The Bears is a book about Bears. It was begat from a series of encounters that occurred in the neighborhood of Chelsea, New York between July, 2008 and December, 2010. The book seeks to present a notion of bearishness by tracing back the subculture to its western American roots in lumberjacking, motorcycling and frontiersmanship. Using as its jump-off points the California state flag, the constellation of Ursa Major, and the phenomenon of the so-called Bear Code, The Bears goes on to delineate its author’s relationship to the animal itself, to the representations of (and cultural references to) that animal, and to the individuals that have co-opted that animal’s designation (‘Bear’). Topics include the Bears themselves (I), the Chicago Bears (II), Smokey the Bear (III), bear markets (IV), Gummi Bears (V), bear hugs (VI), the Elvis Presley song “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” (VII), Paddington Bear (VIII), Bear Scouts (IX) and The Care Bears (X).
The Bears is a book by Benjamin Critton and was Risograph-printed in Brooklyn, New York by Jesse Hlebo. It was assembled by hand and published in an edition of forty. It is rendered in two colours, pink and blue. The paperback, belly-banded book includes a series of ten small foldout posters accompanied by ten brief texts and a sixteen-page saddle-stitched booklet entitled The Dead Bears.
Launch August 19, 2011, 5–7 pm
Printed Matter, New York