Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Opening Day - Untitled: Books That Never Existed

"Untitled: Books That Never Existed" by Katie Hoffman and Matt McKenzie opened last night, with audiences excitedly arriving today to open a collection of thoughtfully crafted handmade books. As they flipped pages and viewed slides, visitors were presented with images and words offering practical advice on wide-ranging matters, thoughts on a folk taxonomy of humans using unexpected binaries, and stories both fantastical and realistic.

If you'd like to see the show for yourself, please feel free to email us and set up a viewing appointment.

Artists' Statement(s): A Short Conversation

K: Well, let's talk about our project. Our project is called "Untitled: Books That Never Existed." 
M: That's right. It certainly is. 
K: But they exist now.
M: I thought about that the minute I jokingly offered that as our show. It's ironic!

K: What do we want to say about it?
M: I want to say that I don't know how to move a new layer in Gimp once you paste it.
K: Why are you using Gimp to make books? Is that ironic in some way?
M: Uh, it's not ironic. It's probably stupid but not ironic. I'm using Gimp to try and create, to make my stencils for my linocuts. There we go. That was a lot easier than I expected it to be. 
K: Do you work well under pressure?
M: No, I do not. Not at all. I like to pretend that I do but it's not the case.

K: Do you have any questions for me?
M: So why did we decide to do an art show? Are we artists?
K: Definitely. Artists who don't allow enough time for themselves. Next time –  
M: Artists Without Effort … like Doctors Without Borders? 
K: If only I could diagnose that somehow.

K: So do you envision yourself in the future, maybe reading these books to your kids? Do you think they are primarily for kids? Who are your readers?
M: They are joke books for children. I don't think most children would care for it. I'm trying to use the aesthetic of what I feel a children's book would be but I don't think that the message is for children. I think it's for children that –
K: For the children inside us as adults?
M: For the children inside adults? 

M: I am stealing everything for this book. Nothing is original.
K: Are you stealing images to make a point?
M: I'm not very talented as a visual artist and I'm not very talented at using the computer either but together these lacks of talent cohere into something that's passable.
K: What do you consider passable? What makes something into craft? What do you consider to be good art?
M: Lanyards are pretty excellent. God's eyes that you make out of popsicle are good craft. Anything that uses a hot glue gun is a craft.

K: Now you ask me a question.
M: If you were me, what question would you ask yourself?
K: Dammit.

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