The Dash Snow Box Set

Adam O'Reilly

"He had a complicated life, and after his death it remained fairly complicated," describes publisher and gallerist Andrew Roth, of organizing the first solo exhibition—"Movie List," opens Nov. 11—of unseen work by the late Dash Snow since 2006. Thirty book maquettes will be on display at his gallery, each assembled and collated by Snow.

Putting the show together was an emotional process and began when Neville Wakefield and Dan Colen, friends of Snow, invited Roth to discuss the printed matter in the estate and find appropriate ways to make it known. "It became very clear from the beginning that this was very central part of his work—core," he says.

Preparing for the show, the collaborators rediscovered an unrealized book project, a stack of golden paper, pages ablaze with trashy, filthy, funny covers of '80s and '90s pornography VHS sleeves. "It runs the gambit of slasher to Nazi porn to super-wacky transvestite stuff to gross S&M. It's quite a cross section of the underbelly," says Roth. Snow collected the tapes from an LA VHS store, and many of the tapes were already in a bootleg format, with photocopies for covers.

The result of Roth's efforts is a six-pound block of a book, made of stiff board pages with brilliant golden ink surrounding each VHS cover—homage and facsimile to Snow's original maquette. "At the beginning of making the book, we kept referring back to Dash, saying things like 'Dash would like that,' or, 'He would have done it like this.' Then at a certain point we had to let this thing become what it wanted to be."

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December 2014

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