My first article is due out today in Artist’s Book Year Book edited out of UWE by Sarah Bodman.
I wrote it because I was astounded to find at the end of the 3rd semester of a Master’s Degree course that one of the assessors understanding of what constitutes an ‘artist’s book’ seemed rather, let’s say, antiquated. He was not entirely alone with his view so I decided to take an look on what makes or constitutes ‘book’ or ‘bookness’.
In the article I look at ‘books’ before the codex bound book which predominates the shops today. I look at cuneiform tablets in ancient Assyria & Ur, the Tibetan ‘pothi’ book form, scrolls and some modern artists books which become ‘book-sculptures’, I show examples of my own take on the 3 forms. So, I put my money where my mouth is and make a clay pothi, [which is an amalgamation of the Tibetan form of the ‘book’ (a poti or pothi) and the clay tablets on which cunieform was scribed]and a ‘pot-as-book cover’ with 6 scrolls inside representing the pages then the whole becoming the ‘book’.
As it happened I stumbled into a roaring ongoing debate with different groups taking a wide range of opinions on it. So, I have to thank the assessor’s limitations as a trigger for a massively positive outcome. Sadly he didn’t see the article so it had no impact on his understanding & marking criteria. But that’s life.
I hope the printer delivered the new ABYB to UWE today and if he or she did then some copies are winding their way to me and I shall have some to sell at my show.
I did a one-man show at the Minories Gallery in Colchester in August 2013. It was an amalgam of images, artefacts and words with action & dance. It was one of my new Performance Art pieces where as in my 1973 Apulhed Performance myself and the audience wore masks. Here’s the first gallery appearance of Cowboy Pete.
Above clockwise are The Gurdzhiev mask, the 1973 audience wearing Apulhed masks and Cowboy Pete tooting his childhood fingers as guns trick at the Minories with his Dalai Lama mask on.