of intent an ephemeral entity of mysterious origins. Apparently lacking in any identifiable theme though arranged with a discriminating far-flung catholic sensibility, Elk’s collaborative contents related to one another through tangible yet recurrently uncanny methods.
After a five-year hiatus, and coincidentally on the 20th anniversary of Elk’s first appearance, Elk arrives, containing 274 pages of sometimes jarring but compellingly alluring juxtapositions as well as extensive accreditation and a comprehensive index. Going back to at least 100 B.C., from Slim Aarons to Doug Zyskowski, flitting from Tirana to the Place Saint Sulpice to Paul Revere Middle School to Dunkirk, NY and far beyond, collapsing the territory between Johan Huizinga’s The Waning of the Middle Ages and Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Floating Life, starring Jesper Fabricus, Lorraine Hansberry, Natalia Goncharova, Keith Levine, Simone Martini, Edna O’Brien, Ringl + Pit, Gee Vaucher, and a host of others, Elk is the summing up, final tour, and swan song. Never say never, but the ultimate, in both senses of the word, manifestation. Not a compilation of old issues but a brand-new enterprise encompassing a staggering range of topics from just about every realm under the sun, reshuffled and recontextualized in a poetical mingling and merging with no discernable precedent. Within these pages Elk reaches its apotheosis as a simultaneously serious and playful attempt to delve into unexpected and suggestive affiliations drawn from the furthest corners of our immeasurably vast communal pictorial and written corpus. Complex entanglements of aesthetic, cultural, sociopolitical, and historical affinities bridge inscrutable spans of time, space, and subject matter, attempting to evince our contemporaneously collective meshing of universally shared and personally secret realities.
Jocko Weyland (b. 1967, Helsinki, Finland) is the author of The Answer is Never - A Skateboarder’s History of the World (Grove Press, 2002), The Powder, Danny’s Lot, Geomancy, and Egg Strike on Orchard (Dashwood Books, 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2021, respectively), and the short story collection Eating Glass, published by 1980 Editions. Other titles include I Heart BJ, Drawings, and The Lake of Death, from Nieves and innen. He started the serial publication Elk in 2003, spawning Elk Books and the itinerant Elk Gallery, where sixteen exhibits were presented in New York, Los Angeles, and Beijing between 2006-11. From 2013 to 2017 he was Chief Curator at MOCA Tucson. His artwork has been shown at Ever Gold, San Francisco, FakeSpace, Beijing, PG4S and Martos, Los Angeles, Franklin Parrasch and Kerry Schuss in New York, and Everybody in Tucson and Chicago. He lives in Northern Nevada.
14 x 22 cm
First Edition 2023