Wednesday, August 5, 2009

sculptural newsprint

One sure sign that a home isn't occupied in Eldorado is the old copy of the Santa Fe Monthly left sticking out of the small tube that's on every mailbox.   This publication used to be the Eldorado Sun, and I have no idea why it changed its name, except, possibly, to increase advertising revenue.   Nonetheless, almost all the ads are still Eldorado ones - including homes for sale, and fortuitously, as I took this photograph, the wind just flipped over some of the torn pages displaying just such realtors' images.   The abandoned periodical goes along well with the tumbleweeds sprouting tall in driveways.

This is also, though, a homage to Cara Barer, who takes the most beautiful pictures of old books set against absolutely black backgrounds, turning them into intricate sculptures, showing, she says, she says, “a common object” in a state of flux.   She links this in with the ways in which we research and find information today – the ways in which we look for evidence –  seeing these as also being in evolution - so through her pictures, she says, she wants  “to raise questions about these changes, the ephemeral and fragile nature in which we now obtain knowledge, and the future of books."   I'd really hoped to buy one of her prints and hang it on my Chair's office wall, but lack of any funds, so far, for the task of chairing means that this isn't likely to be a project carried to fruition any time soon.   But this image, apart from sharing in the recognition that mutilated print takes on its own beauty, is quite different from hers in that it's found in the wild, so to speak - no deliberate soaking or dipping in dye here; no hairdrier blowing the pages into manicured disarray; no hint of adhesive.   I'm not sure, to be honest, without checking, about the adhesive, but I do know that her book sculptures are studio pieces before they're photographed, whereas this particular rolled up assemblage of newsprint has been catching my eye as it transforms in nature, getting more and more battered by sun and wind and monsoon downpours.

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