August 7, 2014

Staying with the theme of wounded books for a moment, I present this collage called Bellerophon, made a couple of years ago. My good friend Caroline Neve de Mevergnies, who is a book restorer, gave me a box old end papers and blank sheets culled from a number of books dating back several centuries. I marvelled at the subtle colors, ranging from beige-greens to ivory-ochres. My plan was to paste them onto a sheet of Rives BFK paper, as I so often do, to make a background for calligraphy. But as you can see, the antique papers were so beautiful without writing that I stopped (pen poised, doubts crowding in) and left the collage as it was. Only one sheet bore typographic letters, the word Bellerophon, the slayer of the chimera in Greek mythology. What could be better? The monstrous chimera gave its name to phantasms that exist only in the imagination. These ancient bits of blank paper can each hold any number of texts (truthful or otherwise), making this collage into an endless library of possible books. My hero Borges would surely approve.

One thought on “BELLEROPHON

  1. This is one of my favourite works of yours – thank you for sharing your thoughts behind the piece! Indeed, often there is something almost spellbinding in a blank sheet of paper, just as there is also this familiar little bit of hesitation and doubt before leaving an initial mark on a page. I have got a few blank books that have been waiting for years to become a notebook or an artist’s journal, but their empty pages often seem as if sacred in their perfect silence – sometimes it just feels much more evocative than any mark or words would ever be. Yet after all, each time this is some kind of confrontation with a sign for the mystery and the invisible, and I think we all will always seek this experience in one form or another, just as we never get tired of the excitement of discovery and adventure. Thus, whatever these blank volumes would eventually become, one of them I will left untouched.

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