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Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Since I am guilty of having started this thread, it's time to step in and get it
back on track as far as relevance to this list is concerned:

1. If you can't stand it any more please delete this message now and do not read

2. It's not about personalities, Clem, or communism. Please calm yourselves.

3. Yes, criticism, in the NY Times sense, is tied to politics. In the same way
that art history in tied to economics and the academic establishment. That sort
of criticism is directed toward "the public." It is meant to sell newspapers,
get people interested in art, to make controversy where none exists, to promote
the critics' friends or those who have given artworks to the critic, and
generally it is a means for writers to use artists to provide material for the
writers to express themselves, their views, and their explorations.

4. But that is not the kind of criticism that is interesting or relevant to us.
The criticism that we need is the criticism we can give ourselves and each
other-- self-criticism and peer criticism. "Shop talk" for those of us in the
trade of making art out of (or into, or inside of) books. This means, on a list
like this, pointing out work that is exemplary and advances the field, that
creates a new form, method, or paradigm. Work that uses books in a new way to
express a personal vision, or that uses an old form in a manner that shows its
relevance to contemporary culture. Work that takes a form that was thought of as
dead and brings new life to it.

5. It may even mean criticising work that is redundant, moribund, self-indulgent
and narcissistic. Not in a mean way, but with love and encouragement so the
artist is not terrified or angry, but can understand the criticism and grow from
it, and so that other artists (and artisans) can learn from that model.


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