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Production Narrative

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.

Critical Analysis

by S. Strang

Design Features

typographic:

imagery:

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

turnings:

development:

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

textual:

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

intratextual:

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!

temporal features:

other features:

Critical Discussion

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: []

Agents

AnneDorothee Böhme

type: initiating

role:
author
designer

nationality:
citizenship: German

location: Chicago, Illinois

dates:
birth: 1957-00-00

note: []


Kevin Henry

type: initiating

role:
designer

nationality:
citizenship: U.S.

dates:
birth: 1959-00-00


Betty Rymer Gallery

type: initiating

role:
gallery

note: []


AnneDorothee Böhme

type: initiating

role:
author
designer

note: []


Kevin Henry

type: initiating

role:
designer

note: []


Ben Chang

type: initiating

role:
designer

note: []


Betty Rymer Gallery

type: initiating

role:
gallery

note: []


Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: The Betty Rymer Gallery, School of The Art Institute of Chicago

place: Chicago Illinois

dates:
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]

Measurements

horizontal: 29.5 centimeter closed

vertical: 16 centimeter closed

depth: 12.5 centimeter closed

Production Information

production means:
offset (local)

binding: boxed (local)

substrate:
bookBlock: paper
other: other

media:
ink (local)
CD (AAT)

other materials: acrylic

Appearance

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

color: no

devices:

enclosures:
item: CD-ROM with images from exhibition, soundtrack, selcetions from videotaped interview with Christian Boltanski.

Content

pagination: paginated

numbered?: unnumbered

signed?: unsigned

Colophon