Collaborative Bookworks – Guy Begbie & Lawrence Upton

Collaborative Bookworks
Guy Begbie & Lawrence Upton

from 3 September 2012 until 21 September 2012

The Sheppard Library
Middlesex University
The Burroughs,
London NW4 4BT

Mon-Fri 8:30 till 21:00; Sat & Sun 11:00 till 17:00

Many works will be familiar from our 2011 show at UWE; but we have refined and developed our making in recent works.

The separability of our centres of attention is less clear than it was when it was described in Artists Book Yearbook 2012-2013.

The “unspoken mutual knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done” has grown and shows in new forms.

namely unnamed (2011), shown in Edinburgh, is a set of printed sheets gathered and stacked but not bound, passed to our curators with instructions, rendering the folios as a codex of separate three-dimensional paper works. Instructions and good faith rather than physical binding.

Namely (2011), which preceded Namely unnamed, has no one place, plane or line of binding. The structure meanders, following meaning that it is generating, akin to processes which expand and contract long-standing settlements.

We are concerned to keep content and form together. That may produce familiar form, as with the concertina book Foreshore (2010); but not necessarily.

Where content is additive and accretive, our form reflects it by being part of it, containing imagery without constraining it.

Ostensibly, Guy and I treat the book as hardware. Namely offers paths through its twenty plus square feet of figurative architecture; but retains its minimal exoskeleton.

Front and back covers connect through the network of folios which are also united by content, but are not bound. Soft connection.

In Alice in Wonderland, the heroine enters a world within a book – the same book? There is no answer, as there can be none to a text-based question of which page one might be on. It depends on the pagination.

In that book, speed determines not just how far you get but where you get, if anywhere. I would prefer a world in which slowness is a factor, a habit appropriate to looking and to reading, both required here, if we wish to separate them in this context.

The oddity of time and direction in Alice in Wonderland might be a way of viewing the scaling and copying of images and upon pagination and page shape in our works.

There are numerous modes of illusioned space accessible even in their delineation of space. We are on the edge of something that we can almost see. (cf Douglas Adams’ idea of the “Somebody Else’s Problem”).

Our ancestors sometimes crawled into almost inaccessible places in caves to expectorate pigment on to the walls, producing imagery that could be seen only by someone crawling in there too, presumably because some meaning was found in that difficult process.

Make me a cave. Any cave. Plato’s Cave will do.

Right; here we are; I’m ready.

Pass me the spraycan.

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