Process

 

1. The Problem

Ok...so your creative team has been given the job of setting up a new and exciting exhibit for the Cleveland Museum of Art, but where do you begin? You decide the best place to start is finding out more about these two artist's controversial works. You've been told that in the past Roth created traditional bound books with pages, images and text. But the "book" in question is a three dimensional, hand-constructed sausage! Fremuth, who recently exhibited her artists' books in the Yokohama 2009 International Open-Air Art Fair in Japan also has submitted a piece that some may see as a sculpture rather than an artists' book. Consider the qualities that YOU think distinguish a book from a sculpture. Write down your opinions/ideas for Question 1 from your handout.

To see a clear image and learn of the contents of Roth's Literature Sausage, please first go to this site:

http://www.studio-international.co.uk/studio-images/eye_on_europe/sausage_b.asp

Book Artist Historian 1: To get a better picture to Roth's earlier work go to this website:

http://www.zuckerartbooks.com/cgi-bin/zucker/index.html and click on Dieter Roth Books. Scroll all the way through and take a look at these works. Next, go back and click on Roth Book Exhibition 2007 to see what and how his artists' books were exhibited.

Researcher: To learn about Roth's life and history as an artist go to:

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Dieter_Roth

 

 

Book Artist Historian 2: Julie Fremuth is a Michigan artist whose work is highly regarded, check out these two sites to learn more...

 

http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/ann-arbor-street-art-fair-plants-seeds-for-japans-first-open-air-art-fair/

 

http://wsg-art.com/frames/frames_Apr08.html

 

 

2. Definitions

 

Now that your team has its thoughts and opinions written down, you probably want to know what the official definitions say about the difference between books and sculptures. Your Researcher decides to investigate further by looking up the terms "Book" and "Sculpture" in these two websites: 

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/book

 

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/530179/sculpture

 

Read the first and fifth paragraph to better understand what are Artists' Books in this next website:

 

http://www.philobiblon.com/DevArtistsBook.shtml

After you look up these terms, answer Question 2 on the handout.

 

3. Traditional vs. Non-Traditional

In order to help your team make decisions, you need to do some additional research on what other book artists are creating in this genre. After all, artists' books are still different than regular books...but how different are they?

Book Artist Historians: Take a look at some other Artists' Books. Here is an interactive site showcasing artists that have developed their own unique styles within the confines of the more "traditional" artist book format. Click on each of the books to view. Be patient as it downloads. Use your cursor to "turn" the pages...

http://www.nmwa.org/bookasart_flash/bookasart.asp

Book Artist Historians & Researcher: There are so many artists today working in the area of artists' books especially in a non-traditional style, that it will take the whole team to examine how this genre is being explored. Here are some sites for you to research that represent various accordion style books ranging in materials and structure from paper sculpture to metal/jewelry.

Maria Pisano: http://www.philobiblon.com/guests/pisano.htm

Beatice Coron:    http://www.beatricecoron.com/book.html 

Mia Leijonstedt - please read her artist statement too: http://leijonstedt.com/

Laura Davidson - click on her gallery of work and look at her accordion style book, History Lessons: http://www.lauradavidson.com/

Judith Hoffman: click on her gallery of work; check out some galleries, especially #4

http://judithhoffman.net/gallery1/htmlpages/myself.html

After reading about Maria Pisano and examining her work and the work of the others, please answer Question 3 on your handout.

 

4. Transitions

As in many other controversies, there is always some middle ground. Take a closer look at these artists' works and see for yourself!

Researcher: Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

http://www.susankapuscinskigaylord.com/spiritbooks.html  Click: View Spirit Books (PDF)

Book Artist Historians: Brian Dettmer

http://www.packergallery.com/dettmer3/index.php

After reading about and viewing Kapuscinski's and Dettmer's work, answer Question 4.

5. The Case for the sculptural aspect of Artists' Books

On the other end of the spectrum, there are many who argue that the sculptural forms exhibited by some modern artists' books is just a natural evolutionary step of the art form. These individuals believe that artists' books may be displayed as pieces of sculpture, emphasizing structure. They argue that the goal of the book artist is to integrate multiple elements into a unified whole...to explore the intersection of two and three dimensional space, and to engage the viewer in the artist's vision, no matter what form the artwork takes. To further understand this point of view, please examine the Text/Messages Books by Artists exhibit at the Walker Art Center. Be sure to read the description of the exhibit and view/enlarge all TEN artists' books (located at the top of the webpage).

http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=4665

After reading about and viewing these sculptural works, answer Questions 5 on your handout.

 

6. Hop aboard...for a unique trip...you may Never look at paper and books the same again!!

Click Play on the video, Going West.

Book Artist Historian & Researcher: 

http://artistbooks.ning.com/video/nz-book-council-going-west

 

7. Decision Time

It's time to make a decision on whether or not to include Dieter Roth's Literature Sausage and Judy Fermuth's Cone Book in Cleveland Museum of Art's Artists' Books Exhibit! Review your notes and discuss your thoughts and findings with your creative team. You need to arrive at a solution to present to the museum why you have decided to include or not to include these two submissions. Remember, the museum officials are not just going to take your word for it; you must back up your argument with examples from your extensive research! Please write your argument on a separate piece of paper and be prepared to present your argument at the end of the period.