A Book of Absolute Whiteness

Ulises Carrión, “The New Art of Making Books,” Kontexts no. 6-7, 1975

The most beautiful and perfect book in the world is a book with only blank pages, in the same way that the most complete language is that which lies beyond all that the words of a man can say. Every book of the new art is searching after that book of absolute whiteness, in the same way that every poem searches for silence.

A Garden Shed

Elizabeth Day, “Sadie Jones: ‘You Imagine a Cathedral and on the Page it’s a Garden Shed’,” The Observer 1 April 2012

“I’m never happy with what I’ve written,” she says. “You imagine, before you start, there’s a cathedral, and the moment it starts on the page, it’s a garden shed. And then you just try to make it the best shed you can.”

Hollowed Out Letters

Doug Beube, Reunification: The Grand Design, 1996 (altered book, 9 x 11 x 4 in.)

Using the original title, ‘The Grand Design,’ by Franz Josef Strauss, portions of the book’s printed matter are excised by drilling out all the words one at a time, a process that displaces the text’s narrative content of unifying both Germany and Europe. Overlapping pages of hollowed out letters with frayed edges remain as ghostly shadows of the text’s former shape. Since the obliterated words can no longer be read, the book becomes a memory of a memory. What we see in place of the original text is a mysterious, fragmented calligraphy of broken words. Each page is a palindrome and palimpsest, a white veil through which the underlying page is glimpsed. When a page is turned the veil remains. A visual — rather than a linear — read is necessary to understand the meta-language created by this altered syntax of disparate letters and empty spaces.

Just as the black ink has been erased and ripped away from the white paper of pages of the book, leaving a veil of frayed edges, when a nation is ethnically cleansed in order to create one homogeneous society, devoid of specific racial groups, the fabric of a nation is forever torn and lost, but never forgotten (via).