A book: An object filled with pages bound by a cover. Thats what the dictionary says anyway. Could that be a suitable description? No, I'm certain its too finite. Books are living spaces to become immersed in, multifaceted creatures, each holding within a complex set of codes, structures and textual and/or visual experiences. To me they are perfect art vehicles – no matter their form, medium, function or visual presence. “Boekies” is a term we have come to know well at IUOMA – it is an Afrikaans word meaning “little books”. Here are two boekie beauties, each raising interesting questions about the nature and function of the book form. Books are as much about their own making as their conceiving. In this instance a small conceptual space where their interior - aside from offering a point of demarcation, acts too as an infinitely expandable and resonating space.
Nancy’s palm-size boekie has a see-through cover and is bound with a very simple single stitch. It is her contribution to The World is a Town project. It very clearly illustrates the original concept of a hyper-palimpsest – a page in this instance which has been written and re-written, where faint echo’s of what has gone before still glimpse through the newest text.
Nancy wrote: "My World is old and kind of fragile. But on the thickish side. Maybe that’s the real world.
I was happy with World...Town though realize it is plainer in a way than the work usually is. And you may have noticed that each page is not completely different, because I wanted it to be circular, if you know what I mean". Nancy, for certain I know what you mean :-).
Another interesting notion – what if the title is not part of the book but a separate entity, just an accompanying note? Nancy’s boekie is filled with windows on the world – her world or this world, or the old world, or the unseen world? Nancy's use of a codex format in this instance I think is auratic rather than sequential or linear - the use of a familiar structure to house elusive ideas.
The World Town is a long story to Nancy, one which no-one will hear. We know that for sure don’t we. The repetitive nature of tragic human history breathes through her pages.
This was an additional piece in Nancy’s envelope – a transparent delight. Her note said “The other kind of minimalist? – (o for sure not!!!) the paper is tissue which I stained for you because you’re a peach!” That HAS to be one of my most favorite endearments – thank you NBF.
During the course of our discussions I suggested to Marie that she should read The Well of Lost Plots, the third book in the adventures of literary detective Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde. For sure it’s a complex novel - filled with characters waiting to be written, parts waiting to be included in a plot, pale phrases - all the while Thursday Next bides her time, taking a much needed vacation inside Caversham Heights. Yes, THAT Caversham Heights. AND there is a police force of fiction in this book, called JurisFiction.
Nope, it did not appeal to Marie. So it became an artwork.
“I wanted to make a “disembodied” book, with chapters independent from each other , but still part of the same book, hence the loose binding. The text is a kind of mockery of the praite one finds about certain books. They are all cut out from “The Well of Lost Plots”!!! Some of them I find hilarious and ridiculous."
A disembodied book? The codex as convenience? I don't think so. This is a carefully planned work. A conceptual transformation of an extant volume. A plot REALLY lost! Loose pages, half folios, stains and removed text. A story cut up, a plot in purposeful disarray, a narrative spliced.
This is a physically complex form, borrowing from many sources - different languages, differing writing systems, alternate sources - I see even the shirt made it :-) - an interplay of materials that is uniquely Marie.
Many thanks you two - I think one of these days I am going to start documenting a boekie collection. That for sure should be a world first? People think the net will take over the need for books? NEVER EVER in my home :-) XXX