Pulp as Portal: Socially Engaged Hand Papermaking
May 10 - July 23, 2017
As an extension of the broad survey Social Paper, co-curated by Jessica Cochran and Melissa Potter in 2014, Pulp as Portal adds to the growing discourse around the contemporary art of hand papermaking as socially engaged art. The exhibition reveals the artist’s book—specifically bookworks, publications, zines, and printed matter—as both artwork and outcome: How do hand papermakers today animate the ethos of social engagement, activism, community, and collectivity in the processes they employ to make paper? How are these ideas at play and embodied in the resulting books and printed matter?
As an important emergent genre of the new century, socially engaged art, or, social practice, is broadly characterized by artists’ emphasis on community, democracy, social change, participation, and, in the case of hand papermaking, pedagogy. While bookmaking, printmaking, and hand papermaking have long been deeply intertwined as creative practices that naturally lend themselves to collaboration, we are seeing more recently the idea of “the collective” purposefully and reflexively embraced and incorporated by hand papermakers beyond the studio, both in process and product. This is manifest specifically through community-based workshops, papermakers’ gardens, grassroots libraries, and participatory installations, and it is happening internationally. Through such platforms, artists can creatively assert, through collaborative craft, the deep relevance of conviviality, skill sharing, and the printed word in an increasingly paperless, technology-driven world.
The exhibition includes work by past SAC Paperworks papermakers-in-residence Julia Goodman, Drew Matott, and Robert Possehl, created while in residence at the Art Center’s Warehouse. Other artists include: Kevin Basl, Book Bombs/Michelle Wilson & Mary Tasillo,Laura Anderson Barbata, Stephanie Barrale and Michael Dunican, Drew Cameron, Combat Paper Project, Greg Delanty, Megan Diddie, Angela Davis Fegan, Fresh Press at the University of Illinois, Megan Heeres, Karen Heft & Alan Govenar, Helen Hiebert, Tatana Kellner, Alison Knowles, Nathan Lewis, Love Positive Women, Margaret Mahan, Papermaker’s Pack/Jillian Bruschera & Maxum Bruschera, Alva Mooses, Heidi Neilson & Chris Patrone, Peace Paper Project, The People’s Paper Co-op/ Mark Strandquist & Courtney Bowles, The Poetry Foundation/Nick Dubois, Melissa Potter, Robert Possehl, Dallas Price, Maggie Puckett, John Risseeuw, Seeds InService, Megan Singleton, Peter & Donna Thomas, and others.
Related Programming: The Rhinoceros Project, June 26 & 27
This exhibition has been organized by The Center for Book Arts with special support from the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York City and the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.