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Jean Toche I accuseJean Toche, I Accuse, March 26 – April 9, 1968, Gallerie Le Zodiaque, Brussels, 20 pages, offset, staple bound. | A rare catalog from an early solo exhibition by Jean Toche of Guerrilla Art Action Group (GAAG). This booklet documents Toche’s little-known aggressive light environments. The catalog, which is also a kind of artists’ book, features text in English and French.  pdf

aspen magazine 1969ASPEN MAGAZINE No. 6A, WINTER 1968-69 | This issue Of ASPEN is a reprint of selections from "Manipulations", published last year by a group of artists at the Judson Church Gallery in New York City. Each "article" is a documentation by the artist of an event he performed in a series called "12 Evenings of Manipulations". | In their manifesto, the artists explained their intent of "filling a vacuum -- bridging a gap left by the profiteering proselytizers of culture. This Is a unique communique to you from artists who are concerned with the corruption of culture by profit. We believe the function of the artist is to subvert culture, since our culture Is trivial. We are intent on giving a voice to the artist who shouts fire when there is a fire; robbery when there Is a robbery; murder when there is a murder; rape when there is a rape. Judson Publications will attempt to serve the public for as long as the trivial culture of the establishment distracts us from the screams of crisis". | The original publication of 500 copies (run off by the artists on a small press in the church) was distributed free; in keeping with the same spirit, this Issue is sent free to you by ASPEN. | 12 EVENINGS OF MANIPULATIONS: JON HENDRICKS (SOME NOTES) + RALPH ORTIZ (DESTRUCTION ROOM) + BICI HENDRICKS (DETERIORATIONS) + JEAN TOCHE (ART EXPERIMENTS IN SENSORY DEPRIVATION) + ALLAN KAPROW (REARRANGEMENT) + AL HANSEN + GEOFFREY HENDRICKS (SKY/CHANGE) + STEVE ROSE (ART DEMONSTRATION: HEAVY YOGA) + CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN (DIVISIONS & RUBBLE) + LIL PICARD (CONSTRUCTION-DESTRUCTION-CONSTRUCTION) + KATE MILLETT (NO) + NAM JUNE PAIK, CHARLOTTE MOORMAN, JUD YALKUT, KEN JACOBS, TAKAHIKO IIMURA

gaag book cover 1976Jon Hendricks, Jean Toche | GAAG : The Guerrilla Art Action Group, second edition 1969 - 1976 : A Selection Printed Matter Inc. | New York, NY 2011 | 368 p. | 21.5 x 14 cm. | Paperback | Edition 1500.
ISBN 9780894390593 | This is the reissue of the long out-of-print publication GAAG: The Guerrilla Art Action Group, 1969-1976: A Selection, first published in 1978. The book serves as the primary text to the significant work of the activist artist group GAAG (Jon Hendricks, Poppy Johnson, Silvianna, Joanne Stamerra, Virginia Toche and Jean Toche), both as a document of the group’s ideological and logistical concerns, and more broadly as a historical record for 52 of the many political art actions they carried out through the late Sixties and early Seventies.
Guided by their belief that art and culture had been corrupted by profit and private interest, GAAG formed in October 1969 as a platform for social struggle. Their work asked how artists could work effectively towards meaningful change, most often through direct provocation and confrontation–symbolic, non-violent actions staged in protest and ridicule of the ethical failures by the art and media establishments, as well as the US government. Their activities defied the brutal, close-minded workings of an artistic/political system that traded in dirty money, served the elite, established a trivial cultural canon, and perpetuated bloody wars abroad.
GAAG: The Guerrilla Art Action Group, 1969-1976: A Selection collects the manifestos, letters and press communiqués issued by the group (to Nixon, Hoover, The Secretary of Defense, Museum officials, and others). Their missives are printed as facsimiles, alongside other print material, including handwritten expenses, and related documents, that stand as statements of purpose and protest. Photographers Ka Kwong Hui, Joanne Stamerra, Jan Van Raay and others were often on hand as many of the actions unfolded, offering a remarkable and candid visual history to the group’s activities and confrontations
GAAG: The Guerrilla Art Action Group, 1969-1976: A Selection is a tremendous resource on the important work of the group, providing insight into social action and political art activities with lasting implications. The book stands both as a historical documentation as well as a model for contemporary and future critique and practice.

Sensous Garden of WarsThe Sensuous Gardens of War, Tipco Press, New York, NY, 1991, [unpaginated], 29.5 x 23 cm, Paperback, Clip Bound, Photocopy | With The Sensuous Gardens of War, Jean Toche, co-founder of the Guerrilla Art Action Group, chronicles the “ugly deeds” of the Bush administration as seen through the eyes of an artist/poet character named Nappy. The book is laid out as a report, with every day’s events signed and dated by Toche and separated by numbered sheets. Thirteen reports in all document Nappy’s reaction as he follows the United States’ invasion of Iraq.

Toche Les Cahiers Nappy 1994Les Cahiers de Nappy, Tipco Press, Staten Island, NY, 1994, 18 p., 29 x 23 cm, Paperback, Clip Bound, Laser Printed, Monochrome on Colored Paper | Les Cahiers de Nappy chronicles the thoughts and events in the life of Jean Toche’s semi-fictional character “Nappy” during five days in January 1994, when Nappy receives a letter from Printed Matter asking him to participate in an exhibition of artists’ books examining the wage-labor system.

Toche booklett, I piss on the arts 1999"I piss on the arts",
16 p. with statements, 1999, 21 x 15 cm,
Edition Hundertmark, 43. Booklet, Cologne 2001

Toche waiter there is a terrorist in my soup 2002"Waiter! There is a terrorist in my soup!"
21 x 15 cm, 16 pages, Editon Hundertmark, 45. Booklet, Cologne 2002

conversations Jean TocheTemporary Conversations: Jean Toche / Guerrilla Art Action Group | By Temporary Services with Jean Toche | Chicago, IL: Temporary Services December 2008 | 32p. | 8.5" x 5.5" | sopft cover: soft, die cut | staple-bound | offset cover, digital insides | metallic ink cover, black insides | Edition Size: 475  pdf
This booklet, #84, is the fourth in our interview series Temporary Conversations. It provides some extremely hard to acquire information, numerous illustrations, and is one of very few interviews Toche has given with numerous personal biographical details he has never shared before. Stephen Perkins contributed questions and editorial insight on this publication. An excerpt from the introduction:
"It?s easy to imagine that 75 years ago, Jean Toche came into the world kicking and screaming ? not just throwing a fit like a baby, but courageously and creatively articulating what was wrong with doctors, the health care system, the staff who were indifferent to his and other babies? concerns, and every other injustice that might have been readily observable. Artists don?t come a whole lot angrier or less compromising, but that?s not all there is to Jean Toche.
Surely, in between the piss and the pus, and the shit and the spit, spectators in the neonatal ward would have been able to observe not just an exhilarating, fighting spirit in baby Jean. There would have been more than a couple giggles, a quickly developing delight in the absurd, and an excess of kindness and generosity toward those who care deeply for the rights of other human beings.
Okay, so to be truthful, Jean Toche?s radicalization took perhaps a little longer to percolate ? though not too much longer.
Jean Toche, along with Jon Hendricks and Poppy Johnson, is a founding member of the Guerrilla Art Action Group (GAAG). The three formed the group on October 15, 1969 in New York City. Jean?s wife Virginia Toche, and Joanne Stamerra were also involved in multiple aspects of GAAG?s work. Toche and Hendricks still issue statements as GAAG from time to time, but for all intents and purposes, the group?s primary years of activity were from 1969-76. The bulk of their actions took place, in rapid succession, between 1969 and 1971.
What follows is a highly selective and greatly abbreviated chronology of GAAG's work. Because their work is so dependent on their many written statements and accounts of their actions, the reader is urged to track down a library copy of Printed Matter?s 1978 book on their work, GAAG: The Guerilla Art Action Group, 1969-1976: A Selection. Photographer Jan Van Raay, who documented many of their actions in great detail, also has a website at, which includes many images and goes a long way toward showing the visual side of their work.
Toche and Hendricks first met at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village in Manhattan on the south side of Washington Square Park. The church had, and continues to have, a long history of making space available to artists for art exhibitions, rehearsals, and performances. Hendricks worked at the church as its gallery director. Toche began participating in events at Judson in 1967, two years after arriving in New York with his wife Virginia.
GAAG began at a time when artists were increasingly challenging the conduct of museums and other institutions on grounds that included sexual and racial inequality in collecting and exhibition practices, the need for free admission days so that the poor could see art, and the involvement of museum board members in corporations that were enabling the Vietnam War."

Rogue BushJean Toche: Impressions From The Rogue Bush Imperial Presidency | Duke University, Durham, NC, 2009 | 48 p. | 21 x 14.5 cm. | Paperback | Artist Jean Toche is known for his controversial and reactionary work. The 2009 exhibition Impressions From The Rogue Bush Imperial Presidency included collaged excerpts of various news articles and self-portraits paired with fiery political statements. Each image featured a distorted photographic image displayed above a written declaration on a topic such as religious intolerance or excessive consumerism. This publication reproduces the images from this exhibition along with an introduction by Rob Sikorski and an essay by Kristine Stiles.

Toche Thge Culture of FearJean Toche: Die Kultur der Angst (The Culture Of Fear) | Editor: Matthias Reichelt | Distillery 36 | Berlin, Germany 2010 | 80 p. | 14.5 x 22.5 cm | ISBN 9783941330276 | This book assembles the work of Belgian-American artist Jean Toche, known for his political collages that employ text and image to critically examine a decadent consumer-driven society. Toche’s large scale collages attack current American politics with gumption and forthrightness in texts that certainly do not mince words. The public forcefulness of the texts are balanced by images of Toche’s own body, private yet unashamedly exhibited and often awkwardly photographed to reveal a somewhat uncomfortable intimacy through a rejection conventional expectations of body ideals.  pdf

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Correspondence 1990-93 by Jean Toche,Art Metropole Collection, National Gallery of Canada, Library and Archives, Ottawa/Ontario

Elargissement by Jean Toche; Galerie le Zodiac (Brussels, Belgium), French, Bruxelles : Galerie le Zodiac, [1968?]

G.A.A.G's position paper for the panel at the College Art Association Convention on Politics and Current Art, on January 25, 1973, at the Americana Hotel in New York City by Jean Toche; Jon Hendricks; Guerilla Art Action Group.; College Art Association of America. English, [New York? : Guerilla Art Action Group, 1973?]

Hostile workshop by Jean Toche; Judson Gallery (New York, N.Y.), English, New York : Judson Gallery, 1968.

License to ..., by Jon Hendricks; Jean Toche; Guerrilla Art Action Group. English, [New York, N.Y.?] : GAAG, [197-?]

Light=aggression by Jean Toche, Englisch, [New York? : Judson Gallery?], 1968.

Manifesto for a theater of the preposterous by Al Hansen; Jean Toche, English, New York, Ecce Homo, 1967

Neon sound objects by Jean Toche; Palais des beaux-arts (Brussels, Belgium), English, Bruxelles : Palais des beaux-arts, [1966]

Open brief by Walter Swennen; Beni.; Jean Toche, French, Bruxelles [etc.], [ca. 1970]

Paris Guidorama by Michel Bagot; Jean Toche, French, Nancy : Berger-Levrault, 1975.

Pratique de la signalisation d'interprétation von Jean-Pierre Bringer; Jean Toche; Michelle Sabatier; Emmanuel Coudel, French, Montpellier : Atelier technique des espaces culturels, 1996.

We offer a six million dollar reward for the assassination of the author of the Bible by Jon Hendricks; Jean Toche; John Paul, Pope; Guerilla Art Action Group. English, New York, N.Y. : Guerilla Art Action Group, 1989. 

Archives:  National Gallery of Canada

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