Twenty-five+ months later, I am finally finishing up the final edits & last round of test prints for my BookArtObject (BAO) edition. I have mentioned my work on this project infrequently here, but it has been an ongoing part of my studio routine all this time.
Each edition of BAO has used a selected text as its starting point; the first year it was a poem by Rosemary Dobson, Learning Absence (1986), and the most recent is a series of one-hundred titles that artist Sarah Bodman chose for her book of short stories, An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen (more details about this on the BookArtObject website). Many of the titles had been claimed by the time I found out about this project, but I was quite excited by the one I ended up with: "Mise en place." At the time, I had little idea where I would go with this seed of inspiration, but I did know that I was constantly finding parallels between the studio & the kitchen—and that I was becoming more & more interested in what took place in the kitchen.
One aspect of Edition 4 of BookArtObject that I appreciated was the loose deadline. The artist's books I had created in the last few years had mainly come about in response to the calls for submissions at art galleries, which meant that deadlines always loomed too close to allow me to "live" with a concept for a while, to let it evolve organically (or to live a normal life during the frantic experimentation & creation phases!). It was a painful way to go about the pleasurable pursuit of making books.
While I'm afraid I have in fact interpreted the generous deadline more loosely than was expected—most of the artists have completed their editions by now, and a couple of exhibitions have already been held—I am finally close enough that revealing a snippet or two should be just the push I need to finish. I don't want to give too much away before the other members of my group receive their copies, but in this post you will find a few images of a print I made to check the content (independently of the final format, so as to see it in a fresh light), as well as some of the initial notes I dug up from way back when. I found it interesting to see what survived—and remained important—through this very long, convoluted (but enjoyable) process.
It feels good to have made what I hope is the last to-do list for my edition of seventeen!