Jeffrey Vallance, A Voyage to Extremes: Selected Spiritual Writings (Fowl Play)
705pp / 140 x 216mm
Edited by Jon Auman (with Dominic Jaeckle)
Designed and typeset by Traven T. Croves
Jeffrey Vallance is our Philip Marlowe, quite literally our private eye, with a private vision of pied beauty and sacred banality that extends to the horizon.
Jeffrey Vallance is one of the world's most original, thought-provoking and entertaining writers on visual culture—his essays are works of art in themselves.
To delve into A Voyage to Extremes is to tumble into a world that is stranger, more miraculous and more entangled than we ever imagined. Vallance tugs at the threads of ordinary reality, unraveling the warp and weave that separate fiction from fact, the sacred from the profane, and absurdity from logic. When you emerge, nothing will ever look quite the same.
Collecting published and unpublished essays, articles and fragments ranging from 1990 to 2022, A Voyage to Extremes offers an illustrated survey of the seemingly limitless breadth of Jeffrey Vallance’s esoteric writings.
For fans of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena; Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers; (fabulous) vegas casinos; the pedagogical value of Lapland; Charlie Manson’s father; (the glory of) Ronald McDonald; Martin Luther; Blinky (the friendly hen); Thomas Kinkade; dream sequences; Jägermeister; a raunchy affair (at an ice hotel); hot tubs; shamans; Dürer; Biblical etymology; base gratification; enlightened asides; a wedding ceremony; his Majesty, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga; the summoned ghosts of Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo; the living ghost of David Byrne; Liberace (in space); Big Foot (in Texas); Arctic glamour; Judas; St. Luke; a reliable recipe for a rump roast; ravens; crows; clowns; the Ozone layer; demilitarised zones; duty free zones; the weeping virgin of Las Vegas; a bar called a fale kava; a restaurant called Matsuhisa; Houdini artifacts; Santa Claus; Charles Fort; Mikhail Gorbachev (carved out of Ice Cream); Mike Kelley; artificial insemination (cow) and more.
Jeffrey Valance is many things but has always impressed me as a prototypical model for the power of the individual—acting with immediate analog means, unpretentious inquiry, simple solid methodologies, even craft approaches, to effect art on a global scale.
Spirituality, Religion, and Paranormal Phenomenology; Richard Nixon, Thomas Kinkade, and the Loch Ness Monster; from excrement to ecstasy, from Vegas to the Arctic Circle, from the taxonomy of buttplugs to the to the etymology of the Tetragrammaton—all the indeterminate territories the academic art world tiptoes around, Jeffrey Vallance burrows beneath, undermining their rickety categorical imperatives in favor of a rhizomatic patacritical revelation that is equal parts Charles Fort, Roland Barthes, and S.J. Perelman. Copiously illustrated.
If Los Angeles were Paris, Jeffrey Vallance would surely be declared a national treasure.
Jan Tumlir, Artforum
In the end, I may not have a clear idea what it is or how to label it, or whether it is irreverent or should be hallowed, but Vallance's work certainly opens up my thinking about what faith can be. And, if I sit with it, the work takes me somewhere I didn't expect to go, namely, across the great skeptical divide. The irony in Vallance's work is that there is no irony.
Jan Estep, New Art Examiner
See here for further word on this title.
100 first editions will carry a cover sticker as adornment; a declaration of love and respect for all things fowl. Due to the scale of this publication, and to keep postage costs low, stickers will be mailed separately, alongside a postcard from the editors.
Jeffrey Vallance was born in 1955 in Redondo Beach, CA. In 1979, he received a B.A. from CSUN and in 1981 an M.F.A. from Otis. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Vallance’s work blurs the lines between object making, installation, performance, curating and writing and his projects are often site-specific, such as burying a frozen chicken at a pet cemetery; traveling to Polynesia to research the myth of Tiki; having audiences with the king of Tonga; the queen and president of Palau and the presidents of Iceland; creating a Richard Nixon Museum; traveling to the Vatican to study Christian relics; installing an exhibit aboard a tugboat in Sweden; and curating shows in the museums of Las Vegas (such as the Liberace and Clown Museum). In Lapland Vallance constructed a shamanic “magic drum,” In Orange County, CA, Mr. Vallance curated the only art world exhibition of the Painter of Light entitled 'Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth.' In 1983, he was host of MTV’s The Cutting Edge and appeared on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman. In 2004, Vallance received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation award. In addition to exhibiting his artwork, Vallance has written for such publications and journals as Art Issues, Artforum, LA Weekly, Juxtapoz, Frieze and the Fortean Times. He has published over ten books, including Blinky the Friendly Hen, The World of Jeffrey Vallance: Collected Writings 1978-1994, Christian Dinosaur, Art on the Rocks, Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage, Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth, My Life with Dick, Relics and Reliquaries, The Vallance Bible and Rudis Tractus (Rough Drawing).