As part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is proud to announce that the winner of the 2015 MCBA Prize is Ken Botnick, for his artist’s book, Diderot Project.
“I believe we make books in order to discover our subjects,” Botnick remarks in his artist statement for the winning work. Diderot Project was inspired by a five-year-long investigation of the “Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers” — a 150-page visual and textual narrative; a meditation on the nature of craft, the hand, work, tools, machines, dreams, the senses and the imagination. The book is letterpress printed in five colors and incorporates six different papers, including handmade and watermarked paper made by Botnick at Dieu Donne paper studio in New York.
Botnick’s content began primarily as a visual exploration of the original plate volumes seen through the lens of the camera, then grew by considering the encyclopedia as a system of correlations and leaps of the imagination, incorporating original narrative by Botnick and excerpted texts by some 40 other authors. To see images of the work and read more by the artist describing his process in making the book, visit his entry page at MCBAPrize.org.
This year’s competition, celebrated in coordination with MCBA’s 30th Anniversary, was judged by a jury of three experts in the field of book arts. The jurors reviewed a total of 170 submissions, representing 18 nations around the world from five continents, including 34 of the 50 United States. View the entire MCBA Prize 2015 online gallery at MCBAPrize.org.