The production method and cost constraints limited the image content to black and white rendition. Here is a sample page:
At one level of interpretation, given the title, Paolozzi, tongue in cheek, was perhaps presenting a compendium of texts and imagery which represented a neatly distilled A-Z of the World, (all in the course just 70 pages.) In 1970 we were not yet nearing the brink of the new world of information technology but I believe Paolozzi had considerable foresight of this. With this he envisaged the completely revised cultural situation in which we now live: a milieu abounding with information, images, concepts, speculation, news, junk news, soap opera, advertising, marketing, video, audio, virtual reality, noise, music, jingles, and dissonance. This is a 24/7 world in which it is increasingly more difficult to be all-knowing/expert as there is just such a huge volume of data to be assimilated. And it is certainly impossible to ‘sum up’ fields of information neatly in the sort of reference works/encyclopaedias we were still turning to in 1970. With the inter-connectivity of information sources as well as the sheer volume of the stuff, any single - or body of - representation of knowledge is likely to be obsolete before you can re-transmit or print it.
But what is Abba-Zaba? It’s a brand of Californian confectionery manufacturer, Annabelle Candy Company. The bar itself is chewy – like toffee – with a peanut flavour centre. I don’t know if Paolozzi liked the taste, but I’m sure he was very attracted by the packaging, especially the chequer patterned wrapper – there is an echo here of the Cox’s gelatine packet design that he used in the As Is When series, see - http://paolozzi.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/tortured-life.html
Abba-Zaba also enjoys plenty of Paolozzi-friendly mass-media associations – name-checked in tv shows, movies and rock music; with the latter for example, Capt Beefheart’s LP, Safe as Milk was originally slated to be named Abba-Zaba.
The book was published in a limited edition of 500 and nowadays it regularly comes up for sale, recent examples being offered for an average price of £195 – so it’s a very affordable way to own a signed/numbered Paolozzi printed work.
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