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Database of South African Artists' Books

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Artwork date(s): 1993

Belinda Blignaut
Liz Wigginton  - Typesetting by

Description: Hand-made metal covers with stitched suture. Contained in a Perspex hinged box. Spiral bound.

Medium: Photographic acetate film. Photo positives, aluminium, Perspex and nylon
Measurements: 100mm
Inscription: Signed and dated by the artist
Edition: #16/30

Category: South African Artist`s Book
Type: Codex in box
Sub-type: Artist as concept and item producer with one other (typesetter)
Theme(s): Self-conscious and reflexive forms delivering socio-familial commentary on violence

Place publication: Johannesburg, RSA
Publisher: The Artists' Press
Pages: unpaged

Reference noteColophon: 'Published to coincide with Antibody - the exhibition held at the Everard Read Contemporary, Johannesburg July 1993. Typesetting by Liz Wigginton Johannesburg. Images contact-exposed from found objects onto daylight-working contact film.'

From 2006 catalogue entry:

'In this example, the small, square, spiral-bound book begins its content communication on the front cover, not by means of a title or an illustrative motif on the dustjacket but through its cover's metaphors, physicality and materiality. The cover boards are pieces of thin aluminium plate with the front cover cut and sutured from the bottom up. The constantly cut, 'unhealing' material of the front cover of Antibody is foreboding. The thin vulnerable metal with holes punctured on either side of the cut, whilst sutured, never heals and hides deeper wounds, layer below layer, on the book's pages. On being opened, the book presents the first of six transparent, deepening, acetate layers, with images suggesting cutting and suturing. Beneath these images is a rhyme concerning an Edwardian father named Udgeon who 'bludgeons his provocative offspring on a Saturday night'. The word 'abort' appears next, implying an end (to violence or incest?). A suture and needle then appear before the book ends with two black pages, the first with transparent text, repeating the word 'abort', and the second with the image of a scalpel. The bleak simplicity of the texts and images bleeds between the pages suggesting the depth of the wound whilst the book's temporal aspect is an index of the period of time over which the damage occurs. Very few books manage to integrate the cover boards with the internal pages as successfully as Blignaut has done, through the signification of aluminium and acetate as skin and tissue'.

Exhibition notesExhibited on the exhibition 'Antibody' held at the Everard Read Contemporary, Johannesburg, July 1993.

Item 167 in the exhibition 'Artists Books in the Ginsberg Collection' at the Johannesburg Art Gallery 25th August - 27th October 1996.

Item 3 on the exhibition 'Navigating the Bookscape: Artists' Books and the Digital Interface' which took place at the Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, from 25th - 30th October 2006 and the FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg, from 5th - 13th October 2006.

Samplings: South African Artists' Books. WAM, Wits University, Johannesburg from 26 March - 6 July 2019. In celebration of the launch of the Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Art (JGCBA).

Ref: GB/00620

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Total images: 6

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