Saturday, April 12, 2008

CB3 Panel Discussion and Opening

Last night I went to the Mohr Gallery for the panel talk and opening for Conceptually Bound 3. Each artist determined the subject of their talk. We each had 8 minutes. Slides were projected on a screen. There must have been 35 or 40 people in the audience.

Nanette Wylde, the curator, talked a little about the series of CB exhibitions. "The theme, Conceptually Bound, refers to the idea that the content of the book is in part expressed by the form the book takes." She plans to do more shows with this theme, and is hoping to have a retrospective eventually.

Peng Peng Wang told us how her experience as a Taiwanese-American influences her books. She was amazed by the money culture in Silicon Valley, so the first books she made have $100 bills as covers. Practical Chinese Conversation for Beginners contains cell phones that can be flipped open to reveal text messages in Chinese. They open to reveal an English translation. The book reflects her surprise that relationships begin and end with text messages.

One of Kent Manske's earlier books came out of his reaction to the disaster of 9/11. His more recent work has been more spontaneous and experimental. He uses "picture narratives" to explore things that spark his curiosity.

Melissa Kaup-Augustine talked about Uppercase Collective, the projects she does with her students at the Art Institute of California, addressing issues like war and global warming. If you look through this blog you can see she is giving her class assignments in the blog, and part of the project includes leaving information in the comments.

Lark Burkhart gave a moving talk on combining words and imagery to make books that "say" what she thinks about war on many different levels. Her book Peace Will Grow Through is a plea for people to "release the anger, hatred and fear that make war reasonable, desirable and then inevitable."

I spoke about my sources of inspiration. Basically they are: dreams, childhood memories, a phrase from an article, a wish to create tools to help me through life, and death. I plan to post a "beefed-up" version of the talk to this blog. Stay tuned.

Diane Cassidy, one of the artists in the show and Nanette Wylde, the curator/organizer/catalog creator, at the opening for the Conceptually Bound 3 exhibit.

The show is fantastic. There are a huge number of books, some can be handled with white gloves, which are provided in the gallery. It's a real treat to be able to pick these books up and turn the pages.

I loved seeing so many people standing around wearing white gloves. They are, inexpensive, loosely woven cotton. From a distance they remind me of going downtown shopping in Cincinnati when I was a little girl. Thank goodness we don't have to dress like that anymore.

And the required photo of me, in front of The Findings of the Expedition to an Unknown Land by Ludmilla Paulsdotter.

I was so struck by the range and quality of books in this show. So many different materials, techniques, approaches, and ways of thinking about books are presented. Nanette is very good at picking books. I wondered, looking at the catalog, how they could work in a show. But they do. As you walk from book to book and especially when you can turn the pages, there is so much to experience. You can get a little glimpse into so many different worlds which are unified by a love of books.

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