It's about a woman who never wants to have kids. She falls in love with a great guy who also never wants to have kids. They get married, and after very close friends do have a child, he changes his mind. She feels totally betrayed, and they split up. The rest of the book is about how they deal. There are also side plots about infertility, affairs, and love and marriage in general. It's not really 'chick-lit', but it does have a happy ending.
I started thinking about this project almost 2 years ago, when I was working at the University of Michigan graduate library, learning to catalog. Cataloging is fundamental to libraries and being able to find information, especially when you don't know exactly what you're looking for. It has it's own weird language and rules, which are fascinating. I got really into the inner-workings of cataloging, and I came up with this proposal. I wanted to take weeded books (ones to be discarded because they were outdated, duplicates, or damaged), create sculptures inside them that reflected the content of the book, re-catalog them accordingly, and then shelve them back into the library collection, for patrons to either stumble across while browsing, or to search in the catalog.
My themes are the concept of the 'Artist's Book' and the accessibility of such, combined with issues of library collection holdings, weeding and cataloging, and recycling. I'm also interested in the following relationships/dichotomies:
Library collection = Gallery
Librarian = Curator
Cataloger = Artist
I've now been given permission by the Arlington Public Library to go ahead with the project. So here is the work I have done so far. Since this is my first subject (I'm planning to take a book-arts workshop in April but am currently just exploring on my own), I'm sticking to basic techniques - gluing the sides of the book together, cutting into the text, gluing the sides of the cut sections together, and adding paint and objects. Assemblage style. I'm trying to be subtle, so as not to hitting the viewer or potential reader over the head with the themes of the book. I also need to be visually appealing, so that the viewer might become more interested in reading the book, as well as hopefully enjoying the transformation for its aesthetics and form.
I worked a lot on this all last week, and I was really enjoying the process. But I have to stop and get true critical feedback now, because this is where I can start to make conceptual and aesthetic wrong-turns.
So please, critique away.