Still willing to help me with my homework? Of course you are :) I very much appreciate it, too! Thank you.
It was at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in Toronto until October 26; here is the complete Exhibition Schedule. The show included work in several categories: paper, fine binding, box-making, and the work that I am most interested in, Artists' books.
First impressions are deceiving - there is a lot more to see, and to talk about, than one might realize when entering.
Clearly, the work in the Fine Binding category are books. Some of them are particularly gorgeous.
This was my favourite of the Box-Making category: Babel Brand Patented Library Flakes
The darkest of the two little books here is also very cool. It does not have pages inside. Instead, there is a tiny scroll that can be turned in order to read the text. Does that change its definition as a book?
More miniature books. That one was one of the most frustrating of the displays. I was dying to touch! Actually, the whole thing was very frustrating because of that - there was so much that just begged to be touched, handled, read, manipulated... and we were not allowed!
Anyway - enough whining - let's look at some of the Artists' Books.
Almost more card than book, perhaps? What do you think?
Clearly, this one by Jacques FournierÂ is a book, right? Does the fact that it can not be folded and put away on a shelf change its status as a book object? Certainly it changes its functionality. This is one that I think Zailig, my Public Texts prof, would be interested in. He pays particular attention to how books lay when open - and this one does that beautifully. It's too bad it can't also be closed though, perhaps - or does that matter?
This wall hanging by Â does not look like a book. But yet, it is clearly more booklike, when you look at it closely, than many of the other Artists' Books. Each page has snaps in the corner so that it can be folded up, accordian style, into a book. So it is a book, right? Or is it? What do you think?
Looks like a book to me. Now.
This one, on the other hand, does NOT look like a book to me, no matter how I look at it. Perhaps if I could have picked it up and tried it - but it was in a display case, so even if the gallery girl had not been there....Â It was created by Mara Coveinsky and is called Forlorn Comfort.
Similarly, this one (on the left), really doesn't much say book to me. By Karen Hammer, it is called BluestemÂ and is described as "Double-sided variation on flag book with pigment inkjet prints on polyester film; illustration in collaboration with Henry Maron."
Is this a book? We said bound and with pages, that did not need to be paper. So - this is a book, yes? It is called Reflective Journal II, and was created by an artist named Stacey James.
And what aboutÂ Colour - aÂ Plot Line by Susan Carr. It this a book?
It is made of knitted telephone wire, and the small paper triangles contain what seem to be random words. If the words could be strung together to form a narrative, would you be more inclined to view it as a book?
There are more pictures in the photo gallery - or in theÂ Thumbnails section of the CBBAG website, if you're interested.
Oh - one more. By the end of our time looking at all of the display, this was far and away my favourite. FINALLY a book that I was allowed to touch. And write in, even.
I would love to hear your comments about any of the objects in the Art of the Book '08 show, or about whetherÂ your opinions about What is aÂ Book? might have changed at all as a result of thinking about it some more.