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Re: [BKARTS] A Queer/GLBTQI Theoretical Analysis of Artists' Books and Book Arts

Simply to clarify:

I am aware of what the establishment's attitude has been toward Book Arts historically and in the present.  I've read Ms. Drucker's article, "Critical Issues/Exemplary Works", and found it to be very insightful.  I also have a copy of her book: THE CENTURY OF ARTIST'S BOOKS.

My comments were not at all intended to minimize the fact that Book Arts have been marginalized.  Rather I was attempting to point out the distinction between the degree, intensity, and effect of marginalization on people's lives (emotional, physical, etc.).  In the one instance an art form is being dismissed or criticized by the establishment (which is really quite a small entity in the larger world).  In the other a group of individuals is being dismissed, shunned, persecuted, hated, etc. by a significant population throughout this country and in other parts of the world.

I am not really making a case for or against the marginalization of either.  I simply believe the two subjects of discussion are on very different playing fields and do not have the same kinds of issues at their heart.

Hopefully, that clarifies possible misconceptions stemming from my previous post.


--- On Fri, 4/10/09, Peter D. Verheyen <verheyen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Peter D. Verheyen <verheyen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: [BKARTS] A Queer/GLBTQI Theoretical Analysis of Artists' Books and Book Arts
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Friday, April 10, 2009, 7:43 AM
> 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 Bonefolder,
> <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol1no2contents.htm>.
> There was quite a discussion of that article and follow-ups
> on the list, see Drucker in
> <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol1no2contents.htm>
> and Martin in
> <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol2no2contents.htm>.
> Central 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
> Book_Arts-L listserv,
> <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/bookarts/2005/06/threads.html>,
> 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,"
> <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/bookarts/2005/07/threads.html>.
> That's all the gasoline I have for now. Someone else
> please (civily) throw the match.
> p.
> 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
> <verheyen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv
> <http://www.philobiblon.com>
> The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book
> artist
> <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
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