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by Brad Freeman
The hybrid quality of print publication arts is embodied in JAB35 with a diverse combination of artworks and writing. Included in this stew pot are six artists’ books and the “colored lines” which contain four texts, Books Received, and an artist’s page. Heather Buechler suggested the name stew pot, demonstrating the often spontaneous nature of JAB production.
THE SIX ARTISTS’ BOOKS IN JAB35
► On the cover of Portuguese artist Isabel Baraona’s book, language melds into image, and image becomes language with the words “tactile,” “delight,” and “here” growing from the disappearance of energized orange lines. “JAB” and “35” similarly appear from dark blue capillary-like twistings in the upper right corner, while a small black letterpress cut depicting a winged skull floats in the midst of the frenetic space. On the cover and in the following pages, words are suspended right side up, sideways, and upside downforcing the reader into an active and haptic engagement with Baraona’s visual poem in book form. Baraona worked on this book during her artist residency at the Center Book and Paper Artssee photos of the book’s production starting on page two. Philip Cabau’s essay “Wire Dancers”also starting on page twowas initially based on the artist’s books by Baraona, but it gives crucial insights into the conception and making of artists’ books in general.
► SWITCHING PLACES, directed and with photographs by Marlene MacCallum, includes two texts by Lisa Moore, another by Jessica Grant, and an inclusion folio by David Morrish. All of the participants are from Newfoundland. MacCallum’s photographs of house/home interiors in various states of repair and finish provide the setting for the writing. The photos were made with a pinhole camera and exude a sometimes moody, other times whimsical nature depending on the text they are subtly aligned with. Moore reveals in a personal narrative the slow but ever changing quality of lives and relationships within an also shifting place. Grant’s text, presented in cursive writing, glides between light-hearted irony and moving statements of finality. Morrish designed the layout.
► CELEBRITY FACIAL by Jen Kornder presents a hilarious alternative to entertainment media’s glamorous portrayal of famous celebs. Wickedly realized with masterful drawings and printed in screaming orange plus no nonsense blue/black ink (the PMS colors are listed in the colophon), this book is a no-holds-barred slam against the relentless dumbing down of mass culture.
► Elham (meaning inspiration) is by Elham Shafei, an Iranian artist living in Malaysia. This is her artist’s statement.
My painted book series expresses an attempt to reclaim the female’s body and self-knowledge. It is an ideological stance that is imagined and gestured in the solitude of drawing, through the weaving of images that narrate and textualize womanhood within the intimacy of the inked belly of printed books. By turning the pages, different aspects of women’s lives are represented. I have seen a similarity between the intimacy of the house and the interior of the bookboth are activated by characters and objects that give narrative potential to a given space. I have started to show woman as the source of narration and meaning and also tried to align my work with the desire for female emancipation.
► The Land, The Man, The Machine by Heather Buechleran accordion fold with sixteen panelscontains language descriptive of the settlement and exploitation of the American midwest prairie lands by Europeans. Buechler’s ultimate conclusion about this process reflects a certain skepticism about human endeavorplease read.
► Various Effects of Coffee on the Body by Levi Shermanan accordion fold with sixteen panelsconjoins with text and images the labor of producing coffee with the effects of its consumption on consumers at boutique coffee shops in Chicago. The ironic juxtapositions point out the minor troubles of coffee drinking for (U.S.) cosmpolitan/professionals with the very difficult tasks of producing coffee by the (foreign/tropic) workers.
JAB35, including all six artists’ books, was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO by Brad Freeman, Heather Buechler, and Levi Sherman at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago. Buechler and Sherman are Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA Program, Columbia College Chicago.
This typeface is Harrietdesigned by Jackson Cavanaugh, Okay Type Foundry in Chicago. The titles and captions are Cholla, designed by Sibylle Hagmann and distributed by Emigre. The paper is Mohawk Superfine ultrawhite smooth, 28 lb. writing & 80 lb. cover. Thanks as always to our intrepid webmaster Kathi Beste.
Jen Kornder’s CELEBRITY FACIAL was printed in duotone: PMS 032 and 021 as well as PMS 5463 and black. SWITCHING PLACES was also printed in duotone: PMS 7531 and black. Isabel Baraona’s book was printed in tritonePMS 7417, 2935, 101, with spot black for the scans of the letterpress cuts. Everything else was printed in CMYK or just black. The envelope design was a collaboration among Heather Buechler, Levi Sherman, and Brad Freeman, and letterpress printed (wood & polymer) by HB and LS at the CBPA.
OTHER NEWS & FUTURE ISSUES
Jenna Rodriguez, former Print Production Fellow, has been chosen for a two-year term as the Victor Hammer Fellow at Wells College Book Art Center in upstate New York.
Claire Sammons, another former Print Production Fellow, recently bought an 8 x 10 Chandler and Price, paper cutter, book press, and lots of Mohawk paper as she sets up her printshop in Washington.
Heather Buechler exhibited some of her large prints upon the invitation of Columbia College Chicago’s President Kwang-Wu Kim at his home. At the reception President Kim spoke of developing a community around the students, faculty, and staff of Columbia College.
♥ In Memoriam ♥
Annie Laurie Freeman
June 12, 1919April 9, 2014
JAB35 design by Brad Freeman. Full Bibliography for JAB35 can be found ONLY in the printed edition.
JAB (The Journal of Artists’ Books) is indexed in The H.W. Wilson Company, Art Abstracts, CSA’s ARTbibliographies Modern, and in Bibliography of the History of Art.