segunda-feira, 28 de março de 2011

Clifton Meador

I make books: I make books that are intended to be seen as original works of art, not as collections of reproductions of art. This may seem like a pointless distinction, but when the author of a work has control of the final form of a work, then the piece of art is not a banal, commercial object, but something different, a real experience.

I have been making books-as-art since I was an undergraduate in art school. I find the book form endlessly fascinating: its strengths in telling stories and disseminating knowledge seem so rich with possibility. My recent work combines photography, writing, printing, and design to explore history, narrative, and place.

I am fascinated by the way a reader interacts with a book. A book (or at least the book I am interested in making) is portable, creates its own context, has a intimate relationship with its reader, and exists in multiple. The reader becomes immersed in the book, an act of willful self-hypnosis that is unique in art.The reader experiences this immersion in the book over time, allowing for complex, layered meanings to accrue. I am very interested in the development of an idea over time, from the accumulation of small details, hints, tiny nuances, broad gestures, and overwhelming contrasts. Every part of a book presents interesting possibilities for expression, discovery, and meaning.

I think that the audience for this kind of work is much larger than it has been: so far, artists' books have been a kind of special case in art and publishing. On-demand publishing has the possiblity to make this work much more accessible.

If you are interested in this kind of art, there are many resources on the web that will help you find other artists who make work like this. I recommend you start by reading this guide to books about artists' books.

There is even a journal dedicated to Artists' Books: the Journal of Artists' Books, usually refered to by its nickname: JAB. There is also another fine journal dedicated to the book arts (a term for all the crafts used to make artists' books as well as traditional books), The Bonefolder.

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