37 Greenpoint Avenue
Found In Translation
An updated version of the Found in Translation Exhibit was held at the Sykes Gallery of Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania from February 21st through March 22nd, 2012. Curator Marshall Weber lectured at the gallery at noon on March 22nd.
Featuring artworks by:
A Multi-media Touring Exhibition
The exhibit was held at the New York Center for Book Arts from September 29, 2006, through December 9th and had record breaking attendance and a provocative panel discussion with Zahra Partovi and MT Karthik on October 27th.
The exhibition also ran from May 12 through July 21st, 2006 at the San Francisco Center for the Book. According to director Steve Woodall the exhibit saw more than 2,000 viewers and was very positively reviewed in AfterImage Magazine's Winter 2006 issue and the Artists Book Yearbook's 2007-2009 edition.
Please visit the San Francisco Center for the Book's fabulous webpages for the exhibition.
Download a PDF exhibition checklist.
Table of Contents
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog and a website documenting the exhibition and exploring the issues of translation in depth. Events, such as multi-lingual performances, panels, and screenings will be programmed by the local venues.
There are copies of many of the books exhibited (or facsimiles and/or trade editions of the books) available for handling by the public. The exhibition has DVD, audio and web-based components to provide a rich experiential and informational environment complementing the artworks.
Along with artists, scientists and spiritual leaders have approached issues and practices of translation from a multi-faceted spectrum of diverse motivations. This exhibit will bring various practices together in an interdisciplinary environment. Global communications has in part diminished the barriers of differing languages; and if this globalism endangers the existence of many languages, perhaps it also presents chances to preserve and rediscover others. In our bodies we find the forms of our alphabets, and vice versa. The genome is the language of the Golem bringing the formula of life to our reading eyes. As we translate that sequence, we also attempt to find language to translate our sexual identities into our physical realities, as Clarissa Sligh documents in her Wrongly Bodied Two book.
Via the act of translation: we can reconsider our very relationship with our own existence as considered by the texts rediscovered by the Asian Classics Input Project, we can assist non-reading societies to preserve and pass down their knowledge of indigenous medicinal plants, as Nat Bletter does in his field work, and we can question the politics of language itself like Enrique Chagoya, Guillermo Gómez-Peña in their Codex Espangliensis. There is always more to find than there is to lose.
The Book as a Vehicle of Translation
Using the above observations as a context this exhibition presents the work of organizations and artists who use the various forms of the book to explore the global terrain of translation.
Goals Within and Beyond the Book Arts Field
Found In Translation will be a significant exhibit for the book arts field, integrating theoretical, practical, literary and aesthetic concerns in an interdisciplinary environment. But even more importantly, it will be a valuable experience for the general viewing public providing both a hands on experience with notable works of art and an introduction to various inspiring translation projects and practices that use the book as an innovative focusing tool for human development and historical investigation.
Participating Artists and Collaborative Groups (with URL links when available)
The ACIP component of the exhibit will feature books, documents, photographs, video and web based documentation of their worldwide translation project and the Buddhist practice of using a daily journal (the ‘six times book’) to examine one’s ethical behavior. ACIP works to preserve the disappearing books containing the great ideas of the Asian world and to make these books and ideas accessible to the world at large. ACIP searches the globe for the remaining collections of books, records their location and contents in catalog form, copies the books, and inputs the text into computers at data entry centers that we have established around the world. People from the countries where these great books originate staff most of these data centers; many are refugees, or living in countries where economic or political problems endanger their great books, and even the right to read and study them.
A collaborative artists' book made up of performance texts and poems by Guillermo Gómez-Peña interwoven with collage imagery by Enrique Chagoya and made into book form by Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press. It chronicles and confronts the realities and surrealities of border culture on the eve of the millennium. Collage images juxtapose examples of graphic art from pre-Hispanic times to present-day Mexico with traditions of Western art and contemporary American pop culture. The series of performance texts and poems are selected from the writer's works over his twenty-year career
AKA The D.o.P.E. 2001 Archive, this four volume work with appendices and a library of related texts, video and audio components, is an archive of documentation concerning the violent polarizing events of September 11, 2001, in the United States of America [and in particular in New York, NY]. Collected in the 85 days after the attacks, the work is constructed from thousands of printed documents and various media from dozens of international sources. Language was one of the many casualties of the post-9/11 aftermath. The Bush administration withheld information under the rubric of National Security, leaving the world to wonder what exactly happened on that fateful morning. American corporate media then filled the gap by transforming the reality of the events into a series of self- and administration-serving mythologies. Thus a real event was translated into a media event. In a monumental endeavor, undertaken at the time and in New York, Karthik and Ferrara attempted to capture the tension between these expressions and to translate the media event back into a real world event. As a multi-lingual writer, performance artist, journalist, critic and recent former news director of Pacifica Radio Station KPFK in Los Angeles, Karthik was especially qualified to undertake this massive project.
A hand printed book in five parts: images of Ho Chi Minh and his life and times, a fictional diary of Ho Chi Min's written by Mr. Charles Fenn. (Mr. Fenn both knew and worked with Ho during WW II and wrote a biography of Ho in 1973,) stories about Ho's life and times, and poetry and writing by Ho Chi Minh himself. This magnificent book rediscovers a particular mythos of a man whose history has been obscured by partisan politics. Along with the original book, trade editions of the book in English and French, and Vietnamese, will be exhibited.
In this book, (published under Bart’s Mnemonic Press imprint) Bart presents a collection of texts drawn from many sources, both common and obscure; the poetry of Rimbaud, an autograph manuscript by Emily Dickinson, an excerpt from the Opiate Receptor gene of the human genome. These are but a few of the fragments illuminated by gilded icons. A bowl. A chalice. A hand mirror. An amphora… a collection of quotidian objects throughout the ages. In this esoteric survey of ‘found’ texts Bart illuminates numerous alphabetical, numeric and symbolic languages providing a myriad of interpretative experiences.
This set of artists’ books provides instruction and practice space for the basic principles of New English Calligraphy, a writing system invented and designed by the artist which is a fusion of written English and written Chinese. The letters of a English words are slightly altered and arranged in a square word format so that the word takes on the ostensible form of a Chinese character, yet remains legible to the English reader. As people attempt to recognize and write these words, some of the thinking patterns that have been ingrained in them since they learned to read are challenged. It is the artists' belief that people must have their routine thinking attacked in this way. Workshops by the artist prompt this attack (with the assistance of instructional videos and copybooks). While undergoing this process of estrangement and re-familiarization with one's written language, the audience is reminded that the sensation of distance between other systems of language and one’s own is largely self-induced.
X. Jack and Betty Forever and In Praise of Typhoons
Schäpers uses multi-lingual formats, and multi-cultural aesthetics to publish the writing of contemporary writers who write about the use (and abuse) of language and linguistic traditions. Her gorgeous hand printed and bound artists’ books always involve an intensively tactile and intimate uncovering ritual.
A collaboration of Clemens-Tobias Lange, the great Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatow, and the photographer Jutta Schwöbel; this is the first written edition of the Russian (original) text, as well as the first written translations into Kyrgyz (using the Uigur alphabet) and German language. The book is dedicated to the origin of man’s close relationship with the horse that began in the steppes of Central Asia and features Schwöbel's photographic study of the comparison of the physiognomy of horses with the landscapes of Kyrgyzstan. The ‘Rider’ is a man traveling around on horseback, telling news and passing on traditional customs and myths to the nomad inhabitants of the steppes.
XII. The Translation work of Zahra Partovi
Deception, verse by Rumi, Jalaluddin Mohammad, translated by Zahra Partovi, illustrations by Elizabeth Harington, calligraphy by Jerry Kelly, published by Vincent FitzGerald & Company, New York, in 1998 in an edition of 50 copies. An evocative text by Rumi with the original Persian verse (and an English translation) by the thirteenth-century Sufi philosopher and poet. Zahra Partovi, the translator, explains her work. "…This masterful poet combines philosophy, mysticism, and psychology in a language so piercing as to enter the realm of music. It is this element more than any other which has made Rumi's poetry so irresistible to readers for over seven hundred years, even through the filter of translation." Both Rumi and Partovi write extensively about language and various concerns of translation.
The Wrongly Bodied Two book was recently completed at Women’s Studio Workshop in the fall of 2004. The book and related project recounts the stories of Jake, a contemporary white male as he transitions from female to male and Ellen Craft, a 19th century black woman who escapes slavery by passing as a white man. Through these narratives and Sligh’s response to them, American society's psychological reaction to the so-called transgressive act of changing one's identity and crossing boundaries of gender, race and class in a "free and open" society is explored. Sligh examines the often volatile, colloquial, legal and emotional language permeating the conflict between the personal and social vocabularies created by these issues and identities. She translates intimate internal experiences into evocative words and images.
Introduction by the curator Marshall Weber
Notes from the Exhibition Directors: Steve Woodall, The San Francisco Center for the Book, Alexander Campos, The New York Center For Book Arts, and Jeff Rathermel, Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
PART I: Process
PART II: Exhibition
The book will be approximately 9’ x 11”, 120 pages, with and 40 black and white illustrations.
Artists and Writers in the Exhibition
This page is maintained by Marshall Weber.
Booklyn.org: All contents property of Booklyn Artists Alliance. Art is property of the creator. Rights reserved.
For editorial concerns, contact Booklyn staff.