Here Comes Kitty
With interpolations by Danielle Dutton and a conversation with Ann Lauterbach
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hardback 8.375 × 11.5 in.
64 pages, all color
published in 2015
In this wildly irreverent collage narrative, artist Richard Kraft reassembles a Cold War comic about a Polish spy infiltrating the Nazis to orchestrate a multiplicity of voices into joyous cacophony. Like an Indian miniature painting, each comic book page is densely layered, collapsing foreground and background, breaking the frame and merging time. An unlikely and enormous cast of characters emerges as Kraft appropriates images and texts from an extraordinary variety of sources (the Amar Chitra Katha comics of Hindu mythology, Jimmy Swaggart’s Old and New Testament stories, the 1960s English football annual Scorcher, and underground porn comics like Cherry as well as images from art history, outdated encyclopedias, and more).
Proceeding from Thoreau’s observation, “Yes and No are lies. A true answer will not aim to establish anything, but rather to set all well afloat,” Kraft subverts all certainty to reconstruct a world constantly in flux, rich with dark humor and its own revelatory nonsense. Author Danielle Dutton’s set of sixteen interpolations punctuate the book using similar strategies of appropriation and juxtaposition to create texts that sing in the same arresting register as Kraft’s collages. Here Comes Kitty also includes a wide-ranging conversation between Kraft and poet Ann Lauterbach.
Monumental incongruities—dazzling composition. Richard Kraft and Danielle Dutton have created a riot of images and words. The exuberance is contagious. A delight. A must.
about the authors
RICHARD KRAFT is a British born artist whose multidisciplinary works engage many spheres of inquiry (language, literature, history, and popular culture) and incorporate a variety of media (film, collage, photography, drawing, and performance). Kraft is the recipient of a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship and his work has been widely exhibited at museums, galleries, and university spaces. His most recent artist’s book is “It Is What It Is”: All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump. He is also the co-editor of John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matter Worse), Marcel Broodthaers: My Ogre Book, Shadow Theater, Midnight, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats. He also hosts the podcast Acts & Facts, interviewing people about eight talismanic books.
DANIELLE DUTTON is the author of S P R A W L (Siglio), Margaret the First (Catapult) Attempts at a Life (Tarpaulin Sky) and editor of Dorothy, a publishing project. Her work has appeared in Bomb, Harper’s, Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, Noon, jubilat, among other journals and magazines. She holds degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California-Santa Cruz, and the University of Denver where she was Associate Editor of the Denver Quarterly. She is currently a professor in the English Department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where she lives with her husband and son.
Kraft’s book is duly dreamlike and mystical, excerpting text and imagery from biblical stories, Hindu iconography, found photos and children’s primers, and collapsing them all into palimpsestic visions and portmanteau people. The raucous paper opera is regularly “interrupted” with prose poem entr’actes by Danielle Dutton, before returning to its elaborate system of motifs and patterns, pitting sense against nonsense in a way that’s both cosmic and buoyantly childlike.
—Sean Rogers, Toronto Globe & Mail
Kraft and Danielle Dutton’sHere Comes Kitty … beautifully, wantonly, defies review. Like a dream, it slips off the binds of the mind, building up structures which differ from those present upon rational waking.… There is a kind of unbridled pleasure circulating through Here Comes Kitty. Its intrigue is addictive. It is serene and cataclysmic. It is spiritual, yet sinister. It is all delinquent-joy and death-drive, and yet it is equally inexhaustible, incessantly generating.
—Natalie Helberg, Numero Cinq
Here Comes Kitty is the work of multidisciplinary artist Richard Kraft, a Jess for our age. Kraft has craftily transformed a 1960s Polish espionage comic into a mad, post-mod melange of Western religion and Eastern mysticism, Nazi spies and domesticated animals, the disturbingly chaotic and the playfully erotic … In addition to its absurdist humor, the book is simply marvelous in its visual complexity, as if Max Ernst’s Une semaine de bonté, Will Elder’s mischievous eyeball kicks, and Terry Gilliam’s animation circus took a deep dive into a James Joycean stream of heightened consciousness. Here comes everybody!
—Michael Dooley, PRINT
✼ natalie’s upstate weather report:
September 23, 2022 — Relentlessly stormy with brief bouts of sunshine as the melancholy of fall sets in. We’re all about the dummies here (and proofs), preparing to send off HC’s I Will Keep My Soul to press. Meanwhile, our publisher LP (who will not be bullied) is continuing testimony on zoom at a court in Lithuania (wish her luck!). And like a rocket with a countdown, we’ve launched this website! Thank you, TG & JG of ES![...]