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Re: Book Art Criticism



>I am wondering if any other list members are
>interested in this subject and would like to develop a
>dialogue about it on the book_arts-l.

Definitely.

>Many of us have spent years agonizing over the decision of
>which work is better, because we are curating an exhibit,
>judging a competition, investing in an object, or examining
>our own work to see if it's good enough to go out into the
>world. After a while you get a feeling for it and people say
>you have "a good eye." What does that mean?

It seems that, in many circles, people have a strong vocabulary for
discussing the structural, material and mechanical aspects of book arts but
a weaker vocabulary for discussing the work as art. I'm sure part of this
stems from the fact that a vast array of work is referred to as 'book
arts' - everything from fine press reproductions of classic or original
literature to sculptural book works.

Something Paul W. wrote several months ago has stuck with me - "If these
books weren't books would they be interesting art?"

>The Book Art Movement has been gathering momentum for over
>25 years. If it is to merge into the mainstream of Culture,
>it has to evolve beyond patting each other on the back and
>saying "isn't it wonderful!"  Art is not a popularity
>contest. ;>}


Being out in a pretty isolated area (eastern oregon), critical feedback and
discussion is what I miss the most. The challenge, in my opinion, with using
the list as a forum is the way communication flows. Things seem harsher,
immediate responses or clarifications are often difficult - it seems to be
an inherently unsafe environment for open discussion of a sometimes
emotional nature - after all, we would have to discuss SOMEBODY'S work. BUT,
that being said, I'd be very interested in whatever format you have in mind.
In another group we had kicked around discussing/critiqueing one book per
month, both recent work and well-known not-so-recent work. I'm looking
forward to seeing where this goes.

Best wishes,
Roberta
paper@oregontrail.net

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