what the critics say

“Immigrant life in Queens, as told in the intimate, rich, comic, ironic and sad stories so often seen but not heard in America’s big cities… Archie Bunker doesn’t live here anymore — not in the Queens of Crossing the Blvd. The first-person narratives are engaging… The stories are so different, and yet many of the immigrants’ lives are so similar… What links them all is the desperation and desire that brought them here. As one immigrant says in Crossing the BLVD, ‘America can do without you, but you can’t do without America’.” The Washington Post Lynne Duke.


Crossing the BLVD is a powerful social record… Most of the subjects live in Queens, but their stories resonate far beyond the borders of this multicultural New York borough. What often gets lost in the national debate on immigration is the human dimension, an understanding of the lives of those people who give up everything to come here. Crossing the BLVD lets them tell their stories… We see the subjects’ faces in the photographs, hear their voices, and enter into their lives through cherished mementos they have carried from home to home… Extraordinary stories… a living work of art.” The New York Times Benjamin Genocchio

“With first-person accounts from 79 immigrants in Queens, the 400-page book is an offbeat ethnic tour of one of the country’s most ethnically diverse counties. It does not point out trendy kebab palaces or obscure taco stands, but rather tells riveting stories about a new wave of immigrants to America… ” The New York Times Corey Kilgannon

Winner 2003 Innovative Use of Archives Award “The Archivist Round Table recognizes Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan for their remarkable book and audio CD, Crossing the BLVD… A stunning book structured to portray multiple perspectives. We honor Crossing the BLVD for exploding the paradigms of oral history and reinterpreting them for our multimedia century… for its boldness and creativity as it charts a lasting record of this vibrant, diverse community in New York City—the new Ellis Island.” Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan NY


Winner 2004 Brendan Gill Prize
“A celebratory chronicle of the immigrant experience in New York, Crossing the BLVD is a Whitmanesque book that reveals a staggering array of humanity… [it] chronicles life in Gotham in both its despair and boundless promise. The first-person narratives are drawn from audio-taped interviews, while the book’s ever-changing graphics and typefaces mirror the rich pastiche of religion, language and tradition that coexists in the borough… chosen for its ability to convey the inspired resiliency of the myriad communities that contribute to the city’s dynamism.”The Municipal Art Society of NY. The Brendan Gill prize is awarded annually to the creator of a book, essay, poem, lyric, song, composition, play, painting, sculpture, landscape or any other work of art which best captures the energy and spirit of New York.


Selected One of the Best Books of 2003
[Crossing the BLVD]“New York’s undersung borough of Queens, home to the new Ellis Island (the airports), may be the most diverse county in the country today, and documentarians Lehrer and Sloan have innovatively brought it to life… A poetic, arresting, vividly printed mosaic.” Publisher’s Weekly

Selected One of the Best Books/CDs of Independent Culture 2004Crossing the BLVD is a one-of-a kind amazingly designed book… portraits of immigrant Americans, images of their belongings, maps, and innovative typography combine to bring these lives up off the page…” The Utne Reader


“Lehrer pioneered what might be best termed “typographic performance” in his 1984 book/play French Fries, a hot type cacophony of word and image that is today considered by historians one of the lynchpins of the deconstructionist era… Sloan, his wife, is an actor and audio artist/documentarian who has performed on stage and for public radio. Together they have produced this multimedia book which explores the difficult and joyful relationships, intersections and dislocations, between a remarkable group of ethnically diverse immigrants who have settled various lower middle and middle class neighborhoods in Queens, New York. While [Crossing the BLVD] can be viewed as an astute urban sociological study (Margaret Mead meets Jane Jacobs), more importantly it highlights the richness (as well as a little darkness) of a poly-cultural critical mass representing the sights and sounds, customs and mores of ‘new’ New York. It is eloquent, poignant, and smartly designed… an entirely satisfying piece of design and authorship. ”Eye Magazine Steve Heller

“If [these] interviewees told only tales of suffering, Crossing the BLVD, would be just another sad-sack plaint about the hardships newcomers to America face these days. Yet…this stunningly innovative book goes beyond pathos and into the kaleidoscope of experience that defines real immigrant life, in all of its complexity… The cumulative effect is that going through this book does not feel like dodging deadly traffic on mean streets. It’s more akin to stepping off the Queens’ Number 7 train on a sunny Saturday. In Crossing the BLVD, the words of New York’s immigrants soar, in print and in sound as well. Besides crafting a book, the authors have collaborated with composer Scott Johnson to produce a CD that jangles interviewees’ speech with music often played or sung by the immigrants themselves. The result is a bricolage of foreign accents, world melodies and flinty comment. It all sounds and reads like echoing subway stations and big newsstands where you don’t know all the languages but wish you did. Crossing the BLVD lets you listen and browse and understand.” City Limits Debbie Nathan

Crossing the BLVD collects the searing first-person stories of 79 Queens residents, recent immigrants from everywhere. Each profile is a collage of text and image, and the pages of this book frequently incorporate two or three narratives plus notes and bold photographs of the participants, their streetscapes, and iconic artifacts. The effect is dazzling but organic and appropriate; documentary artists Lehrer and Sloan have produced a collective oral history as vibrant as a live event. Strongly recommended for public and academic collections.” Library Journal Janet Ingraham Dwyer


Crossing the BLVD is a paradigmatic American studies text. It is an innovatively designed, beautiful, moving, funny, stimulating, horrifying, and illuminating book. The stories that Lehrer and Sloan have collected of migrants who came to the United States after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act speak to the wide-ranging interests of American studies scholars. If you are interested in visual culture, oral history, class and culture, music, immigration, ethnicity, urban history, race, queer studies, narrative and storytelling, gender or transnationalism and globalization, you will find touchstones for your own thinking and your classroom discussions… The people profiled in this book of migration stories remain tangibly alive in your memory… More than a book for American studies scholars or students, it is a pleasure to read — a book to be read for the sheer enjoyment of it.” American Quarterly Kirsten Swinth

“Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan are traditional oral historians in practice and radical artists transforming the field through their innovative approach to presentation. Their latest collaborative work is a vibrant and inspiring collection of stories from immigrants… For people who have so often been otherized, stereotyped, and misrepresented, Crossing the BLVD is an excercise in authenticity. Each of the stories — more like lyric poetry than narrative — is accompanied by beautiful portraits of the subjects laid out in an unusual graphic style of Lehrer’s invention… The graphic style and approach to portraiture are revolutionary for the field and the sheer volume and range of the subjects covered, rare. Visionary!” The Oral History Review Courtney Martin


Crossing the BLVD is a fascinating book… Five years ago documentary artists Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan decided to see the world. They didn’t have to go far. They stepped outside their Queens apartment, got into their battered, used Subaru that Lehrer says “was the color of dirt” and drove around Queens for three years. The result is this marvelous, bustling 400 page book.” New York Newsday Dennis Duggan


“[In] Crossing the BLVD, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan tell of refugees fleeing distant wars and repression, undocumented laborers, asylum-seekers caught in mandatory detention, school teachers…They are new Americans, tossed together as neighbors, classmates, co-workers, enemies and friends. [Crossing] is about struggle and hope and transformation.” New York Newsday Donald Myers


“In the new typographical and geographical adventure Crossing the BLVD… immigrants from all over the world tell their harrowing, thrilling, inspiring stories… then arriving in Queens, New York – sometimes to thrive in freedom, sometimes to meet new obstacles. These stories are our parents’ and grandparents’ stories relived by new Americans who came from Congo, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Colombia… Collected in this gripping new book, filled with photos and maps and portraits. The text jumps and continually changes clothes and sizes…because that’s how people talk. Especially when their tales are worth hearing.” New Haven Advocate Paul Bass


“In the spirit of Jacob Riis and others who powerfully and enduringly depicted immigrant life on the Lower East Side in the early part of the 20th century, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan tell the stories of new immigrants in Queens… Their new book, Crossing the BLVD has an immediacy and rich depth to it, reflecting the diversity of the most ethnically varied county in the country… Not like other volumes about ethnic New York: It is not a guidebook to neighborhoods nor a sourcebook for ethnic shops and restaurants; rather, its focus is on immigrants’ lives… The book’s distinctive layout — with color photographs, visual artifacts and blocks of text in different sizes and typefaces, conveying different voices — has the feeling of an open conversation…” Jewish Week Sandee Brawarsky

“In their extraordinary attempt to document ‘signs of migratory life’ … [Lehrer and Sloan] undertook the impossible task of telling the story of modern-day Queens while providing a window into the geopolitical and cultural history of the postcolonial world. Undeterred, they succeed because they focus on seventy-nine powerful individual stories that deserve telling… The stories selected counter a prevailing trend toward oversimplification of American demographics and cultural history. Crossing the BLVD is an important project encouraging people to listen attentively to rarely heard stories. The Next American City: Technology & Cities Issue Anika Singh

 

“I opened [Crossing the BLVD] with the intention to browse and read a few stories, but was captured by its variety and detail… Untold stories of escape, separation, longing, brutality and deceit are simply reported here. The authors are sensitive to the language as spoken… The material presented is rich and complex… [Crossing the BLVD is] a bold and graphic book that makes visible people who might otherwise remain relatively invisible and ‘other.’ ” Visible Language

 

“A lens on the world… Crossing the BLVD thinks of Queens BLVD not as the “Boulevard of Death” but as an avenue of new lives. It lays out an international array of extraordinary experiences.” New York Daily News Celia McGee


“Behind the drab storefronts and nondescript homes that define the borough, Sloan and Lehrer discover a soulful place teaming with immigrants from Mexico to Australia whose stories unfold in a kaleidoscope of color…” CNN


Crossing the BLVD
book and CD featured as a “Global Hit”. An incredible and moving story… Sloan and Lehrer spent three years talking to immigrants and refugees in Queens, traveling the world, in a sense, while never leaving their backyard… a place where new immigrants from every corner of the globe come to start their lives in America. The result is a unique multi-media project. Oral History with a twist!” The World, PRI/BBC Marco Werman

 

“The immigrant experience in New York is one of the most important stories in the city right now, and Lehrer and Sloan have made it their beat. What’s amazing about them is they’ve been working with these people a long time. It’s not that they spend a few hours with these immigrants eliciting quotes. It’s clear that they know them as people, as complex individuals. That’s the way it should be done.” Dean Olsher, Executive Producer, PRI’s The Next Big Thing

“I have never seen a book like this. [Crossing the BLVD is] a remarkably beautiful, lovingly put together example of bottom-up journalism.”Amy Goodman, Anchor and Executive Producer Democracy Now!


“I’ve been interviewing authors and doing books for 24 years, and I can tell you Crossing the BLVD is one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s so innovative, so rich, so fabulous. The book is beautifully designed. It’s like a work of performance art. Thank you, thank you, thank you [Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan] for putting this book into the world and giving a voice to these people. ” The Faith Middleton Show Faith Middleton Connecticut Public Radio


“A fascinating book about new immigrants in America. Filled with vivid descriptions and very human stories of remarkable and extraordinary people. Crossing the BLVD is a whole post-graduate education in so many different cultures and world events. Not only does it show that these are real human beings with real needs and conflicts.. but they are people who play an integral role in the American economy and in American society… The BLVD is a metaphor for making it in America. Great to see, when a publisher gets it right!” KQED Michael Krasney


Crossing the BLVD is a love poem to our diversity. Celebrated emblems of hard work and innovation, anthropological artists’ Lehrer and Sloan compiled these stories from across the globe right here on Queens BLVD and by extension, through the rest of the city. The stories are so compelling, it brings tears to your eyes at points. You will hear yourself somewhere, sooner or later in here…” Wake Up Call, WBAI Robert Knight


Selected for Gift Guide
2003 TIME OUT NY“The real Queens is not about Archie Bunker or airports — it’s about wildly diverse neighborhoods, each with a distinct flavor and character. Lehrer and Sloan’s work narrates the lives of immigrants who’ve made New York’s biggest borough their new home.”


“I’ve been working with refugees and immigrants as a cultural producer for twenty years, and Crossing the BLVD is simply the best project/book representing the real life experiences of immigrants in the new America.” James Bau Graves, Director, Center for Cultural Exchange. Graves is the author of Cultural Democracy: the arts, community & the public purpose


Crossing the BLVD boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century… electrifying collage of voices, faces, and spirits, capturing the true elasticity and inclusiveness of American culture.” Eve Ensler, author, oral historian, performer The Vagina Monologues


“A book of stunning originality, tremendous visual flair and cinematic depth, Crossing the BLVD will forever change the way we think about our cities, our communities, our neighborhoods, our neighbors, and ultimately, our own backyards. It’s as if we’ve all been invited to an enormous block party, where Lehrer and Sloan have personally introduced us to some of their most fascinating neighbors. By the end of the book, strangers somehow feel like friends, and the boulevard feels a lot like home.” Alan Berliner, filmmaker & media artist


“Lehrer/Sloan’s fascinating book offers unique insights into the rich and combustible cauldron of cultures and ethnicities in the most diverse corner of America — the Borough of Queens, New York. Crossing reveals the impact of changes in immigration law through the oral histories of asylum seekers caught in mandatory detention, refugees fleeing war and persecution, and those pushed out of their countries struggling to re-create their lives. The significance of this extraordinary volume is that, ready or not, it provides a glimpse of the new America which is emerging.” Ron Daniels, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights


Crossing the BLVD brings alive the most polyglot place on the planet. One moment I am in the tiny one-bedroom of Bhutanese exiles, the next in the taxi of a philosopher-poet from Bombay, then with Renata the table tennis champ from the Czech National Team. An outstanding book on the new New York!” John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian, NYU/Museum of Chinese in the Americas


“Crossing brims over with the energy, heart and spirit that went into creating this important work. A fitting tribute to the world it so lovingly documents.” Dave Isay, documentary public radio artist, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship


“A new album that uses real-life stories as a starting point for meaningful music: Crossing the BLVD by Warren Lehrer, Judith Sloan and Scott Johnson is a rich, varied listening experience, a demonstration of the way you can explore the world without leaving home. BLVD emphasises the rhythmic musicality of everyday speech… you hear laughter, sorrow and many moving tales of hardship, flight, splintered families and the difficulties of assimilation… Dynamic pieces from spoken-word recordings – the vocal samples leap out of the speakers… The editing and juxtaposition of voices can be subtle, allowing straight testimony to come through, or extravagantly artful, complex, and exhilarating… The book is a turbo-driven eye-witness guide with riveting first-person testimonies.” The Guardian John L Walters


Crossing the BLVD is a book, a CD, a website, a photography exhibit, a series of radio programs, and a live reading performance by the project creators, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. The book and CD is more evocative and provocative than any instructional video I’ve seen and far less expensive. It serves as a model for what you could do in your community, organization or institution.” Managing Diversity Magazine Harris Sussman


Crossing the BLVD is amazing! It’s just such an overwhelming effort. So bustling with life. It says something about the fact that the book arts is alive and well.” Rudy Vandlans, designer/publisher Emigre Magazine


Crossing the BLVD is a montage of colorful photos and astonishing first-person narratives of people who hail from every imaginable point on the globe… Their stories are spellbinding and the art is captivating. Although not an “art book,” BLVD is a work of art — a unique contribution to both art and literature… The book has special interest to those of us in health care because recent immigrants bring special problems to medical practice… (How often is a question about torture part of our Review of Systems?) A book like BLVD can help us meet the needs of this special population by using both creativity and compassion.” The Permanente Journal Dr. Eric Schuman


“One of the most engaging photography shows to visit Rochester in years… Both book and exhibition are an innovative patchwork of photo portraits, startling life histories and flamboyant layouts… From 1999 to 2002, they [Lehrer and Sloan] toured a world in miniature exploring their own borough’s housing projects, schools and community centers. They found political refugees who survived torture, a Nigerian prophetess ordered by God to visit America, and a philosophical Hindu driver who made his taxi a sacred space — among other remarkable stories.”Democrat and Chronicle Stuart Low


Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America — a multi-media installation of photography, text, and sounds is an exemplary exhibition that combines [Cindy] Shermanesque New York street-smarts with the compassionate, humanist universalism of an Andre Kertez or David Seymour… Even though the images are all still photographs, the experience is more akin to watching a movie, because the narratives take time to unfold, and there is an inherent drama in the real life personal accounts… Crossing the BLVD offers an object lesson in the new aesthetic — how it looks, how it generates its meanings — as well as a window on the lives of people who, mostly unnoticed by the rest of us, are steadily enlarging the concept of what it means to be an American.” The Baltimore Sun Glenn McNatt


“Based on the 2003 book of the same title, this exhibit shares stories and images of men and women who came to the United Sates after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments…. The exhibit is full of stories of heartbreak and hope, told by immigrants in their own words through text and audio, accompanied by bold, color portraits taken by Lehrer… When you cross the BLVD, you’ll meet men who left their families behind for their beliefs and lawyers who now deliver food. You’ll hear prayer and song, words and wisdom. You’ll see an Egyptian man who spent seven years turning his restaurant into a mosaic-encrusted work of art. You’ll meet a woman from Tajikistan so renowned for her dancing that her image was woven into tapestries, printed on posters and glazed on ceramic urns and plates. She now runs a dance studio that can only be accessed through a subway station… An unbelievable journey…” Bangor Daily News Kristen Andresen


Crossing the BLVD is spectacular in its commitment to documenting the artists’ exploration of their own neighborhood… with exquisitely detailed portraits of the people who live around them… The experience of wandering through this exhibit was astonishingly rich. Of the highest technical quality, it can also be so intimate it almost has a smell. The artistic expertise displayed in the deft oral-history gathering, the jewel-like photography and the immaculate sound work can lead directly to a tender familiarity with each of the people wrapped in the heart of this work… One imagines that Queens is now full of celebrities thanks to Lehrer and Sloan.” commmunityarts.net Linda Frye Burnham


Crossing the BLVD
is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan regularly performs “Crossing the BLVD” at schools, museums and community events, adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book… The New York Times, City Room Blog, Sewell Chan


“In Lehrer’s and Sloan’s Crossing the BLVD, the role of oral narratives defy the caricature of migrant ethnicity perpetuated in popular culture… Lehrer and Sloan juxtapose the lived complexity of the New York neighborhood of Queens: the ways in which various (new and old) immigrant communities coexist, and how they encounter the “mainstream” and vice versa… Where the cabdriver in [an episode of the German detective series] Stubbe sees only the Indian driver’s imbecility, Sushil Rao’s narrative in Crossing the BLVD reflects the taxi driver observing his customer. Where the camera’s gaze sees an Indian taxi driver “illiterate” in the ways of an increasingly transnational world and world economy, oral narratives such as Rao’s restore the immigrant’s lived presence and the multi-facetedness of his life. Where Stubbe insists on the one-sided nature of the gaze – the elderly white lady glancing at the foreign driver, Lehrer and Sloan’s setting of Rao’s words shows us that the gaze is far from unreturned. Where in Stubbe, the lady provides her disinterested taxi driver with a history lesson, Rao’s narrative assures us that the conversation is always mutual, and, if anything, the narrative situation may be differently one-sided. Rao’s biography is the very idea that the Stubbe episode rules out: the idea that the man who drives the taxi may in fact be a poet…”The IntraNation Project, Emily Carr Institute, Mita Banerjee, Ph.D.

 


“In Lehrer’s books… words take on thought’s very form, bringing sensory experience to the reader as directly as ink on paper can allow… [Once] considered too far ahead of his time… Now the times are beginning to catch up to him.” The New York Times Book Review Julie Lasky


“In Warren Lehrer’s extraordinary books, full of typographic innovation, he seeks to trap thought, sound and speech in time and space on the printed page. The result is theater… The reader (viewer/listener) experiences the pathos within the mundane aspects of everyday life… reality, fantasy, along with art and literature, travel parallel but inseparable roads..” Print Magazine Philip Meggs

 

“One of the most imaginative and ambitious book artists of our time.” American Book Review Richard Kostelantetz


“Lehrer creates a rich soundscape in the reader’s imagination… correlating the rhythm of language to the way the mind works… His books explore the rich dissonance of sound and life surrounding each of us… challenging the line between life and art…” Afterimage Nancy Soloman


“Books such as French Fries [1984] challenge readers to explore the act of reading; to break with the usual linear pattern, vary the pace, look back on earlier passages, or skip ahead. Lehrer’s typographic experiments anticipated new directions in 1990s graphic design. With his ‘Portrait Series’ published in 1995… he showed how ‘visual literature’ could be used to engage broader audiences… Lehrer’s books evoke the subjective experience of their subjects with great particularity and vividness, suggesting the possibility of a new literary genre that makes full use of design’s rhetorical dimension.” No More Rules: Postmodern Design Rick Poynor, Yale University Press


“Lehrer’s books defy conventional notions of writing and bookmaking… Collectively [the subjects of The Portrait Series] make up a riveting group of eccentrics… Their stories echo in your mind long after the sound of them has ceased…” The Chronicle of Higher Education Zoe Ingalls


“Unlike many books of oral stories which fall flat on the printed page, (Brother Blue: a narrative portrait) is so alive, so vibrant, that at times I was sure I was hearing the voice of this remarkable storyteller/philosopher… Absolutely Delightful! The Bloomsbury Review Shanta Nurullah


“Lehrer is a 21st century oral history, new journalism mastermind. Studs Terkel in cyberspace. More visceral than most biographies, The Portrait Series is an extraordinary set of books that allows you to physically hold the subjects in your hand as you read their eccentric, strange, dangerous and amazing stories.” Matthew Finch City In Exile, WBAI


“In the four new publications by Lehrer… the implications of a new kind of literature are at last being pursued. [The Portrait Series] is articulated with enormous feeling and care by an author with an ear superbly attuned to the cadences of spoken language. Lehrer, unlike so many contemporary graphic stylists, begins from a deep engagement with content he has created himself…” Frieze Magazine Rick Poynor


“The arrival of the first set of Warren Lehrer’s Portrait Series is something of an event… echoes of Henry Miller… vivid evocations of family life and history. Absolutely defining and unmistakable.” JAB (Journal of Artists’ Books) Paul Zelevansky


“Each book in The Portrait Series is a vibrant visual and narrative biography of an eccentric, prismatic and resilient personality… Riveting! Lehrer defies categorization.” Gannet Newspapers Linda Kaplan Wagner


“(With The Portrait Series) Lehrer continues his pioneering work in ‘visual literature’ in which the look of the words on the page is as important as the words themselves.” Philadelphia City Paper David Warner

 


 

“Life is a post-modern neo-fascist garbage dump and Sloan’s’s Denial of the Fittest determinedly rakes through the detritus. It is a highly articulate show… Judith Sloan is funny, intimate, sexy and very frightening…” The Stage Thom Dibdin (London)


Denial of the Fittest — A world view that sees comedy and tragedy as two bones of the same skeleton in the closet. Superb!.” The Scotsman (Scotland’s National Newspaper) Sara O’Sullivan (London)


“Funny and sad, topical and biting… Exquisite comic timing  best of all, Sloan can make you see your world in a slightly different way. And that’s what theater is supposed to do.” The Indianapolis Star Marion Gamel


“In listening to what people have to say, Judith Sloan captures the essence of their lives…She is one part Studs Terkel, one part Lily Tomlin, two-parts originality.” The Herald Bloomington, Indiana


“A therapy of self in an era of hard-boiled reality. Sloan’s monologues demonstrate the capacity of words to bear their own freakish existence in colour and comedy. Ever accessible, a committed and persistent humorist who uses pathos as a mojo stick to make us laugh and think.” The List Glasgow, Edinburgh Ronan O’Connell

 

Ms. Sloan’s art and teaching cross-pollinate: She uses immigrant stories that she and her husband have compiled — dozens of them are included in a 2003 book, “Crossing the Blvd” — to demonstrate how to shape narrative and to get students talking about their lives. And the students flood her with new material. As she helps the students compose the performance they will present in May, she is also coming full circle with a new work of her own. “Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide,” which she performs with musical collaborators, re-enacts and riffs on her experiences teaching teenagers from myriad worlds: refugee camps, struggling neighborhoods, prisons. It is a performance about performances, a story containing many stories. And suddenly, “Yo Miss!” has another mission: To raise money to keep the story going.  The New York Times Anne Barnard


“Sloan wickedly skewers stereotypes… screws up her face with Lily Tomlin-esque elasticity. Plus, Sloan’s a good juggler!” The Village Voice Evelyn McDonnell


“Sloan challenges U.S. Foreign Policy, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, homophobia, and a host of other issues throughout an amazingly varied series of character-driven monologues.” MS Magazine


“A welcome voice crying in the contemporary wilderness of political correctness. On-the-money satire seasoned with tolerance and joie de vivre.” Theater Week


 

French Fries co-authored with Dennis Bernstein and Warren Lehrer and designed by Lehrer is one of the most fascinating books I have ever seen or read… The pages throb with energy and graphic vitality… French Fries proves that the book can be a movie, an existential feast, and a pastiche of literature and art…” AIGA Journal Philip Meggs from a feature on me called An Oracle of the 21st-Century Book.


“The tastiest book this season and for seasons to come, French Fries, Warren Lehrer’s latest tour de force is a remarkable accomplishment. Each page becomes theater and you are the voyeur…” High Performance Magazine Judith Hoffberg


“Perhaps the biggest leap came (in my life as a book collector) when attracted by a four line description in a catalogue, I ordered a copy of Dennis Bernstein’s and Warren Lehrer’s FRENCH FRIES) … Never had I seen a book like it, nor have I since… Each page is a riot of homespun wisdom and raucous exchanges, overlapping life’s daily events… FRENCH FRIES has also been my wisest investment, as I have watched the book increase tenfold in value…” Bookworks Rose M. Glennon


…Without a discernible grid, the typography [in French Fries] flows freely across the pages, intersperced with images and marks evoking the ambiance and mood of the situation. Except for the work of the famous French designer Robert Massin, I had never seen an approach to typography quite like this before. And unlike the work of Massin, which was in French, I could actually read this. I could experience the relationship between the text and its visualization, and I saw how effective it could be. Somewhere between seeing the books of Edward Rusha and Warren Lehrer’s French Fries, I discovered that my options as a graphic designer had expanded by tenfold.” Emigre Magazine Rudy Vandlans, from The End (Emigre magazine’s last issue)


French Fries (1984) anticipates many of the design techniques later made possible by computer technology…. This high watermark in the preparation of art for offset printing pales in comparison to its design—to its imaginative uses of typefaces, scale, signs, symbols, and images to convey a nonlinear drama of everyday life. The spatial syntax of this remarkable tour de force is complex, uninhibited, and unconstrained by the norms of page design.” U.S. Design 1975-2000, American Craft Museum Catalogue, Phil Meggs/R. Craig Miller


French Fries’ active and colorful pages are a triumph…. How much of what is audible can be made visible? This book asks and shows us how to push our habitual limits… and stretch our literacy.” Fine Print Betsy Davids


(In FRENCH FRIES), Lehrer and Bernstein have not merely presented us with a play… but with a remarkably sophisticated artist’s book.”The Cutting Edge of Reading: Artists’ Books Renée Riese Hubert & Judd D. Hubert

FRENCH FRIES is a sumptuous book… Dialogue and ambience leave the page straight into the imagination… A marvel and a treasure…” Lightworks Magazine


FRENCH FRIES is a delicious, outrageous, funny, funky, sad, sometimes lyrical, warm weird, mad, off the wall, on target, right on the mark, crazy, digestible, hilarious, word-laden book. I loved it.” Collette Inez, writer


GRRRHHHH is a delight! Lehrer’s playfulness is prolific and joyful, and that is the heart of his work…” Northwest Review George Gessert


“The marriage of the ancient/future technologies of loom/computer may seem an unlikely union… However, In Warren Lehrer’s GRRRHHHH, the computer responds beautifully to the natural grid of warp and weft inherent to weaving, and Sandra Brownlee-Ramsdale’s weaving in turn is admirably suited to the matrix of pixles inherent to computer graphics… Brownlee-Ramsdale’s potent style and image refer to times of special social significance. It is this referral to which Lehrer is responding. He has taken that reference and built on it and with it, actualizing a history of social patterns… and social context…” FiberArts Deborah Hickman


Lehrer’s i mean you know is a verbal exploration as well as a conceptual space for performance… the visual identity and relations of elements unmistakable… While the movement through the book is linear and progressive, the movement through a page is polyvalent and spatial, rather than unidirectional — so that meaning moves forward and outward like soundwaves in a musical piece. The “polysemiotic” narrative offers the reader numerous possible readings by the nature of its internal formal presentations, as well as thematic interweaving of themes, characters, and points of view…” The Century of Artists’ Books Johanna Drucker


Versations is one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed books of the past decade…”Pharos Mathew Jennett


“Lehrer’s intriguing books are studies in human dialogue and the poetics of communication… Translating the spoken word into the visual word is not new. It is rooted in several historical experiments and Lehrer has ingeniously extended earlier efforts by exploring the most subtle nuances of the genre… His defiance of rules and established traditions has led him to new and adventurous modes of typographic expression and communication…” American Typography Today: 24 American Typographic Designers Rob Carter


Versations resounds, echoes, and repeats in loud and soft — You almost cannot ever be the same once you’ve touched, felt and sensed this book… Do not miss this book. It touches, it should be touched.” Umbrella Judith Hoffberg


“The Search For IT and Other Pronouns is an aesthetic colossus, straddling theater, music, social satire and design… a carefully constructed study in counterpoint, filled with lots of surprises… The CD booklet is a work of art…”David Garland New York Public Radio (WNYC)


The Search For IT and Other Pronouns is a brilliant, fantastic work. Absolutely riveting!”KPFA Charles Amirkhanian

 



“Deputy Andrea Gibbs dared to break through the monkey order known as ‘the blue wall of silence’ by speaking out against the chronic brutal treatment of inmates in Mississippi prisons. A Tattle Tale brings to life her saga in Judith Sloan’s infectious solo performance. Co-written by Warren Lehrer in a folksy idiom that invites the audience to ‘come raid my refrigerator anytime,’ Sloan’s portrait reveals the unusual courage of a garden-variety conscience.” The Village Voice Charles McNulty


A Tattle Tale” is a true and fascinating story about a cop breaking ranks against police brutality. Judith Sloan plays Gibbs as a friendly down-home gal who is a mix of bawdy, naive, street smart and funny.” New York Newsday


“In a Herculean, intermissionless opus, Judith Sloan delivers a provocative dramatization of a whistle-blower’s attempts to expose police brutality and political corruption in Mississippi.” New York Law Journal


[A Tattle Tale is] an important show, incredible research, very touching, often humorous. The story of a feisty woman, a wonderful play of social commitment and passion.” Democracy NOW Amy Goodman