Black & Red No. 4 (Christmas Issue)
Added by Unknown 1691 on Mar 5th, 2021
Type of Work
8 × 5 in
"The fourth issue of Black & Red is comprised of two pieces: “We Called a Strike and No One Came,” by Black & Red, and the second chapter from the Situationist International Ten Days That Shook the University. Most of the fifty-six pages of this pamphlet are devoted to “We Called a Strike and No One Came,” which recounts the failed efforts of the WMU campus SDS members to organize a student strike. The piece is composed using reproductions of early European paintings and cut-out images from magazines alongside word bubbles. It resembles a comic made by people who don’t know how to draw. (In fact, on the inside back cover there is a call for artists reading, “We’re looking for people who like to draw.”) It is a harsh critique of the SDS, formulated as “An Allegorical Epic with Footnotes” that parodies Christian themes (it was the Christmas issue). “We Called a Strike” details the first meetings of SDS as told from different perspectives—students, the university president and administrators, an “outside agitator.” It is structured as seven sections, des-cribing various episodes in the planning of the strike. The images change from panel to panel, so the word and thought bubbles seem to be coming out of different people (or things) each time, and do not necessarily develop specific characters over the course of the collage-parody. One section describes early SDS meetings, with participants cast as figures from Christian Renaissance paintings, articulating various activities that SDS could take—writing proposals and resolutions, organizing a mixer fundraiser, engaging in guerilla theater, and stenciling messages around campus. Someone points out that there are too many ideas, they need to take action: “To think that a word can change a real situa-tion ... this is Magic. You have to prove the truth of your thinking in practice.”6Later, another person (a stand-in for Perlman) calls on the students to identify and divvy up actual tasks, like printing leaflets, or visiting classes to make announcements about the upcoming strike. The students won’t print leaflets (“we can’t even make a single leaflet because our mimeograph is broken down”),7 and they don’t want to disrupt classes without permission from professors. The Perlman figure is frustrated with their respect for authority and anticipates the eventual failure of the strike, which no one shows up to except the original SDS members.This issue of Black & Red was reprinted in 1973 at the Co-op. One version of the reprint is made with black text over a split fountain gradient on the cover instead of red cover stock." The Detroit Printing Co-op by Danielle Aubert.