the 1995 annual Artist Members Exhibition
An exhibition of 48 Artist Members, whose works examine the book’s authority as an accurate historical document of human events. Works are both traditional and alternative book formats and utilize both conventional and unusual materials or methods of construction.
Brian Hannon, former Executive Director, said of the exhibition: “A number of the books in this exhibition recognize the delight in defining oneself through the experiences of others, though many of these book artists also use the format to express contemporary concerns regarding the elusive nature of an objective truth, inter-generational relationship, and the evolving sense of self that we all experience. Many of us see the book as an apt vehicle for communicating personal milestones and intimate transformations. These works reveal a distinct ambivalence towards traditional notions of history, and propose instead a greater reliance upon the intuitive knowledge gleaned from daily life.
An expanded concept of the book as an object has also become part of this perceptual reconfiguration. Since books have been the basis of many our assumptions about the past, all of the associations linked to this cultural artifact have been easily appropriated to new ends. Some of these artists’ books playfully mock the authority of history books by reinventing the sequence or outcome of events. Others unflinchingly point to prior inaccuracies and injustices that our history has perpetuated. Because books are often our only connection to the past, artists are discovering that they can liberate us form inherited misconceptions and, in doing so, offer us a more genuine paradigm for living in the here and now.
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.