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Re: [BKARTS] Books without Words



Barbara's experience is longer than mine and so she is probably right.
In the past month, specially the last week or so
there has been a spate of discussion on the book as defined
without word, text or language.
This is legitimate, but it then seems to have evolved into
making the case that word, language and thought should be excluded
in the book as art.

Baffling. I cannot understand why both are not valid.

All legitimate discussion, no doubt.

I simply could not grasp the exclusionary and narrow definition
especially when if begins to curtail some artist's access to markets.

michael



----- Original Message -----
From: "Barbara Harman" <ArtSurvive@xxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 12:52 PM
Subject: Re: Books without Words


> In a message dated 1/9/04 1:48:16 PM, apeiron@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
>
> << There is no reason why some artist can not make books
>
> without words and declare them art, but that does not justify
>
> a general attack on artists who do employ language,
>
> or on language itself, or on the value of critical thought..
>
> This seems particularly true when such attacks
>
> can only be conveyed by means of language and critical thought.
>
>  >>
>
> I find it interesting that Michael focuses on the possible exclusion of
book
> artists who use text or written language in their artist books, when my
> experience of this discussion is completely the opposite. That is, much of
the
> discussion seems to me to have been an exclusion, dismissal or downright
derision
> of those book artists who work primarily, if not exclusively, in visual
> language.
>
> This has been an ongoing argument among those who are involved in all
aspects
> of book arts. For some reason I have yet to discern, there seems to be a
fear
> that if all types of work are included under the umbrella "book arts" that
> the entire field is thereby diminished. The need to define the field is, I
> believe, the purview of art historians and critics (and for their own
purposes, I
> might add). The artists I know who are working in this and other art
fields are
> simply involved in the pursuit of an interesting, versatile, imaginative,
> receptive and seductive exploration with any and all means at their
disposal.
> Some believe it is the journey, or process, that informs what we do,
rather than
> the purposes to which our products may be later put (by critics,
historians,
> collectors, marketers, etc.).
>
> I have long noted this basic difference between what I see as two
extremes.
> On the one hand, those who craft in letterpress and fine binding what they
see
> as important texts, perhaps with the addition of original illustrations,
and
> on the other those who are using the text and images of their own
experiences
> to create something perhaps as yet unnamed or unnamable. The first group
wants
> to create sometimes narrow perimeters that define book arts, including
those
> things they themselves do and excluding more experimental works. The
second
> group, mostly, doesn't understand why it is an issue, as art is art,
whatever
> form it takes.
>
> While we do need to educate people about the form generally in order to
> develop an audience for what we do, is it necessary to define it narrowly?
Those
> who have purchased my books don't seem to have issues with my definition
of them
> as books, even though most of my books are both without text and
> one-of-a-kind. Barbara Harman
>
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        See the Book_Arts-L FAQ at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

     *Postings may not be re-printed in any form without the express
     consent of the author - Please respect their contributions & ©*

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                    <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
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