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F(r)iction

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A complicated, lifelong relationship with the printed word lies behind my exploration of books as both physical material and subject matter. A current primary source—both for sculpture and for collages-- is the library left behind by my grandmother Mary Löw, a citizen of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire who avidly read many English classics translated indifferently into German. These unwanted volumes (printed in a Gothic script now legible to few) were destined for landfill, so their new life as art: whether used as books or as fragments of illustration and text, functions as reclamation of their value and, at the same time, serves as an uncomfortable recognition of the decreasing role of books in a digital media world.

The origin of several works in this project—especially F(r)iction (images 1 and 2) and Editor’s Arsenal (images 4 and 5) lies in a fascination with words hidden inside of other words, like secret weapons or ghosts. In Editor’s arsenal, the first word of each of the injunctions found on these cut and reformed fragments of books is hidden within the second word. Cut can be found in side of Cutely; End, inside Tenderly. Like the contents of the books out of which the sculptures themselves are made, these phrases suggest disordered meanings and lost ideas—or, maybe, jokes to which we only know the punch line, having forgotten the rest.

 

Artist: 
Maria Porges
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