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A Closer Look: AMC2 Journal Issue 3

AMC2 Journal Issue 3: Preserves from the AMC Garden

The third issue of AMC2 Journal from the Archive of Modern Conflict is titled Preserves from the AMC Garden, the cover featuring the five colored Olympic rings scattered in an illustration of a woman canning jam. The forty-page pamphlet is reportedly a guide for London visitors during the 2012 Olympics and greets the reader with a helpful introduction after some advertisements for canning equipment and a disconcertingly unremarked-upon photograph of a nude woman on top of a reclining cow. The introduction frames present day London in the context of the 2011 riots and unstable economic conditions, but assures the reader that it will guide visitors to an 'enjoyable and rewarding' stay in London. Breakfast and frying instructions follow, as do recipes for dishes involving sheep hearts, brains and heads. Things get more confusing from there on.

from AMC2 Journal Issue 3: Preserves from the AMC Garden
from AMC2 Journal Issue 3: Preserves from the AMC Garden

We are soon offered helpful facts and tips like: "Winston Churchill was born in a cloakroom during a dance. He also did a very good impression of a gorilla," "London is France's sixth biggest city," and "It is legal for a male to urinate in public, as long it is on the rear while of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle." While these tidbits seem nonsensical, I discovered after some Googling that they are also, more or less, true. Photographs of Churchill and a chimpanzee in overalls and a straw-hat share a page spread, and a man in the approved posture relieving himself and a young Serge Gainsbourg make their way in the sequence before a collection of antique-looking letterpress posters with odd slogans like "Please No Sex Tourism" and "Live Olympic Bullfighting." A section on the history of the Olympic games (opening with a strange but true description of the Wenlock Olympic Games, the predecessor of the modern Olympics) is notable for two full-page early 20th century images of blindfolded men participating in incomprehensible competitions, a crowd of on-lookers standing around them. Photographic documents of those early Wenlock games? More tips inform us our estimated constant proximity from rats while in London and that "When addressing a policeman wearing the traditional helmet don't say 'Do you have a pointy head?' This will not make him laugh." Good advice. The book finishes with a section on drinking with consumption facts that seem comically excessive, but then again, perhaps not.

from AMC2 Journal Issue 3: Preserves from the AMC Garden
from AMC2 Journal Issue 3: Preserves from the AMC Garden

Walking a line between earnest observation, satire and silliness ('preserves' is an apt -- it's slightly pickled), the booklet juxtaposes a modern understanding of London with stereotypes of the past. The booklet itself is a call back to visitorguides created for the 1948 London Olympics, and the imagery contained within is almost entirely alienated from present day. The result is something familiarly ineffable. This is the strangest, funniest and smallest (and least expensive) in the AMC2 collection, yet it is densely packed like issues 1 and 2. -- Sarah Bradley

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Read the review of AMC2 Journal Issue 1
Read the review of AMC2 Journal Issue 2