Hi everyone! Perhaps you've all forgotten about this little project but I finally have the time and clarity to write about it!
It was a difficult collaboration from the beginning. 7 artists coming together from different backgrounds under the umbrella of the codex event to respond to the theme of resistance was a recipe for tension and rightly so. The process of collaboration that is invoked by codex events is peculiar in that there are no preconceived notions and no set 'design' for the work to be produced. The work is coaxed and conjured into being through the process of practical work, discussion and decision making by the group as a whole over the course of only a week or two.
It was clear from the beginning of this project that there were divisions in the way members of the group worked and wished to envisage and author the project. It was an embodiment of the example that Sara brought to the intial discussions: the case of the two embryos, originally twins, one of which is absorbed by the dominant one in the womb, interestly the submissed twin manifests itself in characteristics like an eye of a different colour, think David Bowie, revealing itself embodied literally within another. This is one way to illustrate how the group dynamics played out and guided the way the work developed.
After an intense week of working together (and against each other) we ended up with a series of pulp-printed pages which had been printed with imagery on both sides by working with them on the felts and then on the wall (see top image). The process of removing the jaggedly conjoined pages from the wall caused some fragmentation and added to the decision to break up the work into pieces to be bound individually using uniform materials but in whichever way each artist should choose. We each went home with a segment of the work with the aim of making 2 books each, a set of twins if you like.
After the intensity of the event it was almost a relief to leave the group behind and have the freedom to make individual decisions.
That said there was another avenue of bookmaking calling out to be pursued. Alongside the main wall works, a group of us had been keen to make this red work, for no good reason except just because, and because we had no great plan for it and weren't precious about it it had turned out very well. Tim and I were in the studio a week after the main event was over and decided to take this 'red' work and momogami it, scrumple it up and make it soft like cloth. It was very enjoyable crumpling up this beautiful paper and feeling it give with the effort of our hands. We made a dodgy film of the process, recording the metamorphosis of the paper from hard to soft, rigid, tense, set to pliable, supple, flexible. It was an interesting stress relief or release valve for the tension accumulated by the project to be breaking it down in this way. And the best bit was that once folded together the red pages became this really interesting soft book.
So that is pretty much where we left of. Each of us has made their set of books by now and a smaller group of us has had some input into the resolution of the soft books but where do we go from here?
I really like the image Tim posted of the collection of finished books. I am interested to see the books in person as a set and to make cases for them.
I would also like to particpate in organising an exhibition of the results, soft and hard.
Any suggestions re spaces, etc?
What do you guys think about resolving the project?