When I first found out we were showing Book Arts here at the Study Center, the first thing that went through my mind was Marcel Duchamp’s Unhappy readymade (1919). This piece was created when Duchamp instructed his sister, Suzanne Duchamp-Crotti, to hang a geometry textbook from the balcony of her Paris apartment so that the problems and theorems, exposed to the test of the wind, sun and rain, could "get the facts of life”. This event is documented as a photograph in Duchamp’s The Box in a Valise and in a painting by Duchamp-Crotti.
A photo of Unhappy readymade
Of course Duchamp’s readymade is a far cry from the painstaking care given to the majority of artists’ books. The knowledge of technique and materials needed to create all of the books in our show are truly daunting, even though the results often feel miraculously effortless. For myself, I love to see my knowledge of craft grow and discover what connections can be made. What connections (perhaps unexpected or even unfitting) do you have to the art of book making?