Since the incorporation of the Esopus Foundation Ltd. in 2003, we have asked contemporary artists to create limited editions that we offer in exchange for donations. Revenue from these artworks allows us to continue our mission of providing an unmediated, accessible forum for artists and the general public.
These limited editions are not for sale, and therefore a portion of their value is tax-deductible, in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code. You will receive an email receipt or your records, and your donation will be noted both on our website and in the subsequent issue of Esopus.
Three Types of Reading Ambiguity is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between musician Charles Bissell and contemporary artist Beth Campbell.
The edition is a layered reflection on the differing meanings of “original” and “copy” in the visual arts and music—and a fascinating glimpse into the creative processes of Bissell and Campbell.
Both happen to be previous contributors to Esopus; In fact, Campbell opened the very first issue of Esopus with a drawing from her ongoing series, “My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances,” which consists of elegant flow charts mapping out a dizzyingly wide range of outcomes resulting from a particular choice she’s made.
Bissell, a member of the acclaimed indie band The Wrens, was interviewed along with a bandmate, Greg Whelan, in Esopus 3 about the intense, often torturous process behind the making of the Wrens’ landmark 2003 album, The Meadowlands.
Bissell is currently putting the finishing touches on The Wrens’ long-awaited, and much-anticipated, new album, which will finally be released next year. For this limited edition, he offered us a longer, unique version of one of its tracks, “Three Types of Reading Ambiguity”—a transcendent exploration of the reckoning with mortality that accompanies middle age. In the edition, that track takes up one side of a custom-designed audio cassette, whose Side B features a fascinating sonic interpretation of the song created by Campbell, whose sculptures and installations frequently explore notions of copies and duplication. The edition also includes an exquisite new 17 x 30” “Potential Future” drawing, reproduced here as an archival lithographic print, related to the song and Campbell's collaboration with Bissell for the project, as well as a foldout poster featuring Bissell’s lyrics reproduced in their original format.
Three Types of Reading Ambiguity is currently in production, and will be sent to our premium subscribers in early November. It will be available as a part of a Premium subscription to Esopus until October 12th.
Charles Bissell has been in The Wrens since 1989. The acclaimed alternative band’s album The Meadowlands (Absolutely Kosher, 2003), appeared on numerous critics’ Top 10 lists, and was named Magnet magazine’s Album of the Year. Bissell, who is based in Brooklyn, is currently finishing production on the Wrens’ fourth album, which will be released in 2018.
Beth Campbell’s work has been shown across the United States, including at The Whitney Museum, MoMA’s P.S. 1, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Sculpture Center, and many New York galleries. Her work has also been shown internationally, including at spaces in London, Paris, Seoul, and Zurich. She received her MFA from Ohio State University, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.