Complete Edition
La Livre, complete edition, 2023 ,  © Archivio Conz, Berlin.  Photos by Giorgia Palmisano
La Livre, complete edition, 2023 , © Archivio Conz, Berlin. Photos by Giorgia Palmisano

"La Livre - An Homage to Ezra Pound", a title that is initially misleading, semantically due to the wrong gender. We are familiar with "le Livre" to describe the book and as a container for the linguistic work of art, "le livre", which Gustave Flaubert or Stéphane Mallarmé aspired to as the absolute. "La livre", however, is deliberately misleading in order to describe the real thing: the pound sterling or simply the pound as weight - currency and measure.

We do not know whether it was Francesco Conz who came up with this title for what is probably his most unusual and globally unique art edition project, or the friend and "father" of concrete poetry Eugen Gomringer. The title takes up the recurring theme of finance, of "usura", usury, in the Cantos, the most famous poetry cycle of the 20th century. Together with the daughter of Ezra Pound and Olga Rudge, Mary de Rachewiltz, Francesco Conz invited over 58 artists of concrete and visual poetry to a total of seven workshops at Brunnenburg Castle near Merano between 1987 and 1992. In a given format ( 35 x 25 cm) they were to create works, transfers, on the Cantos by Ezra Pound, in any number, which they were also to reproduce accordingly for an edition of 15 copies. Almost all of the artists created between 4 and 10 original works, which they then continued or drew in variants, as unique variants, or reproduced in modifications, so that in the end all the works were originals.

Francesco Conz pursued the project from 1986 until one year before his death in 2009. After 1992, Francesco Conz invited artists to participate and send works instead of the workshops at the Brunnenburg: a total of 58 artists took part. We have reduced the size somewhat and produced 11 boxes in an edition of 10 copies each. The individual boxes each contain a different number of original works, resulting in a total of 301 artworks. Each box also contains a book with texts by Augusto de Campos, Eugen Gomringer, Wieland Schmied, Tom McCarthy, and Hubertus von Amelunxen as well as a data carrier with a six-hour documentation of the workshops. It was Francesco Conz's wish to keep individual boxes available for purchase. We have limited this possibility to 2 editions.