Saturday, April 5, 2008

playing with matches - The Road

I'm halfway through reading The Road. It's a very good, but takes a heavy emotional toll, especially (I think) if you've got a young child. Or if you are easily affected by reading horrific post-nuclear holocaust narratives. But it's also beautifully written - possibly the best book I've read in a while.

Fire has a big presence in the story, so I'm playing with burnt matches for the inside. If I can figure out how, I may make this one open from both the front and the back. The first photo is of burnt matches with their heads still on - this is the perspective from which I expect the viewer will look at them. The second photo is of burnt matches from which the heads broke off. I haven't yet got enough of those to do a top down photo. The bottoms are not burned, because that's where I held onto them with pliers. I'm considering breaking off the bottoms of the first set, and installing the matches so that if I cut through the front and the back of the bulk of the pages, on one side you'd see the heads, and on the other side you'd see something like the second photo pointing towards you. This is partly because there's some text I want to keep, which is in the middle and faces the back of the book, and also because the book is not very thick, so I can probably only use about half the length of the matches anyway. I'm also thinking about how to carefully burn the edges of the hole in the pages, without torching the entire book.

My previous two books are on display at the Library right now, as part of the Recycled Art show this month. And I actually sold one of them - Baby Proof - which is great. It being my first experiment - and not so much what I'm aiming for with this project - I'm happy to hand it on to someone else who thinks it's exactly what he's looking for (for his wife's birthday present).


Jane said...

from this perspective - looking at a photograph, not the object that I can turn in my hands - the second picture of the burnt matches is more powerful,and the unburnt ends evocative of what's to come, what once was.

Alia Shields said...

I thought you might find this book artist (or word artist really)interesting.

Alex Z said...

Nifty stuff - any idea where I could actually see/read his work?

Alex Z said...

jgr - good points. I have to think more about how to put this together. The frame of the book automatically limits me, so it's hard to 'think outside the box'. Maybe I'll come back to the burnt matches later, in more of an installation way? Luckily, I now have 3 withdrawn copies of the book, so I can really play around.

Parsons said...

I like the matches from the ends, more mysterious. and with the heads on it somewhat anthropomorphizes them in human heads, or bones.
congrats on the sale!