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Re: [BKARTS] Stella Waitzkin Website (fwd)

Thanks, Mike, for pointing to Stella's website. The photos of her work and her apartment should be seen by every book artist.

You wrote " Waitzkin was not a book-artist."

Not only do I consider Stella Waitzkin to BE a book artist, I consider her pre-eminent in book art, an inspirational leader in the field, and a primary source of ideas that have been incorporated by a wide range of practitioners. She was one of the first artists exhibited at The Center for Book Arts in the 1970's, and was included in the landmark 1990 exhibition "Book Arts in the USA."

She called herself "a bookie" and considered her works to be bookwork. She called them books. For example, read her artist statement for that catalog:

Arthur Danto's text is a worthy read. It didn't strike me as particularly analytical, but more like fan mail:

Your commentary on it is also a fun read, but I must disagree with your interpretation of his sentence, which I have corrected below, adding the punctuation your quotation had removed, and correcting the spelling of "unusable." His punctuation is important in establishing meaning:

"The books were embalmed, but rendered unusable, and turned into art"

You suggest that he means "the act of rendering a book unusuable (sic) turns it into art." That is neither stated nor implied. The fact that Stella turned the books into art is not conditional on her rendering them unusable, nor is the state of being "unusable" either a necessary or sufficient condition to be art in that syntax.

The further significations you assert from that interpretation are not supported by the text. The statement "that an object cannot simultaneously be a book and a work of art" is not a valid inference.

A reasonable paraphrase of his comment is that she made the books into a sculpture, that in doing so they became unusable as texts, and the resulting object he considers to be a work of art. There is no contrapositive or implied notion that would suggest a book that is usable cannot be a work of art.


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