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Re: [BKARTS] A Queer/GLBTQI Theoretical Analysis of Artists' Books and Book Arts
The "marginalization" or perhaps lack of recognition/acknowledgement
of the book arts by the art establishment was something that was
discussed at length several years ago when Johanna Drucker's article
"Critical Issues / Exemplary Works" that was published in the
was quite a discussion of that article and follow-ups on the list,
see Drucker in
themes were art vs. craft (again), the opinions of some in this
community that their work should not be judged by outsiders, and just
who is this "establishment" and why should we pander to them. It is
the latter two that I feel are the more critical to our discussion,
though I'm sure the art vs. craft issue is alive and well too.
From my "editor's postscript" in Vol 1, No 2:
Ms. Drucker's original article in Vol.1, No. 2, of this journal
unleashed a number of responses, two of which are published in this
issue of the Bonefolder, as well as a very spirited discussion that
took place on the Book_Arts-L listserv and on several classroom
blogs. As may be inferred Ms Drucker's article touched a nerve,
especially regarding the issue of criticism and distinctions among
the types of works and groups producing those works, but also about
the need to be able to describe and explain one's work. A core aspect
of the article is the Artists' Books Online metadata project in which
an xml based schema is being developed to help describe artist's
books holistically from the process of creation to the item in hand.
When implemented, this will provide a very rich database facilitating
research and the deeper discussion of artist's books as a genre and
artform. As the online discussion developed, it was interesting to
see artist's themselves begin to describe their work and adapt the
schema to a simple template which would accompany works when sold or
exhibited providing information vital to the proper description of
these books in library catalogs and other descriptive tools. It is
the editors' hope that this discussion continues to contribute to the
greater understanding of the book arts.
These discussions can be found in the June 2005 archives of
using among other subject lines such as Drucker Article, Druckergate
and "Drucker's Gate," and ultimately in July of 2005 under "Artist
Book Information Sheet,"
That's all the gasoline I have for now. Someone else please (civily)
throw the match.
At 02:02 AM 4/10/2009, Steven Carter wrote:
Book Arts cannot be thought of as marginalized in the same way that
the queer community has been. For starters making books is simply
one means of artistic expression. It is not so deeply intertwined
with identity as sexual orientation. I would think it would be an
insult to the queer community to try to place them on similar
ground. The one is a learned art, skill, practice, action (whatever
you want to call it); the other is something of far greater import
and consequence in society. My intention is not to scorn Book Arts
here, but I've never heard of anyone being disowned, publicly
ridiculed, even killed for making books. Perhaps if the books were
inflammatory in some way that would be one thing, but the mere
action of making books has by no means created any waves in the
world community and society at large. Book Arts may be snubbed by a
few (or many) critics, but it's not as though anybody is going to
picket so that artist's will stop making books. The Art World
doesn't care that much. To say "Book Arts are ignored by the Art
World," may be a true statement. But there is a vast difference
between an artistic expression (not an individual) being ignored or
even criticized, and a group of people being accepted or not
accepted, hated or loved (in the most conclusive and drastic sense)
by society and the world based on behavior that is linked deeply to
identity and life itself. It's like trying to draw a comparison
between telemarketers and snoring. Yes, they can both get on your
nerves, but other than that, there's not much basis for comparison.
Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv
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