Essay by Rebecca Stephens. Letters by Kathy Acker and Paul Buck. Art by John Cussans.
In this collaborative volume, the writer and artist Paul Buck works with the late Kathy Acker. Using as source the raw materials of their correspondence from the early 80s, a period when Acker was writing Great Expectations and trying to leave America for London, Buck confronts issues of appropriation, sampling, and plagiarism, relevant then and now. Spread Wide works to spread wide not only the thighs, but also the page and writing itself, to expose the textual and narrative pulsations that are fundamental to the creative process as experienced by both of these notable practitioners. Through Acker’s letters and re-readings of her published work, Buck blurs the line between visual arts and literature, tramps documents into fiction, and creates a transgressive work that stretches back to the time of their first meetings in Amsterdam and Paris, when, as editor of the seminal magazine Curtains, he blasted French contemporary writings into the British bloodstream. Further encounters are triggered by writer Rebecca Stephens and artist John Cussans.