The first annual edition of the nonprofit arts publication Esopus, devoted to exploring connections between medicine and the arts, will launch on May 7, 2015, at an event at the Manhattan space of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. The issue hits newsstands the following week, and several other events related to its release are scheduled throughout the spring.
Esopus 22: Medicine, clocking in at 230 pages, features contributions from more than 60 artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, designers, poets, doctors, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists, and other medical and creative professionals. Its contents include artists’ projects by Nina Katchadourian, Teresa Matas, Melissa Meyer, Fred Tomaselli, William Villalongo, and Martin Wilner; reproductions of archival material from the Museum of Modern Art (materials related to MoMA’s groundbreaking 1943 “Arts in Therapy” exhibition), Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (never-before-seen prescription pads from poet and doctor William Carlos Williams), and the Magnum Photos Archive (Stuart Franklin’s photos of a British condom factory’s production line at the height of the AIDS crisis). The issue also includes 100 frames from documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s 1970 documentary Hospital; a series of renderings of the “perfect waiting room” by designer Thomas Juncher Jensen inspired by Esopus subscribers’ suggestions; and a CD of songs about bodily organs from musicians such as Will Sheff (Okkervil River), The Fiery Furnaces, and rapper Cities Aviv. A complete list of the issue’s contents can be found here, and a podcast featuring interviews with three of the issue’s contributors is available here.
In addition, artist Richard Prince has designed a limited-edition insert to be included with premium subscribers’ copies of the issue. The insert, an 8.5-by-11" two-sided, four-color offset print on archival paper related to the artist's Nurses series, will be sent to premium subscribers in a custom-made, foil-stamped folder that will also enclose the issue.
Issue Launch and Related Events
On Thursday, May 7th, from 6 to 8pm, the Esopus Foundation will host a launch event for the issue at the recently opened Manhattan space of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (136 W. 22nd Street). Issue contributor William Villalongo attended Skowhegan in 2002, and contributors Melissa Meyer and Fred Tomaselli have both served on the Skowhegan faculty. The event is free and open to the public.
On Tuesday, May 26th, at 7pm, Esopus will present an evening of programming related to the issue at The Kitchen, with contributions from artists Nina Katchadourian, musician Will Sheff, and other Esopus 22 contributors. The event is free and open to the public.
On Sunday, June 14th, at 5pm, Esopus will host a rare screening of Frederick Wiseman’s 1970 documentary Hospital at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. The screening will be introduced via Skype by Wiseman, who is currently in Paris cutting his most recent film. The event is open to the public and accessible with an admission fee ($12) to the museum.
Called “a thing of lavish, eccentric beauty” by The New York Times, Esopus has garnered critical praise and a fervent following for its unfiltered, dynamic presentation of a wide range of creative expression since its founding in 2003. Past issues have featured projects by prominent contemporary artists, including Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha, Robert Gober and Dara Birnbaum; themed CDs of brand-new music contributed by the likes of Grizzly Bear, Jens Lekman and Neko Case; and fiction, poetry, filmmaking, playwriting and art from hundreds of emerging and established voices, ranging from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.
The annual publication, which counts subscribers in 49 states and 27 countries, was founded with the goal of providing an unmediated space for a wide variety of creative disciplines, and as a result never includes commercially driven editorial content or advertisements. Single issues of Esopus are offered at a subsidized cover price in order to make the magazine available to a wider audience.
Domestic basic subscriptions to Esopus are $30 for one year and $45 for two years; domestic premium subscriptions, which include a special edition of the annual issue as well as a stand-alone artist’s edition released each fall, are $75 for one year and $140 for two years. More information about subscribing to Esopus or purchasing single issues can be found at our online store.
About The Esopus Foundation Ltd.
Founded in 2003, The Esopus Foundation Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a forum through which artists, writers and musicians can make a direct connection with the general public. In addition to the publication of Esopus, the Foundation has also programmed exhibitions, events, and performances with institutions including The Kitchen, the Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1/MoMA, White Columns, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, and the Museum of the Moving Image. From 2009 to 2012, the Foundation ran Esopus Space, an intimately scaled exhibition and performance venue in Greenwich Village.
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