Altered book, collage, ink, graphite, thread, zipper, 8 x 28 x 2 inches. $8000
Zipper Theory: Facing Shame Tomorrow
In a digital age, â€ścuttingâ€ť and â€śpastingâ€ť text and images through computer software allows the author or artist to easily devise a fluid sequence. Zipper Theory: Facing Shame Tomorrow implicitly references this flexible exchange to alter concepts and points of view. The system of zippers produces a limitless set of variations, with pages able to be added, deleted, or interchanged at will. The title of the work is itself â€ścut and pastedâ€ť from two among the several texts used to construct the piece: Facing Shame by Merle A. Fossum & Marilyn J. Mason and In the Name of Tomorrow by Nina Karsov & Szymon Szechter.
Without severing the spine, one-inch strips are cut towards it, parallel rows criss-cross, creating both high and low positions of the text. Securing the bottom of the book on a table, by lifting up the top edge, the pages collapse into a field of alternating sections. A non-linear read interweaves the beginning and the end of the book, allowing the viewer to scrutinize different meanings without turning pages, resulting in innumerable interpretations.
When the book lies on its back cover, the lines of text lose their braided appearance and become separate sections attached to a spine. It seems as if the book has been dissected, its pages splayed out, with extended arms pushed left then right. In this vulnerable position the pages can be turned to form incongruous phrases or meanings, skipping from one cluster to another. The fragile rows of text, alternating between gullies and peaks, appear to be a field for planting crops. However, instead of seeds lining the beds of earth, words and their meanings are substituted.
Doug Beube is a mixed-media artist who works in collage, installation, sculpture and photography. He is an independent curator as well as the curator of a private collection for Allan Chasanoff in New York City entitled, The Book Under Pressure, which utilizes the book for purposes other than their utilitarian form. Doug teaches classes in mixed-media, artistâ€™s books and photography and is invited to lecture at universities and art programs during the year. He teaches in the photography department at Parsons The New School and is a graduate advisor at the School for the Visual Arts in New York City. Doug exhibits both nationally and internationally and his bookworks and photographs are in numerous private and public collections.