The multiple notions embedded within the black sun relating to eclipse, transfiguration and alchemy are explored in this beautifully conceived artist book by Shezad Dawood. Black Sun, the title of the British artist s third book, is a term with myriad meanings; it represents the darkening of daylight, but is also a symbol of esoteric, mystical or occult significance used in various belief systems. Accompanying a traveling exhibition conceived of and curated by the artist, the catalog s extensive essays examine structures that, much like the black sun itself, deconstruct our everyday modes of seeing. Featured are works by Ayisha Abraham, Tino Sehgal, Wolfgang Tillmans and others, along with extensive texts by Dawood, Arnolfini director Tom Trevor and Megha Ralapati of Chicago s Hyde Park Art Center
In ‘Unshelfmarked‘: Reconceiving the artists’ book, Michael Hampton vets the medium’s history, postulating a new timeline that challenges the orthodox view of the artists’ book as a form largely peculiar to the twentieth century. “Post-Deweyed, these works form an entirely new corpus, showcasing the artists’ book not as a by-product of the book per se, but both its antecedent and post-digital flowering, many salient twentieth-century features proleptically flickering here and there through time, its epigenetic influence finally come to permeate mainstream book design everywhere; the manifold traits and studio processes inherent to the artists’ book bursting from their stitched sheath, cheerfully pollinating the whole gamut of reading impedimenta and spaces.” The book features fifty examples from the iconic to the obscure-accenting the codex’s molecular structure rather than its customary role as a vehicle for text-a critical exposé of multiple types, plus an extensive select bibliography.
Book Sculptures contains an interview with the artist and provides a rare glimpse into her studio practice. The artist works predominantly with paper, and in particular, with second-hand books, which she cuts, tears, folds, and sculpts into three-dimensional sculptures. Blackwell began working with books in 2003, after travelling through South East Asia. ‘The Quiet American’ is a book bought in a second-hand book-shop in Thailand, and is the first book-sculpture Blackwell made, after returning from her travels. The piece was photographed for the British edition of Vogue magazine, and consequently sold. The books inspire the work. Often drawn towards books of fairy tales and European folklore, her works are displayed in wooden boxes, which have lights inside. Blackwell’s work tends to be on a small, rather intimate scale, but she also works on larger projects and on collaborations within other creative disciplines. The sculptures are made using a scalpel, cutting mat, and glue