Untitled (flapflapflap)

 

2001
book work:
Publisher: Ace Art Inc, Winnipeg, part of Crows project, 2001
ISBN: 0-9696265-7-6 (full box set from Ace Art); no ISBN for individual books in this edition of 40
trim size: 7 x 7.75 in
pages: 76 plus cover
production details: hand-trimmed, laser print on acid-free bond (interior) and gloss cover stock (cover); bound with white cotton-wrapped elastic cord
collection Concordia University Library

Untitled (flapflapflap) is a flip-book comprised of a series of photographs shot with an early, lo-res, digital camera of my hands gesturing animatedly as they would when I was talking to my then-young children. At the time, they spoke French with their father and English with me. In our aural landscape of accented official languages, baby gurgles, and toddler-franglais I delighted more than ever in the way touch and gesture assured we understood each other; visual, tactile language that clarifies meaning. When the images are “played” as a flip-book, the hands appear to take off in flight.
On the cover a feathery block of text contains bird sounds from National Geographic Society Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 1987, mixed up with bird sounds in other languages, and infant sounds/words. This mix is framed by a short English text and its translation into French (“Stop searching through your big French-English dictionary, hold it over your head and flap its pages into your upturned face. When at last you set it down, feel how your hands lift right up./ Cessez de fouiller dans le gros dictionnaire anglais-français, maintenez-le au dessus de la tête et faites-en battre les pages devant votre visage relevé. Quand finalement vous le déposez sentez-vous comme les mains doucement se soulèvent”). Sources are listed on the back cover.
The book was originally published as part of a boxed set of book projects (edition of 20), in conjunction with the Crows project, Ace Art, Winnipeg. Crows was curated by Angela Somerset and Marian Butler and included individual book-related objects by eight artists and writers.