Read responses to point and place.  Also click here to see exhibitions in which the book has been shown.

 

A great example of the [artist book] medium's potential is 'Point and Place', a collaborative bookwork by 6 artists and performers ... addressing questions of space, poignantly bearing in mind what collaboration can mean - the resulting book is double-bound, holding the potential for many changing perspectives and interpretations.

Lupe Nuñez-Fernandez, Saatchi Online

Another book that interests me is the point and place collaborative artists' book, a double binding that interleaves and allows the reader control of its appearance. It also folds out to a triptych that is endlessly (almost) variable.

Stephen Bury (Head of European and American Collections at The British Library), Breaking the Rules

point and place - a response by Mary Paterson

To open is to step inside. As soon as you have turned the first page of this book, you become implicated in its contents. The leaves open outwards – left to right, right to left – in a series of triptychs of image and text that overlay, interrupt and interact with each other. To open point and place is to assert yourself into its pages, to view and re-view, to find coincidences and foster connections.

Like its leaves, the images in point and place also reach outwards. Unattributed and structurally free – the book is bound so that they can fold and unfold over each other without a prescribed order – the images float between contexts and hint at worlds they can’t contain.

A ship viewed through a telescope.
A man’s knuckles that read AMEN.
A couple’s shadow photographed in the snow.

These pictures represent bodies of work carried out by the six contributing artists, and which encompass photography, sculpture, performance and site-specific projects. As a result they resonate with agency. Maps, plans, doodles, notes that have been censored, albums that have been photographed – these are the pickings of rich intellectual endeavour. These are the memories of intentional events.

But, while they signal authorship, the images here remain resolutely anonymous. One picture reads, in a piece of ‘graffiti’ added to the photo, ‘the three dimensional keeps leaving two dimensional marks of itself.’ Without the comfort of names, histories or a narrative structure, point and place seems to speak in the passive voice. The outside world impinges on it without introduction or explanation, like a set of instructions written in code.

In fact, there is no passive voice, but the space for an active one. The final collaborator in this interdisciplinary project is you, the reader, who must involve yourself in the book’s outcome from the start. Because of its unusual structure, each page you turn in point and place is also a choice you make. When you reveal an image, you conceal another. When you re-view this book, you also review its connections; solidify your favourites, cast out the ones that disappoint. When you read this book, you create your own journey.

The clue was right there on the opening page, in a list of contents that promises ‘Opportunities to travel’. Except that on closer inspection, these contents are located in time and space (or point and place) elsewhere. This list is another floating signifier amongst the possible significations that the reader must impose. When you come back to it, of course, it might not even be the opening page any more.

Mary Paterson is a freelance writer and co-director of Open Dialogues

 

Exhibitions

Point and Place has been included in the following exhibitions:

  • The 2007 London Artists Book Fair at the ICA, where it was awarded the Birgit Skiold Award for excellence in Book Arts.
  • The 2008 Glasgow International Artists' Bookfair. 
  • Included in the collection for sale as part of 'Blood on Paper - The Art of the Book ' at the V&A Museum, London (April-June 2008). 
  • 'Place, Identity & Memory', curated by Iris. Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries (May-June 2009); touring venues across Dumfries and Galloway (September-October 2009).
  • Selected for 'Prospero's Library ', Studio 75, London (April-May 2011).