by S. Strang
After creating a mock-up to generate pre-production sales, Böhme and Henry collaborated with designer Ben Chang to produce the accompanying CD-ROM, which includes images from the exhibition, a score by Fred Lonberg-Holm, and excerpts from Böhme's 2002 interview with artist Christian Boltanski, about his own book and catalog work. Additional funding came from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and in-kind donations included paper from Appleton Papers, CDs from Imation Enterprises, acrylic from Mercury plastics, wood (for the custom-built exhibition tables) from Plywood and Door Manufacturers Corp, and music rights from Atavistic.
by S. Strang
graphical: Böhme describes the graphical and typographic changes from page to page as the text "breathing" around the slot that houses the CD-ROM.
openings: Each pamphlet is paginated with the folds, allowing an unusual, very flowing opening experience
sequence: The six curved, folded sections of the text block are unbound and can be read or housed in any order, though the varying textless grey areas in the design of each pamphlet suggest some visual sequencing, while still offering a non-heirarchical reading
structure: The location of the CD, inserted into a slot allowing it to "float" perpendicular to the text block, was conceived to literalize the interrelationship of media in the world of exhibition catalogs
conceptual: As described at the work level, the design of the catalog arose from circularity of artistic production and consumption
scultpural features: The vacu-formed box was designed to support the "floating" disc. The unusual shape of the box suggests both vintage "space-age" home decor and contemporary packaging. Its smooth seamless qualities are seductive and pleasing; it is very satisfying to handle, though quite challenging to shelve!
Böhme writes in her curator's statement for the Consistency of Shadows exhibition: "In the end, this type of documentation [as in the show] might make us remember, or forget, or even ignore the exhibition that was once its origin. For some...the books might serve as a departure point...for others, they might represent only a mechanical gesture and symbolic offering...stripped bare of analysis and any critical force." In light of this, it is notable that the catalog designed for the exhibition offers us not only critical and analytical rigor through its thoughtful, elegantly-presented essays, but a comprehensive and lyrical visual reminder of (or introduction to) to the show's very specific temporal physical presence. Additionally, the meta-nature of this exhibition catalog for an exhibition of exhibition catalogs (that further challenges us to reconsider both terms), is embraced by the well-considered conceptual breadth of the authors and designers, encouraging further intellectual and artistic exploration without irony or conceit.
The Consistency of Shadows: Exhibition Catalogs as Autonomous Works of Art
title note: 
location: Chicago, Illinois
Betty Rymer Gallery
Betty Rymer Gallery
edition type: editioned
publisher: The Betty Rymer Gallery, School of The Art Institute of Chicago
place: Chicago Illinois
production: 2003-00-00 - 2004-00-00 2003-00-00 - 2004-00-00
edition size: 400 (approximate)
note: Only one version of the catalog was produced, but an earlier mockup was made and photographed for pre-production sales [S. Strang]
horizontal: 29.5 centimeter closed
vertical: 16 centimeter closed
depth: 12.5 centimeter closed
binding: boxed (local)
other materials: acrylic
general description: The Consistency of Shadows exhibition catalog is a set of six curved pamphlets each folded twice, with slots through the center that align to allow the perperdicular insertion of a CD-ROM. This unusual compund form is housed in a vacu-formed clear acrylic box that arcs with the curve of the pamphlets and flares out on the sides to accommodate the width of the CD-ROM.
format: foldout (AAT)
cover: exterior box is vacu-form acrylic
item: CD-ROM with images from exhibition, soundtrack, selcetions from videotaped interview with Christian Boltanski.