Take Care

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Softcover, 80 pp., 5 x 7.5 inches

Inspired by literary precedents such as automatic writing, by the resourcefulness of the bricoleur making do with what is at hand, and by the openness toward chance that all artistic production under severe constraint must necessarily incorporate, Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series invites distinguished authors and artists to be incarcerated in an unfamiliar space to complete a project from start to finish within twenty-four hours.

Jeff Dolven’s Take Care and its companion, Sally O’Reilly’s The Ambivalents—the fifth and sixth volumes of the series, respectively—were written in the exact same twenty-four-hour period, with Dolven installed at Cabinet’s gallery space in New York and O’Reilly working in a room at the Inner Temple in London. Both writers were asked to respond to a prompt, which was revealed to them one day in advance. The prompt took the form of a found document—the 1986 catalogue for Braintree Scientific, an American company that manufactures lab products used in experiments on rats and mice. (A pdf of the catalogue is available here; readers may wish to consult it before reading this book.)

Dolven’s book—a meditation on care and caring—imagines the catalogue itself as the trace of an experiment into the place of animals in the late-century scientific culture of the United States, an experiment that vacillates between the techne that frames animal testing and a desire to give solace to creatures on the verge of death.

A few sample images from the book are available here.

Purchase Take Care and The Ambivalents together and receive an additional $2 DISCOUNT.