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The Binding

Item date(s): 2010

Christine Dixie  - (artist)
Bevan de Wet  - (printed by)
Heléne van Aswegen  - (bookbinding by)

Size: 350mm
Technique: Intaglio; Blind embossing
Edition: 20

Place publication: (Johannesburg, RSA)
Publisher: Fourthwall Books
Exhibition 2017

Additional notes:
Initial edition exhibitied: 8/5/10-29/5/10.

Signed and dated 2017.

From FADA Exhibition catalogue: This limited edition book is visually and conceptually linked to Dixie's installation, The Binding. The different surfaces of the book - leather, mohair, embossment, paper, string - constitute a conceptual point of departure for the book.

Visible within the slipcase is the binding. The binding - and the cord with which the reader unties the book - collapses the narrative of the subject with the action the viewer must perform to continue the narrative.

Embossed bandages link the pages and become a metaphoric thread recalling wounding and the violent rituals enacted in the establishment of male identity.

The Binding consists of an embroidered slipcase. The cover is made of animal hide. The inside pages are a combination of etching and embossing prints with silver silkscreen.

Reference note:
The Binding began as an installation made in 2010 and consists of three distinct sections:

- Six large-scale prints of a sleeping boy hang against the wall.

- Mirroring these images of the sleeping boy and lying on altars/beds are embodied shadows of the child made from toy soldiers.

- In front of these altars hang veils embroidered with weapons and an image of the boy in the stance of a soldier.

The work explores the transitional moment in a boy's life as he hovers between the world of the mother and the world of the father. A symbolic sacrifice, a ritual linked to the establishment of male identity, takes place in the dreamtime of the child. As he drifts between sleeping and waking, passive and active states, his shadow lies in an indeterminate place that suggests hospital ward, altar or army barracks, all transitory spaces in which rituals related to the transformation of the body take place. The Binding materialises this transformation and the entrance into a masculine world.

Intaglio and blind embossing. Leather, mohair, paper, string, cloth

This edition was completed later, in response to the content of the initial installation, in 2014.

350 x 370mm

Artists meditation on the growth and maturity of her son. Male identity

Exhibition notes:
The Binding was first exhibited at 'Book Arts: Artists' Books'

Curated by Wilheim van Rensberg and Alet Vorster

AOP Gallery, 44 Stanley Ave, Johannesburg

25 October - 15 November 2014

It then traveled to the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. The installation was purchased by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC and exhibited at the MMK Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 2014.

‘Booknesses: Contemporary South African Artist's Books’.

FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg.

Curated by David Paton and Eugene Hon.

24 March - 5 May 2017

Ref: GB/14900


Paternity and Intertextuality in Christine Dixie's 'The Binding'
 Deborah Seddon

Karen Milbourne Interviews Christine Dixie
 Karen Milbourne (interview with)
 Christine Dixie (interview with)
   14 November 2014

From the Booknesses exhibition, FADA

From the Booknesses exhibition, FADA

From the Booknesses exhibition, FADA

© Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts (JGCBA). All rights reserved.