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Allen Ruppersberg
The Sound and the Story/The Hugo Ball Award for 20th Century Graphics
Courtesy of the artist
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Photo by Bruce Morr
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by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

Guest Informant, that slim local guidebook for tourists found in many hotel rooms, is the basis of the catalogue for the Allen Ruppersberg exhibition "You and Me or The Art of Give and Take" at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The particular Guest Informant that he appropriates is more than 50 years old, dating from 1956 and covering all of California and Las Vegas. It bears a big black label warning that "this volume must not be removed from the premises." We are thus notified at the outset that the artist has broken the rules and we are accessories after the fact. It is a minor crime, as crimes go, with an esoteric pay-off: finding oneself immersed in a rapidly fading past, a past that is painstakingly preserved throughout Ruppersberg’s work.