Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paper Wrestling, Duck version


OK, peoples, enough time has passed and no-one else has stepped forward as being part of the edition, so I will share with you my one-trick pony.



standing, back



Colophon, tucked under the red heart.

peek inside

And, when you open it all up, this is what you get:

whole sheets

Which is basically a broadside of the poem, but you have to pull the piece apart to get to it... and then (unless you want to frame the broadside), YOU HAVE TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER.

paper folding

Here's what I wrote in the accompanying statement/letter:


At the risk of sounding as imperious as an Old Spice ad, if you’re reading this before opening my piece, STOP RIGHT NOW.

Go and do it. Do it, and then come back here to me. Just do it.

How was that?

I worried that you’d be the wrong audience for this idea, because if you’re in Book Art Object, then you’re familiar with paper and folding. Then I realised that you’re the perfect audience – because with the BAO project we all get to actually handle each other’s work whenever we want to. So I can make a work that is intended to be wrestled with, and it won’t just be shoved into an archive box and pulled out once a decade to be displayed in a single static pose. I hope. Please handle it, and encourage others to do so, too.

I wanted, with this work, to catch that moment of dis-ease and slight panic when you’re lured or seduced into an object and then don’t know how to put it back together again. I tested it on a few punters and loved their brief panic when they realised what they’d done and shared their triumph when they succeeded in restoring it to its original shape.

So I guess for me, this work is not about the actual paper or paper quality (I had to use something sturdy and serviceable to cope with all the ink and folding) but all about process, about making and using, which is why I printed it in process colours :)

folded the first part


I'm pleased to report that people seemed to cope! I chose an origami shape that looked seductive and was relatively easy to undo, but had a small element of difficulty that would give someone a sense of hesitation. Including the name of the fold as I found it on the internet within the colophon also gives people a clue if they are completely stuck.

So, you see, not deep and meaningful, a true one-liner, but I'm happy with it. I learned a lot while doing it, because it took so much planning and setting (I didn't have enough type to set the whole poem at once, so each colour is printed in three stages. You do the maths). I also used monoprinting again for the yellow texture on the outside of the piece, so each one is unique while still being part of an edition. I guess that's called a variable edition or something.

A few more photos here.

Because there were so many risks, I printed a lot. It's an edition of 20, so there are extras. I'm pricing them at $100 each, if anyone is interested. They come with a hand-sewn paper envelope, decorated with a bit of CMY fingerpainting.

I'm still thinking hard about the Winterson piece. This one sprang almost fully-formed into my head, but the Winterson one will be a more difficult gestation :)

red type forewards


Anonymous said...

Well, The Man will love to see this when he gets back from his travails!
Thankyou for the sort-of explanation(you've left just enough thinking for others to do!)and the wonderful process shots.

ronnie said...

too cool for school! (and I'm only looking at the piccies and reading your bit...... no paper wrestling in these here parts)

Fiona Dempster said...

I loved it ... let me count the ways

I love the Old Spice reference (and I did as I was told)
I love that you knew I would go OMG - fear, panic, horror, premonitions of failure; a sense of having destroyed something beautiful with no hope of it ever becoming whole again...
I love the notion of how I wrestled with the paper to return it to its original position
I love the sense of relief
I love the sense of achievement - I could do it!
I love that you focused on process and used process colours
I love the string that tied the envelope
I love the happy fingerprints on the envelope
I love the hand-stitched envelope
I love that I laughed so much...

So there you go - a top 10 list of things to love about that little book!

Ampersand Duck said...

Heh, I'm so glad you shared that too. I loved getting that email from you :)

Ida said...

beautiful...you know how i feel about folded books! can't wait to get mine. the whole idea about irreversible ruin is so simple yet such an apt description of that sense of delicious anxiety you get. i hadn't thought about it like that before. :)

Ampersand Duck said...

Eek! I did send yours -- isn't it there by now? oh no!

Carol said...

Eeek indeed! I haven't received mine yet either. I wasn't sure until now that they'd been sent out but now I'm ready to go and beat up the Post Office. Love the look of it!

Ampersand Duck said...

Eeek, Carol, you weren't on my list! I will send it post-haste. Sorry, it's been a rough couple of weeks, I'm sure you did let me know you were in the edition, but I've been all over the shop.
Ida, I definitely sent yours to Tathra.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Sara! Should all members send their postal addresses to you?
The Duck already knows some of us, but newcomers may not yet be on a group mailing.

Carol said...

Thanks AD, sorry to give you a fright. And so glad it's not out there somewhere in lost mail.

alison said...

I love what you have done, the colours just sing together and look forward to receiving mine in the future very soon I hope.

Ida said...

got mine yesterday. sorry for the panic. thankyou, it's wonderful!

Amanda said...

This looks so great! And I don't know about being a one-trick-pony. I think it's so conceptually-tight, there's no room to wriggle! Beautiful, Duck, beautiful!

Angela said...

Got mine on Christmas Eve when I was rushing out the door for the train. Was confused if I should have it or not so didn't open it. After arranging a trade for some prints with Caren I finally opened mine on Sunday.

It is really beautiful and for some reason I was not scared of messing up the folds. It really captures the whole concept of paper wrestling. I also loved the smell of it which took me back to my days on the MA Print.

Thank you Caren.