_El libro en abismo.
relaciones y transferencias entre imagen y dispositivo en el libro de artista

_ subject

Contemporary art

_ speciality

Artist's book

[the book in abyss
relationship and transfers between image and device in the artist's book]

This book reflects on the concept of the book in abyss through a collection of more than one hundred publications and artist's books, which in turn provide different approaches to the book as a support and vehicle for artistic practice.

_ the origin

The study is an adaptation of the PhD thesis of the same title, presented at the University of Vigo in January 2017, by María José Prada Rodríguez and supervised by Dr. Anne Heyvaert and Dr. Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego. María was awarded Cum Laude in her thesis and has international recognition. Her research is an approximation to the visual, structural and conceptual resources that help establish relationships between the image, its frame and its receptor space, around the artist's book. The book was published in 2018 with funding from the dx5 research group and DARDO, the funding agency of the Xunta de Galicia, under the Regional Department of Culture, Education and University Planning’s Grants Program for Consolidating and Structuring Competitive Research Units, Modality: Competitive Reference Groups.

(.) I have previously said that a book is a sequence of pages. (…) books were supposed to be texts, printed texts, but the specific first poets (…) forever destroyed the illusion and evidenced, especially those that had eyes and wanted to see, that the printed language is space.

Ulysses Carrión, “Works-book revisited” in Juan Agius (ed.), op. cit., p.90.

The term "en abismo [in abyss]" refers to a (visual) way of establishing the relationship between the object-book and its representation as an image, and is a condition that is present in one way or another in books that are the subject of this research.
The book is organised in three main parts: the first part intends to characterise the artist's book as a field of research, by examining its phenomenological coordinates, its meaning and use as a device for art, as well as its relationship with the conventional publishing field. The second part deals with the relationship between the image and the object, based on conceptions that have their origin in the baroque reflection around the relationship between illusion and reality. The third and most specific one deals with the artist's books "in abyss". The concepts associated with being "in abyss" are discussed in the artist's book as a strategic relationship between content and support, in terms of its structure, elements and language. Lastly, the books investigated are organised according to the (real or fictitious) nature of the books inserted therein.

"Rethink the book functions in their phisical, optical and psicological aspects. A book has weight, size, thickness, and tactile qualities, qualities which are handled by the hand, as its optical form is handled by the eye... The book can be conceived of in the same sense as the handle of a tool end with perfect control"

Richard Hollis

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