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more matter with less art



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I may have accidentally submitted this twice, in which case I apologize
to those who had to delete twice.
 Dorothy

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Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 08:46:58 -0500
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Subject: more matter with less art
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For some reason the ongoing thread on art/craft/modern art brought two
books to mind.  One was a nice 16C largish tome with a detached leather
covering on the spine revealing a fine craftsman's work. It was
beautifully sewn, double supports, etc. but the tension was so even and
so regular that the tightness and symmetry was visual poetry.  Next
book, also early (forget the date), also with spine problems, spine like
a nightmare, so horrible it was riveting.  When I got this little number
apart (finally) I discovered that the reason the sewing pattern was so
crazy because the previous repairer had been too lazy to repair the torn
folds of some folios that must have become detached when the stitching
broke.  Said repairer had simply REARRANGED the folios within the
gatherings to mask off torn sewing holes with ones still intact and sewn
up or down among the gatherings to get to the strongest points as
needed.  Needless to say, the pages were all out of order and to make it
all much worse the content (these were final gatherings) was an INDEX.
God help anyone who had ever had to try to find an entry in it.
  Now, first instance was fine craft and accidental art.  The second was
LOUSY craft--damn bit of book felony, actually--and also accidental art,
but I vividly remember the visual effect of both patterns on me;
one beautiful, the other reminiscent of a photo I once saw of the web
spun by a drugged spider, both fascinating.
 Dorothy Africa


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