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The cover of JAB40 presents texts by Ruby Figueroa and Woody Leslie, who also designed and printed it at the Center for Book, Paper, & Print / Columbia College Chicago. Figueroa and Leslie are Book & Paper graduate students and Print Production Fellows here at CCC. The combined aspects of their writing, designing, and printing connects to core ideas of the artist book where authorial and technical control allows for artistic independence and the means for engaging unforeseen possibilities. Being in control in this manner requires skills and hard work to bring ideas into actual, material form. In the production of this cover, Ruby and Woody needed to collaborate with each other artistically and technically in order to accomplish the design and printing. JAB and Columbia College Chicago have given them a platform for developing these attributes. Ruby and Woody’s writing complement one another, with each story sharing autobiographical details of the author, presented in humorous and poignant ways that reinforce the idea of how the momentous can be revealed in the everyday.
In JAB40, Maike Aden and Ruth Li have essays about the work created in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s of two artists, Ulises Carrión and Henri Chopin, whose explorations, though often unacknowledged by the mainstream art world, continue to influence contemporary independent publishing and artist books. The work of both of these artists was interdisciplinary in nature and ranged from music to performance to mail art to print publications and areas between and beyond—many times in unlikely combinations.
Three publications are inserted with JAB40—
Never Again / Jamais Plus
Lake House: Tallahassee 1972–1980
None of these publications are artists’ books. Never Again / Jamais Plus is a facsimile of a book published in the early 1950s in Munich, and is about the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau. This book has been with my family since the time we lived in Germany from 1955–57, and has been formative in my world view. I’m not sure if I was included or not in the trip to the concentration camp, as I was only four to six years old at the time. But I’ve always known this disturbing little book.
Lake House: Tallahassee 1972–1980 is a remake of the first book I ever made, and is a photo/text documentary about a group home for multiply handicapped adults. When I showed the first version of Lake House to my grandmother I said, “This is my first artists’ book.” She said, “This isn’t art, it’s sociology.” She was right.
Walter 2016 is about Walter Hand, who lived at the Lake House when I worked there, and figures prominently in both versions of the book. This past summer I went to Tallahassee to visit Walter. It was the first time we’d seen each other in about thirty-five years.
The connection between Walter and Lake House is obvious. Their connection to Never Again is based on the fact that some of the first victims of the Nazi murder campaigns were developmentally disabled people.
Please see the print version of JAB40 for more about Walter. An online YouCaring.com fundraiser website has been set up for him. Its current goal is replacing his eight-year-old (and frequently breaking-down) wheelchair with a new model. To contribute to the fund, please visit:
An additional !Surprise! BONUS publication is included with JAB40—Trumped-Up Empathy. A collaborative event involving Brad Freeman, AK Milroy, Tim Mosely and the ever-faithful, mighty, one-color Heidelberg GTO, it was conceived and printed before November 8, 2016. Only time will tell if its production was the result of an overly urban sensibility not registering the frustration that was building in other parts of the U.S.of A.,
if it’s a prescient view of the road ahead.
► JAB40 was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO52 (ein farben) at the Center for Book, Paper and Print, Columbia College Chicago by Mary Clare Butler, Ruby Figueroa, and Woody Leslie under the mentorship of Brad Freeman. Butler, Figueroa, and Leslie are Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA. BF designed the layout. The body text is set in Harriet, and the headlines are set in Cholla. The paper is Mohawk Superfine ultrawhite smoot:h 28 lb. writing for the text, and 80 lb. for the cover.
Thanks as always to our intrepid webmaster Kathi Beste, and her Sunshine Band.
Founder and Editor
Print Production Fellows
Woody Leslie, Ruby Figueroa & Willa Goettling
► 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.