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Geniza

2021 / Varied edition of 12

Archival inkjet printing, written text, & carbon copy transfer on Dobbin Mill paper / Papers with watermarking, inclusions & pulp painting / Wool blanket and a Thassos marble stone /   Size: 9.5" x 13" x 2"

Four books & a stone lay in a box, or geniza, exploring the concepts behind this receptacle, and the idea of names & the written word as sacred. My interest here is in the context of inter-linearity: to consider what can we know from words & what is the meaning of the written word, both sacred & profane. 

 

Book 1: Geniza

The first book presents the meaning of geniza: the name of the receptacle reserved for papers that have the name of God on them. Jewish belief holds that the name (the word) deserves the respect equal to a human burial so these pieces of detritus are collected in genizas and buried instead of thrown away. 

This book contains my interpretation in three parts: a carbon copy repeat text, a faux school assignment, and an embedded page of an actual prayer book.

 

Book 2: GOD

The second book presents the many names of gods in multiple religions, all watermarked & thus hidden within the translucent paper. Without a much close examination of the pages, the book appears almost blank. In contrast, its title   is made in raised Braille dots on the cover. 

(A list of the religions and names included here is in the colophon booklet).

 

Book 3: Say My Name

Below the first two books lay the others, which place the geniza theme in a more contemporary context. A small folder, the 3rd book, holds a set of paper cards that the viewer can mix ’n match their printed texts to spell out:

SAY MY / SAY OUR / SAY HIS / SAY HER / — on one side of the cards; 

And on the other sides: N - A -  M -  E. 

 

Book 4: Shemot = Names

The pamphlet’s title references Shemot, meaning Names in Hebrew, but it is also the word used for Sacred Manuscripts. Laid out like an accounting book, this booklet contains the names & ages of the children killed in the Israeli/Gaza conflict, May '21.

 

Stone: The hand-sewn bag is made of a wool blanket & holds a stone made of Thassos marble. A stone functions as the act of honoring & remembering in a Jewish cemetery, just as it also can be a projectile in numerous present-day conflicts.

 

 

In the bottom of the box is a colophon, bound as a double pamphlet.

All the papers used are Dobbin Mill papers, made for this artist book.

Winner of the 2020 Isaac Anolic Book Arts Award