[Table of Contents] [Search]


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] bookart



On Wed, 25 Apr 2007, Margaret Fenney wrote:

We have called artwork
that makes a significant reference to women "feminist" art, and bookart is
like feminist art in that it's tough to really say what it is, perhaps
because it isn't defined by a technique or style. We also call art that
makes a significant reference to landscapes landscape painting, that
makes a significant reference to material actuality realism, that makes a
significant reference to people, portraits.

I think that the examples[...]


But we don't mistake these representations for the things they represent. Titian did not call his Portrait of a Woman a woman or expect her to function like one. Artists' books expose the artistic and social norms and conventions that construct the book as a cultural and historical object, and they do that, I suggest, by disrupting the way we read. Whereas books are functional objects, however beautiful they may be. If they were to disrupt the way we read, they would be annoying, or experimental books or possibly they would be failed books.

If all the artist is doing is making a book, then why
not just call it a book? What's gained by calling it an artists' book? It
might be a very pretty book, or a funny book, but the qualifying term
"artists'" is just a freeloader or else it's publicity.

Why should something that does not "aspire to be" a book be called an artists' book? [...]

Perhaps you've deleted the part of our exchange where I give my reason: artists' books make a significant reference to the book, or to books, or to some material, functional, social, historical trace or idea of the book, or evoke some memory or association or thought, that brings the art into existence.

I was echoing the phrase she used in her letter, which she signed, "only
semi-absurdly"!

I became aware of this when I read Marguerite's post.  I did not see the
"only semi-absurdly" at the end of her post and so I misunderstood your
reference.  I apologize for my reaction.

Apology unecessary, but gladly accepted!


I do, however, still believe that
you have a very limited perspective if you can't see the difference between
letterpress works and hand-produced editions of photographic books vs.
commercially produced books, nor see the artistic value of handmade
bindings.  These are, most definitely, not "just books" nor "just bindings".

I do see artistic potential in handmade bindings (as well as machine-made bindings). I did not characterize these as "just bindings." I wrote "They aspire to be bindings. They are not artists' books, they are bindings," which I don't think insults or trivializes them. I think you are responding peremptorily to my posts because you perceive me to be vitiating categories of objects you hold as sacred. Unfortunately, or fortunately, art is not the sacred.





Margie

            ***********************************************
    Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
               Online exhibit and catalog order form at
      <http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>

            For all your subscription questions, go to the
                     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
         See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
            ***********************************************


***********************************************
Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
Online exhibit and catalog order form at
<http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************



[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]