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MANI Papers

compiler: Andrey Monastyrsky

The intended audience for the MANI Papers was a narrow circle of those who were themselves published in the Papers; what’s more, this circle was even narrower than the audience for the MANI Folders, which preceded the Papers. The emphasis in the Papers was shifted to the textual component of the Moscow Conceptual School, to discourse that discussed not so much the works done by Conceptualists as the movement itself, the school and its circumstances and situation, starting in 1986 when the first volume of the Papers, “Ding an Sich,” was published. It came out in three copies, and clearly embedded in it, one could already see the structure of all the other volumes: on the one hand, it had general aesthetic discourse; on the other, original works, which were created specifically for the volume. If the MANI Folders contained a large number of photographs of works, then in the Papers, their volume was reduced drastically. Moreover, unconsciously sensing that a collection of papers was an entirely different type of publication with a different purpose, I placed in it photographs that were created specifically for the Papers. Each volume contained a “headpiece” photograph immediately following the title page and each ended with a fairly long sequence of photographs. In the first volume, this was my photo sequence Two Catalogs; in the second volume, Rooms, this was a photographic series by G. Kizevalter called 15 Rooms; in the third, Agros, my photo sequence Staff Entrace to VDNKh, and what’s more, inside the volume, in between the articles, I had placed a considerable number of individual photographs with title pages before them (for example, “Groceries,” “Fur Coats,” etc.), which in one way or another were connected with both the “headpiece” photographs and the concluding photo sequence. In one form or another, this principle is characteristic of all six volumes of the Papers (the fourth volume was titled Materials for Publication, 1988; the fifth – Buchhalterium [Bookkeeping], 1990; the sixth – Rivers, Lakes, Meadows, 1991). The first four volumes I created together with Joseph Bakstein, and in some sense, our dialogs formed the core material of each volume. The fifth volume (Buchhalterium) I created together with Sabine Haensgen. The sixth, Rivers, Lakes, Meadows, was created by Yu. Leiderman. All of the Papers were issued in three copies, with the exception of Rooms, of which there were five copies. The bindings of the first four volumes were created by N. Panitkov. Andrey Monastyrsky, “About the MANI Papers.”