VERMILLION, S.D. – The University Libraries at the University of South Dakota presents its biennial international altered book exhibition “Bound and Unbound VI,” juried by artist, professor and journalist Melissa Stern, on display now through January 3, 2022 on the second floor of the library and online.
Stern, who resides in New York City, has worked in sculpture, photography and drawing for over 30 years and has exhibited throughout the U.S., as well as Europe and Asia. Her work is featured in numerous prominent corporate and museum collections, including News Corporation, JP Morgan/Chase, Arkansas Art Center, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Racine Art Museum, International Center for Collage, Bucknell University, Library of Congress: Rare Books and Special Collections, Museum of Art and Design, Arario Gallery and the Weisman Art Museum. Stern has taught and lectured throughout the New York area, including the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design and New York University. She was the lead art critic for New York Press and City Arts from 2006-2014 and is currently a contributing writer for Hyperallergic, Romanov Grave and Vasari 21.
Stern selected 43 works from 31 artists for "Bound and Unbound VI: Altered Book Edition." "The question that kept coming to mind as I reviewed the images for this exhibition was – what led each artist to choose the book that they did? Were the choices random, purposeful, emotional or calculated? And then in turn, did the alteration of the book reflect the content, run in parallel to it or contradict it?
"As an artist and curator, I am always interested in the way in which other artists use materials in unusual ways -- ways that subvert our expectations. Using a book or text as a jumping off point for artists is a rich beginning. But only the beginning. A challenge that is on the surface so simple opens the door to myriad of solutions. Using a wide range of materials and artistic approaches the artists in ‘Bound and Unbound VI’ explored the use of materials ranging from glass to fabric, photography to metal. My own interest in materiality and unexpected solutions to aesthetic issues led me to make the choices that I did. During the process I learned a tremendous amount about how this group of artists all approached the same problem," said Stern.
The University Libraries Art and Exhibits committee, sponsor of the exhibition, seeks to both showcase a diverse range of current international altered book art and to present the work locally.
“This year we saw 13 artists from previous ‘Bound and Unbound’ exhibitions returning, as well as 19 new artists fresh to the series,” Sarah A. Hanson-Pareek, committee member and curator of Digital Projects and Photographs at the University Libraries said. “Fifty-five artists answered the call with 102 works. The number of complete books (artists utilizing every page) versus a single book made into a sculptural object was striking this year. We had many more than in years past.
“The Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD) provides viewers with an enhanced exhibition experience. There, one can see every page in the work,” Hanson-Pareek said.
‘’Bound and Unbound VI’ is a rich encounter with creativity, imagination and talent. Each altered book explores ideas and themes that will certainly challenge, puzzle or resonate with the viewer,” said Dean of Libraries Dan Daily.
To read about the artists and their work, please see the “Bound and Unbound VI” LibGuide.
“Bound and Unbound VI” is available for viewing online in the Digital Library of South Dakota at https://tinyurl.com/y8xyyksn. The exhibition is located in the exhibition cases on the second floor of the library and open to the public during library operating hours.