Artist’s Book Exhibition in Basel


Artist’s Book Exhibition „My Word – my Dress“

„Forum Artist’s Books Basel“ invited three artists from Lithuania – Evaldas Mikalauskis, Roberta Vaigeltaite-Vasiliuniene and Kestutis Vasiliunas as guests in the Artist’s Book Exhibition „My Word – my Dress“. The exhibition  will open on November 11, 2013 in the Concert Gallery „Maison 44“ in Basel.

Curators team: Krassimira Drenska, Karin Käppeli-von Bülow, Marianne Vogler, Ute Stoecklin

„The artist’s book is a genre inventing it’s rules, transcending the boundaries between the writer’s art and the visual arts, thus creating a particular space. This privileged place, where text and image share the same rights, offers a rich sphere of investigations for the visual artist. When an undivisible unity of word and image is achieved, the book, an artefact in it’s own right, vehicles the artist’s vision in a unique way.

The Forum Artist’s Books Basel, presently an artists collective of 19 members, has been working and showing their work together during the past 10 years. For the tenth anniversary of the existence of the Forum a joint project under the title “My Word – my Dress” was developed. Its theme induces a reflection on the phenomenon of the language in connection to the human body.

The word seen as an abstract sign within a complex semiotical system could in equal ways represent a person or conceal it in anonymity. Taken literally and transposed in the realm of the material world, it becomes image and acquires tangible appeal for the senses. This concept became the initial spark for a playful realisation: the creation of book objects with a particular reference frame.

Using the connotations of both fashion and book art, highly individual objects made solely out of paper or similar light materials emerged.

As words dress us, we become bearers of texts, bearers of messages. These chosen texts wrap us up and veil us, times and again even providing a temporary disguise. We cover ourselves in language, in writing, our body becomes a text. Marginal adornments of the body, fragile and sometimes even preposterous, they require nevertheless an active reception from the viewer.

The actual realisation involved three artists for each object and consisted in producing, as a first step, a blank garment out of paper. This raw form was then transmitted to the next person, which inscribed it with text or images, or with both. A third ‚packaged’ it, either transforming it into a book object or into a sort of article of commerce, a make-belief ware. At a certain point the word wearable books was coined.

The making of those artefacts, involving the whole group, as each member acted in turn as creator of an initial form or as transformer of somebody else’s idea by diverting it along a different path, was a productive challenge. Documenting it, as an integral part of the process proved to be of great importance for the final reception of the entire ensemble.

The „Forum“ endeavours to present to the public these, to say the least, unusual objects nationally as well as internationally.“  – Krassimira Drenska, curator