exhibition archive
return to list of exhibitions

Witness to Natural Selection

Miriam  Schaer

2000
girdle, found objects, pins, collage, silk, digital print and hand-cut lettering, text by Emily Dickinson
number 1
edition of 1
text by Emily Dickinson

As I became involved with books, I began to study their history and forms. I discovered an ancient structure called the girdle book: prayer books worn by medieval monks, lashed to their belts, their girdles, so their prayers would always be at hand. I had a different vision. // My girdle books would contain new objects of devotion, new prayers, comtemplations. // Girdles are binders, like notebooks, places to hld and keep stories, house ideas in structures that are used to push and mold the female figure into idealized and often unreal shapes. // Gloves and glove driers have formed another body of work that explores the had as a most basic sign of human communication- a greeting, a warning, surrendr and embrace are all communicated through hand gestures. // I use the language of clothing. Frozen and stiff, the garment becomes immobile, as if the wearer evaporated, leaving only a shell. They become places, enclosures. Upon opening, the ghost of the missing person still remains in the echo of the garment's frozen shape. // What remains are fragmetns, small found objects and books nestled within. They are the distilled essence of the story, the one left behind by the "person" once living there. // New homes for stories I collect.

©2013 Center for Book Arts, Incorporated 1974

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor. New York, NY 10001
212-481-0295