PAGES AND PASSAGES
Pages and Passages, the twenty-first New Jersey Book
Arts Symposium, looked at the work of
book artists whose work represents in multiple
ways the cutting edge of bookwork in the twenty-
first century. Lynne Buschman’s sculptural collage
books sometimes suggest a rustic, primitive
origin for the codex book in found objects loosely bound
or wired together. Implying an imaginary, archetypal
point of origin, they also imply a point of arrival, a
future rediscovery. They posit the elusiveness of
knowledge by positioning the reading and viewing
mind between two revelatory moments whose
revelations are equally obscure and fantastic.
Also working in the medium of sculptural collage, Maryann Riker uses period references to evoke memory as an agency of meaning. For her, the book object becomes a nostalgic, ambiguous artifact in which one can apprehend the world indirectly—“in the rose-tinted light.” As a mediating instrument, the book stands in for a body of experience, ultimately directing awareness toward an idealized, atemporal spiritual self.
Doug Beube focuses on the mediating instrument, itself. As he writes in his monograph, Breaking the Codex, "Through altered bookwork, collage, mixed media, paper, photography, and sculpture, my work explores the book itself, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age.” Beube the artist explores the “purposefulness” of the codex in a set of interventions—cut, fold and gouge—disrupting the familiar in order to expose the book’s underlying “elegance”—its undimmed reliability as a source of knowledge and pleasure.
Employing artifacts suffused in gender, Elizabeth Mackie’s book projects subvert the authoritative aura of the codex book. Playing in such “strange loops,” Mackie exposes the unexpected flexibility of the book form, and its desirability as a site for play or joissance.
Newcomer, Sydney Jean Reisen’s work delicately emphasizes handmade literacy. Using traditional materials—ink, paper, illustration, letterpress, narrative—she insinuates a poetic truth in the vacated space of ratiocination. Like the work of all the artists in this year’s symposium, her work looks ahead to future reinventions of the codex book, of culture and of the ideal ... reader?
Program for Pages and Passages
Videos of Pages and Passages
Morning * * * * Afternoon
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