Following my acquisition of Jason Lee’s A Plain View, I kept an eye on Lee (and FilmPhotographic), and when news of the “OK: Jason Lee Photographs” exhibition at the Philbook Muesum, Downtown, appeared I made plans to go.
I remember seeing something about a special edition Refueled magazine/exhibition guide that was scheduled to come out late in the run of the exhibition, so I went late in the run. Alas, when I went, in October 2019, the gallery guide was still unavailable (or wasn’t at the refreshingly tiny museum shop, anyway), so I ordered one, and I’m glad I did, as it’s the only record of the exhibition (there wasn’t a catalog).
As a gallery guide, Refueled #17 is sorta fancy: 1/2 newspaper size, with short essays by Philbrook Director & President Scot Stulen, Raymond Molinar, and Lee, and black & white and color photographs of Lee in action by Molinar, and some of Lee’s pictures from the series. I’d sorta rather have a catalog, if I’m honest: what I remember of the exhibition reminded me of an enlarged continuation of the A Plain View series that I saw in Fort Worth back during its run at whatever gallery that was. Alas, it seems that Refueled #17 is all there is, and it sold out long ago (on the Refueled website, anyway: the Philbrook has copies available for sale at the online museum store).
Other issues of Refueled magazine and One series of monographs are print on demand from Blurb, but Issue #17 and the Jason Lee Instant book (One #4) are both limited edition and sold out. Smacks a bit of artificial scarcity, to me. Sure, the Instant book is an actual book book, rather than a Blurb print-on-demand book, and, sure, Refueled #17 is a newsprint thing rather than a Blurb print-on-demand zine, but still. Maybe it wouldn’t seem so artificially inflated if there were other Sold Out issues.
Anyway. Maybe it’s a good thing… I can’t find A Plain View for sale anywhere, not one of the 1800 softcover copies or 200 hardcovers, and there’s no ISBN to make searching easier. Given the scarcity, artificial or not, I expect the book and this newsprint zine would fetch a decent price, should I want to sell. I don’t, but, well, you know.
Both the Philbrook and Lee have prints from the Oklahoma series available for sale, if you’re interested. And Lee keeps on producing and exhibiting: it seems that an exhibition and book of Galveston pictures is due in July 2021. FilmPhotographic has a page on it, but the venue makes no mention of it at time of writing (May 17, 2021). I’ll keep an eye on that, and maybe plan to make a road trip over the summer. It’ll be nice to get to Houston for the halal chimichanga at M&M Grill, and just to take a trip again, now that we’re vaccinated and all.