I posted here before about my statue that pretty much took me the last 12 months to finish. Those who follow my instagram stream have seen images of first the feet, the legs, my struggle with the hands, and images of how I finished the bird baby during lockdown at home. It’s the biggest of my paper mache projects to date. I envisioned it from the start as some kind of book – as all my paper mache scultpures I made so far. There’s the heads who I think of as scroll cases with the scroll still missing. I have an idea what I want them to say in principle, but they are still lacking their words in any concrete way.

I can see the statue clearly within my body of work that also has the “Flight” sculpture – without words, and the “eggs” – again without words. Yet for this one, words were always important to me.

And now I have found them:

Milk and blood until she bleeds.
Men and women, repeat, repeat.

Drink deeply, until she bleeds,
she will be one or two or three.

Made inside her, thing with feathers,
made with blood until she bleeds.

She heard that hope is in the heart,
love, moon, cycle, until she bleeds.

Rings of life, her body the sea.
a crumb in the gale, until she bleeds.

Hope and pact with angel birds,
she feeds the storm, until she bleeds.

Her body milk, life of another,
the soul is pregnant, until she bleeds.

Milk and blood, thing with feathers,
is what stays until she bleeds.

makes love, imagines endlessly,
pregnant bird, until she bleeds.

I am not 100% sure this is the final text. Not that I am unhappy at this moment with any part of it, but I intent to leave it for a couple of weeks, and then I am going to put it onto the statue itself. I am not quite sure yet, how. I think I would like to simply write them on, or maybe project them onto it.

Would that make it book art?

(click to enlarge)

I think it does, because the words are an integral part of it. Actually I think of the video on the top already as book art.
I know that some might react and think: Well, if the artist calls it a book, then it is one. But then you have to take that seriously, and interprete what you see really as a book. Too often, I think, this sentence is thrown out to reject the discussion about whether it is a book, what is a book. And that discussion, the question: “What can I make that bends the boundaries but still is accepted as a book?” That question is central to my work, and I’d be ever so grateful if you would want to join the discussion.

And with that, I claim:

  1. The video above is a piece of book art.
  2. The statue with the text projected onto it is a (different from the video) piece of book art.

Do you agree? Would you have described it as such without my claim? Does it change your interpretation of the piece?