Twenty-first New Jersey Book Arts Symposium
Pages and Passages
November 6, 2015
Alexander Library, New Brunswick
Pages and Passages, the twenty-first New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, looked at the work of book artists whose work represents in multiple ways the cutting edge of bookwork in the twenty- first century. Lynne Buschman’s sculptural collage books sometimes suggest a rustic, primitive origin for the codex book in found objects loosely bound or wired together. Implying an imaginary, archetypal point of origin, they also imply a point of arrival, a future rediscovery. They posit the elusiveness of knowledge by positioning the reading and viewing mind between two revelatory moments whose revelations are equally obscure and fantastic.
Also working in the medium of sculptural collage, Maryann Riker uses period references to evoke memory as an agency of meaning. For her, the book object becomes a nostalgic, ambiguous artifact in which one can apprehend the world indirectly--"in the rose-tinted light." As a mediating instrument, the book stands in for a body of experience, ultimately directing awareness toward an idealized, atemporal spiritual self.
Doug Beube focuses on the mediating instrument, itself. As he writes in his monograph, Breaking the Codex, "Through altered bookwork, collage, mixed media, paper, photography, and sculpture, my work explores the book itself, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age." Beube the artist explores the "purposefulness" of the codex in a set of interventions-cut, fold and gouge-disrupting the familiar in order to expose the book's underlying "elegance"--its undimmed reliability as a source of knowledge and pleasure.
Employing artifacts suffused in gender, Elizabeth Mackie's book projects subvert the authoritative aura of the codex book. Playing in such "strange loops," Mackie exposes the unexpected flexibility of the book form, and its desirability as a site for play or joissance.
Newcomer, Sydney Jean Reisen's work delicately emphasizes handmade literacy. Using traditional materials--ink, paper, illustration, letterpress, narrative--she insinuates a poetic truth in the vacated space of ratiocination. Like the work of all the artists in this year's symposium, her work looks ahead to future reinventions of the codex book, of culture and of the ideal ... reader?
- Doug Beube is an artist, curator and author of Breaking the Codex, numerous articles and essays.
- Lynne Buschman is an artist, an instructor at Montclair State University.
- Judith K. Brodsky is an artist and the founder of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions.
- Asha Ganpat is an artist, writer, instructor at Montclair State University and the Montclair Art Museum.
- Karen Guancione is an artist, curator, author, instructor at Montclair State University and NJBAS Artistic Director.
- Barbara Henry is an artist, printer, poet, and Master Printer at the Center for Book Arts, NYC.
- Peter Jacobs is an artist and curator.
- Elizabeth Mackie is an artist and full professor of Art, and Program Coordinator for Fine Art, at The College of New Jersey.
- Anna Pinto is a Hoboken-based calligrapher and NJBAS Scribe.
- Sydney Jean Reisen is an artist and author.
- Maryann Riker is an artist and curator.
- Sarah K. Stengle is an artist and writer.
- Therese Swift-Hahn is a calligrapher and proprietor of Bella Scrittura Calligraphy and Design.
- Amanda Thackray is an artist and curator. She is the Curator of Exhibitions, NJBAS.
- Marcia Wilson is an artist, writer, and Artist-in-Residence, NJBAS.
Video of the day's events in The Rutgers University Libraries' digital repository, RU-CORE