Glossing Speakers, or bookmaking for amateurs

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Speakers: Performance, Photography and the Loud Page is a book made by the performance company These Horses (Emma Bennett, Lucy Cran, Bill Leslie) in collaboration with photographer Anne Tetzlaff, published in 2007 by Bonfire Books as the first in a series of book projects by artists working in the field of performance and time-based media. My article takes the form of an illustrated glossing of this book, proposing the book as performance, as a site, as a labour of love. The article engages with discussions around the definition of artist's book and bookworks, and with questions of reading and reader-response criticism. While avoiding defining an artist's book, in the same gesture the article situates Speakers in relation to works by Ed Ruscha, Bernhard and Hilla Becher, and John Baldessari. The form of the glossary considers particular uses of words in These Horses' text, and plays with the cross-referencing and recurrence of terms through the book. The book is placed in a discursive and critical context, while remaining open to different disciplines and conventions of engagement.

Keywords: artist's book; book arts; glossary; performance; reading

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Dartington Campus, University College Falmouth.

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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