Join us for in-person viewings of our Spring Exhibitions: Interspecies Futures curated by Oscar Salguero, Veiled Taxonomies by Betsy Stirratt, and Lights, Tunnels, Passages, & Shadows by Maureen Catbagan!
Exhibitions are open to the public at:
28 W 27th St, 3rd Fl
New York, NY 10001
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and within the city’s ordinances for cultural institutions, Center for Book Arts will be open to the public at a limited capacity, allowing up to 3 persons or parties of people in at a time. In order to enter CBA, you will be asked to agree to abide by all of the safety protocols in your confirmation email upon reserving your visit.
Interspecies Futures [IF]
Interspecies Futures [IF] is the first survey of bookworks by leading international practitioners from the contemporary fields of bio-art and speculative design who have turned to the codex as a tool for the proposal of alternative human-nonhuman scenarios.
Informed by methods from conceptual art, posthumanism, biotechnology (CRISPR), and emerging interfaces (AI, VR, 3D printing), these artists produce documents that defy the borders between fiction and reality. In their hands field guides, lost diaries, investigative dossiers, lab journals, corporate catalogues become portals into multiple interspecies possibilities.
Veiled Taxonomies is an ongoing project about the fractious relationship humans have with the preservation and interpretation of nature. Employing the book as the center of this investigation, artist Betsy Stirratt examines how plants, animals, and humans are represented in museums and collections, and how they are preserved, classified and displayed.
This series exhibits photographs taken while visiting natural history and medical museums in Europe and the US. Such curated settings reveal subtle information about the systematic preservation of organic remains— tangibility, placement and labeling matter greatly in these environments. The combined images of remains, sometimes intact, sometimes decaying, and the accompanying explanations hint at questions about our regard for life and how it is shown, interpreted, preserved and valued.
The context and framework of the exhibition chosen by collectors/curators helps to shape our responses, which can sometimes be emotional, even visceral. These settings can affect not only how we view nature but can shape our relationship to it. Veiled Taxonomies tells a multi-layered story of our curiosity about the natural world but also about our attempts to order it in the face of extreme climate change.
Light, Tunnels, Passages, and Shadows
Light, Tunnels, Passages, and Shadows by Maureen Catbagan examines the transcendent possibilities of peripheral spaces within museums. A utilitarian passage transforms into an ethereal opening. A mundane corner vibrates with a change of light. An invisible worker’s movement conveys visual poetry. Stairwells become illuminated, meaningful, and spiritual. Shifting the visual paradigm of these spaces, objects, and people changes their meaning and the viewers’ relation to them.
The photographic series is featured in a boxed folio containing three fold-outs that enable the images to be arranged into multiple compositions creating abstract narratives that connect the peripheral to the sublime while focusing on the museum worker as mediator. These re-configured fold-outs act as architectural interventions illustrating that while the marginal is designated towards boundaries, it can also be the edge towards boundlessness.