"A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
~George Moore

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

UL Rare Collection of Artist Books

During my special topics: Paper as Medium class we traveled to the Art Library and UL and had the wonderful opportunity to see some of the rare collection of Artist books. These are a few that stuck with me.

Maginalia Press +/- One Percent
Rare, uncataloged 

Thomas, Donna and Peter
Paper From Plants

Rare, uncataloged

Yoon, Jeannie Meejin


"When closed the pages of this book form a solid block of white, with the single word “ABSENCE” in cut-out on the cover.  The first ten pages reveal a single tiny hole in each otherwise blank page.  The next 110 pages have the same identical two squares in cut-out, again with no text or other reference.  The last page has a grid of cut-out shapes, evoking buildings and streets.  On the inside cover, the subject is revealed, “In Memory September 11, 2001”.  Each page, as it is turned, pulls the next page along bringing to mind the falling of the towers.  The holes represent the TV antenna on one of the towers and the number of pages represents the number of floors in each building. As you look back into the stacked squares, you see the empty space where the towers once stood.  Yoon, an architect living in Manhattan, created this stark “architectural” memorial which at first puzzles the reader and then hits home with poignant reverence.

"The book’s use of negative space is particularly meaningful in this context. The space is ‘negative’ because it represents grief, trauma and loss, but also because it is ‘inverted’ space, an absence. The space is so negative that you can never actually ‘see’ the footprints of the twin towers, because that space is a void.
The book’s constant repetition and its lack of words also points to the traumatic nature of 9/11. In the face of the traumatic event, in which language and representation become useless or inadequate, silence and negative space seem to be able to communicate so much more."

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