The Illegible Books Summer 2023

Event Info

This four-week, virtual workshop takes place on Zoom on Wednesdays, May 31—June 21, from 10:00 am—12:00 pm.

  • Wednesday, May 31, 10:00am—12:00pm
  • Wednesday, June 7, 10:00am—12:00pm
  • Wednesday, June 14, 10:00am—12:00pm
  • Wednesday, June 21, 10:00am–12:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on May 24, at 11:59 pm.

About the Workshop:

This virtual class at Center for Book Arts is taught by instructor Shirin Salehi.

In this virtual workshop for all experience levels, Instructor Shirin Salehi will introduce the participants to what may be considered non-legible books through an extensive one-month discussion on legibility and hiddenness in artwork in book form. Starting with an introduction on illegibility through examples of Asemic Writing, the instructor will propose works intentionally deciphered, unreadable, and inaccessible, through a selection of case studies of Artist’s books and artworks in order to raise questions on what lies beneath the hidden language.

The course is designed to deepen reflection and poetical reasoning. All students are encouraged to actively participate in discussions throughout the workshop. The class will be divided by discussion of case studies and critiques. Though the theory discussion is the basis of the class’s structure, the instructor will work along with each participant on their ideas and intuitions in order to create the initial structure of personal Artist’s book project.

Required Materials:

 No materials or tools are needed in advance of the course. The Instructor will help each participant identify what they need based on their respective projects. 

About Shirin Salehi

Shirin Salehi (she/her) is a Spanish-Iranian visual artist, art researcher, and teacher living and working in Madrid and New York.

Shirin Salehi’s practice explores the relationships between thinking and making in the language of printmaking, exploring a register that usually focuses on the reproduced image to explore the dialectic between the concepts of time, memory, matter, and gesture of inscription. She investigates the expansion of printmaking from its grammar to other territories of interdisciplinary exploration working with sculpture, video, still images, and artist’s books. From the relationship between her two cultures emerges her interest in the tensions in the illegible image, the failed translation, and the veiled.

In parallel to her work as an artist, she is also an art teacher, a translator of Persian poetry, and an interpreter for asylum seekers. She has developed workshops on artist’s books and artistic thinking in multiple centers. She has taught at the Center for Book Arts in New York and at the LENS School of Cinema and Photography. In 2021 she was invited by the Foundation Amigos del Museo del Prado as a lecturer for the program Enfoques.


All images courtesy of the instructor.

Class size is limited to ensure an optimal participant to Instructor ratio. Register now before spots fill up! Registration for this workshop closes on May 24 at 11:59pm.

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