Kakistocracy, A Response to Our Duel Political Realities, 2017 / In collaboration with Kim Berman / Varied edition of 7 / Drypoint & monoprint on Dobbin Mill papers / Portfolio paper by Mary Hark
Size: 14” x 19” x 0.25” (folder) / 13.25" x 35.5" (open)
Kakistocracy is a term that has been used to describe a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. It combines qualities of “nepotism, oligarchy, plutocracy, kleptocracy, demagoguery, alt-right values and a disturbing tendency toward fascist nationalism”.
As artists from two nations both presenting as kleptocracies, we combined our perspectives and artistic styles to create this artist book by re-interpreting our landscapes as dumping grounds and printing them on papers with embedded detritus and replete with holes. The double pamphlet French-door structure allows for a myriad of presentations and enhances the non-linear exploration of these ideas.
Kim: "My collaboration with Robbin dates back to the early ’90s. She taught me about artist books, and hand papermaking and then taught my students, some of whom have remained South Africa’s foremost book artists. And then, extending possibilities, we went on to establish Phumani Hand Papermaking as a small job creation industry across South Africa. When we co-create, we can match each other’s energy and intensity. Magic happens in the process."