This morning I sent off my entry for the MCBA Prize. Below are some images from the book, followed by a formal description:

The work presented here, (De)Collage, is the latest in a series of sustained, rigorous engagements with the idea and form of the altered book. The original book was Collage: The Making of Modern Art, by Brandon Taylor (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004), a beautifully illustrated and in-depth survey of the role that collage (as well as the related principles of assemblage and appropriation) has played in the development of modern and postmodern art. The alteration enacted on the book is one of massive excision—all text and images were systematically removed through delamination, a technique of cutting through just the surface layers of a sheet of paper and peeling them away. Only the ascenders and descenders of the text and a thin band of the outside edges of the images remain. A new text has been added, through the delamination of stencilled letters, at the bottom of each page, running into the gutters and around the fore-edge. This new text is built on the same principle as the rest of the book; it was “written” by removing words from the original text.

is, mainly, a meditation on discursive form and the strange, unstable image-text-object nature of the book. It takes as its starting point the “moment of collage,” that moment when, through the simple, rebellious act of gluing a piece of paper into a painting, art began to split into the two dominant discourses of the 20th century: hermetic, formalist modernism (that piece of paper makes the picture plane apparent, the formal nature of the medium is emphasized) and open, multiple, post modernism (that piece of paper, found and stuck to the surface of the picture, brings the rest of the world into the conversation). The act of excision in (De)Collage is an act that bends both of those discourses back into each other. The ideal, two-dimensional picture plane is exposed as a three-dimensional object. The radically inclusive, surgically specific bricolage of the art historical images and text is reduced to a series of abstract signs and traces. A simple act of deconstruction brings both discourses back into play.

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