|Turn the page to Tori Arpad's
heirloom at Miami-Dade College
Oh, the marvels of a book.
From a bound volume of pages loaded with words, comes forth the
keys to the universe, the liberation of people, the indoctrination
of acolytes, Thanksgiving recipes, and the dirty thoughts of
prepubescent boys reading the good parts of a Judy Blume novel.
As the Miami Book Fair International recently proved, books are
elemental vehicles to ideas. Whether their pages be full of words or
images, the phenomenon of a book is undeniable.
"Turning Pages," a collection of books constructed by
Miami artists and exhibited in the Centre Gallery at Miami-Dade
College Wolfson Campus, takes the potential of books and extends it
to the ultimate power. The exhibit features the homemade creations
of more than 30 local artists, from the obsessive and manic volumes
made every day by Purvis Young to the deliberate and consciously
crafted works of Sherri Tan.
In a corner hangs a web of words made of golden wire by Wendy
Wischer, casting its shadows on a white wall and forming a jumble of
thoughts, as if reflecting the fragmented and half-intelligible
phrases that run through one's head at any moment of the day.
JC Carroll contributes an abundant slambook of images called I
Love You that delivers, in a drunken wet kiss, a soulful
avalanche of personal snapshots smothered in a flow of pop-culture
and natural and supernatural influences. Sonny and Cher cutouts are
mixed up with Mexican Lotteria cards and satellite pictures of
Hurricanes. The first page of the book quotes Albert Einstein: "Art
and Diplomacy are the highest forms of civilization."
As would be expected in an art gallery, the idea of a book is
open to interpretation. In "Turning Pages" a book is a freezer
loaded with half-eaten morsels, itemized and stored in plastic
airtight bags (Xavier Cortada). A book is a Rolodex index of cards
stamped with a word on one side and a button, or feather, or any
kind of artifact on the other (Maria Gonzalez). A book is a
battery-powered, voice-activated assemblage of pages from the Kinsey
Report's Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Robert
Chambers). The piece rocks and flutters and pulses, leading one to
believe that by just stringing wires to the pages of a book and
sparking it with energy, it, too, is capable of reaching orgasm.
The point, says curator Lea Nickless-Verrecchia, is to "expand
the parameters of what defines a book."
You may never go back to reading that Harlequin romance in the
"Turning Pages" runs from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. weekdays through
December 12. It opens January 14 at Florida Atlantic University, and
in March at the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts at the Broward
County Main Library. Admission is free. Call 305-237-3696.
miaminewtimes.com | originally published: November 13,