The Visual Narrative: Book Arts and PhotographySeptember 23 - December 14, 2014
Artists have incorporated photographs into book arts since the late 1960s and continue to use evolving forms of this medium in their work. This exhibition represents artists’ books covering the last forty-five years that construct visual stories through the use of photography and/or photography combined with text. These visual narratives tell stories about the world. They comment on events, people, and issues on both a global and personal front, dealing with topics such as post-colonial identity, ecological concerns, autobiography, women’s history, and social justice, among others.
Photography is a unique story-telling medium in that it is relatively new yet constantly changing and improving. Additionally, cameras and photography equipment are available to the masses, allowing anyone to participate in creating photos. Because there are so many available processes to take photos and print them, this exhibit attempts to highlight as many as possible, ranging from cyanotypes to digital prints.
Photography can tell a visual story in ways painting or drawing never could, and depending on the process used, it can look as realistic or manipulated as the artist wants. Older and more “alternative” processes have been professionally abandoned in favor of newer and cheaper technology, which paved the way for creative appropriation of those older processes. Polaroids were heralded as taking the first real instant photo, but are now too slow and expensive to satisfy our need for immediate gratification in the same way that Instagram does. We have become so bombarded with images in our everyday lives that it takes a truly interesting photo and perhaps a compelling visual narrative to hold our gaze and capture our imagination.
This exhibition is mounted in conjunction with the 2014 Society for Photographic Education/Midwest Region Conference, “Yesterday Today: Photography and the Archive,” to be held in Madison, WI from October 16-17, 2014.
Co-curated by Stephanie Lifshutz, Art Department graduate student, and Lyn Korenic, Director, Kohler Art Library.
Image: Finlay, Colin. 12° N x 23° E, 64° S x 60° E. [S.l.] : Definitive Stories, 2007.
Popped ArchitectureJune 23 - September 21, 2014
On view are thirteen specimens of pop-up books on the theme of architecture. The three-dimensional paper models range from the Forbidden City in Beijing, China to a Victorian dollhouse in the round; from ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance buildings to modern works by Antonio Gaudí and Frank Lloyd Wright. Two other structural models—an imaginary aqueduct by M.C. Escher and the landmark Brooklyn Bridge—are also on display. Pop-ups are defined by the automatic movement that occurs when their folded pages are opened. The movable mechanisms employed bring collapsed structures to life creating a sculptural and interactive format. Some of the pop-up books also use tabbed props to add dimension and spatial play. Both building exteriors and cutaway views of interiors are featured in these dynamic works by paper engineers Lothar Meggendorfer, Keith Moseley, Iain Smyth, and others.
Curated by Lyn Korenic, Director, Kohler Art Library
Image: Viktorianisches puppenhaus: ein Spiel- und Aufklappbuch uber eine vergangene Epoche, by Keith Moseley. Köln: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1999.
Mobile Devices: Conveying Movement in Text, Image, and MaterialMarch 4 - June 3, 2014
This exhibition explores the theme of mobility—physical, mental, poetic, social, economic, and geographic—within a collection of artists’ books at the Kohler Art Library. Doing so provides the opportunity to showcase the range of cultural and artistic issues addressed by contemporary book arts. Some of these issues include immigration, evolution, travel, money, the status of women, cultural exchange, nature and science, and fantasy and the imagination.
Within these books, movement is conveyed through many prisms: the passing of time, distance travelled, exploration, experimentation, sequencing and progression, repetition, fluidity, aspiration and spiritual growth, chance, and anonymity. A number of the “mobile devices” unfold and expand by means of accordion folds. With embedded movement and flexibility, the structures invite physical interaction with the viewer.
This exhibition was curated by sixteen graduate students enrolled in LIS: 839 (Art Librarianship) during spring 2014. Each student selected and researched an artists’ book from the Kohler Art Library and wrote a caption label. The students worked collaboratively to install the exhibition.
The curators are: Oliver Bendorf, Lauren Gottlieb-Miller, Carolina Hernandez, Dustin Karls, Shauna Koszegi, Mary Kathryn Kwasnik, Ellen LeClere, Michele Loran, Mariza Morin, Sona Pastel-Daneshgar, Bryce Porter, Rebecca Robbennolt, Laura Rudquist, Susan Seefelt Lesieutre, Kaitlin Springmier, and Jamie Stanaway.
Special thanks to Dan Joe, GLS Graphic Designer, for his assistance with labels and signage.
Image: Ode to a Grand Staircase (For Four Hands), byJulie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum. Berkeley, CA: Flying Fish Press; Portland, OR: Triangular Press, 2001.
Mesoamerican Manuscript FacsimilesJanuary 16 - March 3, 2014
This exhibition showcases the Mesoamerican manuscript facsimiles that are located in the Kohler Art Library. The Aztec (Codex Borgia, Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, Codex Borbonicus, and Codex Vaticanus Lat. 3773), Mayan (Codex Dresdensis Maya), and Mixtec (Codex Edgerton and Codex Colombino) facsimiles have been published to replicate the original Pre-Columbian and early Spanish conquest era books.
The Aztec and Mayan codices focus mainly on religious content such as divinatory calendars, gods, rituals, and prophecies. By contrast, the Mixtec codices are historical in nature and deal with genealogy, marriages, and military and political conquests. Like the original manuscripts, all of the facsimiles use the accordion or screenfold format.
The collaborative artists’ book, Codex Espangliensis: from Columbus to the Border Patrol, uses the accordion structure as it pays homage to the Pre-Columbian manuscript and takes a contemporary look at cross cultural interactions and influences.
Image: Codex Fejérváry-Mayer. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanst., 1971.
This exhibit was curated by Lyn Korenic, Director, Kohler Art Library.