S.M.S.(Shit Must Stop), 6 by William Copley and Dmitri Petrov
S.M.S.(Shit Must Stop), was a 6-issue art journal published by William Copley and Dmitri Petrov's Letter Edged in Black Press. Copley and Petrov included works by some of the most important artists of the time, who were paid just $100 for their contributions. Copley gave them free reign to create an artwork in any medium they wished, which he then then reproduced in an edition of 2000. The journal ran for just 6 issues. S. M. S. #6 Colophon Loose Leaf – 1968 Richard Artschwager: Cover design, ink and coffee stains on heavy paper, 11 x 14 inches Ed Bereal: Self-Portrait, altered photograph on paper, 16 x 13 1/2 inches Diter Rot: Chocolate Bar, four prints, blue paper wrapper, (4 3/16 x 3 1/16 inches) Betty Dodson: Friends, etching in hot pink cellophane, 5 1/2 x 8 inches Ronoldo Ferri: Neon Construction, die-cut metallic rings, 6 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches (variable) John Giorno: Chinese Fortune Game, game set, 10 x 6 inches Toby Mussman: Ten Xerox Sheets, ten Xerox collages Adrian Nutbeem: Twenty Down, colored card, 5 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches Claes Oldenburg: Unattended Lunches, pamphlet, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (folded) Mischa Petrov: Junior Historical Theatre Playroom Kit, die-cut cardboard toy, 14 x 11 inches Jean Reavey: Adora, silkscreen document with aluminum envelope, 8 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches Bernar Venet: Astrophysics, record album with document notes, 7 x 16 3/8 inches (open) S. M. S. #6, Notes: S. M. S. #6, which is the last issue produced, makes a valorous attempt at preserving the initial integrity of the project. Richard Artschwager’s cover design is a simple image of a black shape reproduced on each surface of the cover, both inside and out, with reproductions of the exact coffee stains he accidentally made when producing the original. By approving of this accident, and reproducing it for the cover, Artschwager, and Copley seem to be making an argument about the place of beauty and mistake in the contemporary art world. The rest of the pieces in this final issue seem to be playful and mischievous manifestations of this same idea, with Adrian Nutbeem’s unsolvable crossword as well as Claes Oldenburg’s Unattended Lunches. The issue also comes with an apology, which reads, “The publishers of the Letter Edged in Black Press, Inc. regretfully announce that this is the last issue of S.M.S. that will appear. We have appreciated your support and hope you will remember our effort with appreciation.” The vague nature of the card supports the mischievous nature of this issue’s contents, while still maintaining the sincerity of the project.