Book = Book


Book = Book


March 12 - 30, 2018


Brad Freeman & Debra Riley Parr (Curators)


In this decidedly post-medium moment, we look back in this exhibition on the artist book qua book. Our selections play with the book as a medium, as material, and as a structure. This play is a serious contemplation of the page, of pagination, binding, sequence, of paper, of type, of the paratextual. 

Of course, we could have flipped our intention and looked at the book as a method and model of disruption of medium—think of Ed Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations in relation to photography or Marcel Broodthaers’ Voyage on the North Sea in relation to film or painting. Instead, we wanted this selection of artists’ books to recall when reading the 18th century novel Tristram Shandy that moment when one encounters the black page and is poignantly reminded of the materiality of the book as book.  We wanted to remember the book as medium and all that entails, to look at it rather than through it, to see where an artist activates the book with the form of the book as the source of inspiration.

Brad Freeman & Debra Riley Parr


Brad Freeman is an artist and publisher who founded and edits the Journal of Artists’ Books (JAB) at Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts. Debra Parr is an art historian and professor at Columbia College and SAIC. 

Table Of Contents

Case 1

Spine, Joan Lyons + Philip Zimmermann, 1000.8

Chinese Whispers, Helen Douglas + Telfer Stokes, 20.69

Case 2

Index Cixous: cix pax, Roni Horn, 14.19

Illiers Combray, Helen Jouglas + Zoë Irvine, 6.76

Hari no onna = Needle Woman, Kimsooja, RA 2.153

A Venetian Brocade, Helen Douglas + Marina Warner, 94.71

Untitled, Suzanne E. Pastor, 3800.18

Case 3

Pequeñas Estorias, Isabel Baraona (2017)

Amaranth / Arachne, Joan Wolbier, 55.1

Untitled [from JAB 35], Isabel Baraona, 10.12

Case 4

Word Made Flesh, Johanna Drucker, 4100.2

Clinkscale, Helen Douglas + Telfer Stokes, 21.71

Depero Futurista / The Bolted Book [facsimile], Fortunato Depero (1930)

Poème Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard [facsimile], Stéphane Mallarmé (1897)

Mallarmé, het boek, Klaus Scherübel, 95.47 (Storage)

For Reading Out Loud: 13 Poems [facsimile], Vladimir Mayakovsky + El Lissitzky, RA 2.241

Hört mal her! Ein Gedicht von Wladimir Majakowski (Listen over here! A poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky), Katja Khramova, RA 2.388





Brad Freeman & Debra Riley Parr (Curators), “Book = Book,” SAIC Flaxman Library & Special Collection Exhibitions, accessed October 18, 2018,