Self Scrutiny

Self Scrutiny, 2011 / Edition of 20 / Archival inkjet text & images on Dobbin Mill papers made from cotton, abaca & pulped cataloged cards, metal hardware, library catalog cards courtesy of Brooklyn Museum Libraries / # 1 - 9 with glass mirrors  & #10 - 20 with reflective mylar mirrors / Set of 49 cards, 3” x 5” each

Size: 4.25” x 6” x 3.25”

From the Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collections

After reading István Örkény’s novella, Self Scrutiny, I found a tongue in cheek syzygy to this terse yet information-loaded tale in the now (sadly) obsolete card catalog system used in libraries. For this artist book edition, I worked with cards that were donated courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and images of cards in the still-active Petofi Literary Museum archive in Budapest. This box of faux cards tells the ironic story of a man’s attempt to accept the independence of his mirror image. By repeatedly writing/typing/painting/and rewriting actual catalog cards along with fictitious ones, I was able to re-create both the storyline and my own commentary. The latter appears as notational references about hyper-reality.

 

Additional Information:

The paper and mirror cards were fabricated with a hole that keeps them in their correct order on a bolt, but for me, these holes also highlight the missing hole in the last line:  “And the strangest of all, the glass had no trace of a bullet-hole.” 

 

Special thanks to Deirdre Lawrence of the Brooklyn Museum Libraries for the catalog cards.