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Re: [BKARTS] Drucker's Gate



Drucker's article is complex and deserves serious consideration. As Mary
Yordy says, "I see the
value of many of her ideas for developing a descriptive vocabulary and
critical terminology." Still, there are certainly things that I and others
disagree with. Artists' books are difficult to pigeon-hole partly because
they are an amalgam of many different mediums (media?). Book artists come
from so many different backgrounds - printmaking, bookbinding, calligraphy,
painting, sculpture, letterpress, etc. Because of this, I would not agree
with Drucker's dismissal of artists who might take one workshop and then
produce a book which they then try to sell. The artist may be highly
skilled in various aspects needed to produce the book, but may not know how
to create a secret Belgian binding, to use a recent topic of discussion as
an example. Needing help with part of a book doesn't turn the book into an
amateur production. And using materials from Michael's, or Home Depot, or
the junk yard also doesn't turn it into an amateur production.

I think her ideas are sound when she talks about evaluating a book on its
success at communicating an idea. All aspects of a book need to work
together as a whole - the structure, imagery, text (if there is a text),
materials - in order to communicate the essential point of the book. I
don't agree that an artist should be able to establish him/herself within a
tradition or trend. Giving names to 'conventions' or putting art into
categories is a job for historians and critics, not for artists. A good
artist is concerned with what he/she has to say, and how to say it, not
with what category her/his works falls into. The whole idea of a 'culture
of gate-keeping' is, I think, very foreign to artists.

Shireen


At 10:01 AM 6/10/2005, Mary Yordy wrote:
....  When I re-read, I see the
value of many of her ideas for developing a descriptive volcabulary and
critical terminology.  But there is still her insistence on the necessity
of strife and exclusion-- "I see turf battles and hurt feelings ahead"--and
her inclination to place blame for artists' books lack of status on the
presence of amateurs and their work, on the inclusion of work that is
merely personal, and other 'junk.'

*********************************************** Shireen Holman, Printmaker and Book Artist email: shireen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.shireenholman.com ***********************************************

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