Virgil Tracy

Under Hempel’s Sofa

Virgil Tracy (1998)


By logging a description of every single item in his flat, and cross-referencing their selected histories with anecdotes concerning their purchase, significance and role in his life, Virgil Tracy has created a directory to contemporary urban existence which is as compelling as it is hilarious.

Working on one level as an epic comedy of recognition, and on another as a philosophical investigation into the relationship between an individual and their surroundings, Under Hempel’s Sofa is a book which manages to bring together the eeriness of Sartre’s Nausea with a monologue by Tony Hancock. If the term ‘post-laddism’ has not yet been invented, then Virgil Tracy demands the label as an artist who has looked into this phenomenon and searched the naked soul of men who might behave badly, the football generation, and owners of immaculate record collections.

Under Hempel’s Sofa | Tracy, Virgil; | Commission: New Writing, guest edited by Michael Bracewell | ISBN: 978 1 870699 31 0 | Price: £9.95 | Classification: Neo-conceptual; | Format: Offset printing; | Extent: 128 pages | Edition: 1,500 copies | Dimensions: 210 x 150mm | Designers: Herman Lelie; Herman Lelie & Stefania Bonelli; Stefania Bonelli; | Printer: Aldgate Press, London