Solomon’s Wisdom I

Solomon’s Wisdom I, 2003/4 / Unique / Pulp sprayed flax & hemp Dobbin Mill paper, graphite, staples

Size: 20” x 18” x 1.5”

This large-format accordion-folded book has its text burnt into the pages, then ripped out and reconfigured again, as the pieces were stapled back in. My text explores the Kabbalists’ vision of the White Torah and Black Torah, the belief that it is the spaces between the words and letters where wisdom is found. The title refers to the fable of King Solomon, who discovered which woman is the real mother, as she is willing to give up her child rather than have it cut in two. When I stapled the text back together I discovered that it could not become whole again. In fact a hole remained in the center.

Additional Thoughts:

Solomon’s Wisdom I consists of paper made (pulp sprayed) to create two very different surfaces front to back: one side is densely graphite-colored while the other side consists of a layer of the natural line flax color.  The idea of layering within the paper itself supports the focus on the in-between.  It also connects to the choice to write the text & burn it directly into the paper, suggesting that the surface where information lies is but one layer of the density of a palimpsest. Staples, which are used according to their normal function, are also decoration, reflection and another layer of density.

Although rather unwieldy, Solomon’s Wisdom I has always been one of my favorite books.