Archives for category: September 2011

Featured in this issue are works by the following artists:

James Adair

Sean Burn

Caroline Devine

Meinir Wyn Jones

Bob Milner

Susan Mortimer

To view MAT Zine as a PDF please click on the link below:

MAT Zine September 2011 2

A week or so back I was invited to submit a piece for an arts group crit discussion organized by Megan Pickering.  Below is an outline of my submission.

I have frequently wondered recently about the idea of shared cultural understandings represented/residing through/in books and the idea of the destruction of books as seen as an attack on shared intellectual freedoms.

Veneration/the value placed on books can be understood as part of a means of cultural establishment.

 So began looking at the idea of cultural identities being exploited and used as means of propaganda and social control.

 For this piece I use a 1900’s composite doll body to create a paper cast with pages from two books, ‘The Greek Commonwealth in the 5th Century’ and ‘Strangelands’ Tracey Emins autobiography.

 I have been working with these books for a few months.

‘The Greek Commonwealth’ as it is a study of a template of society which our own is based.

Tracey Emins autobiography is a book I have been thinking of in terms of representing current gender issues.

Close to completing work on my piece for the Al-Mutanabbi street book project. It has given me many headaches for the past year.

It has been really good to have the project and work through many questions and ideas.

‘Baghdad’s literary neighborhood has a long history of dissent and a well-practiced tolerance of other ideas. Under Saddam, Al Mutanabbi Street was a center for small anti-regime cells who published illegal copies of their tracts, under fake names. Because the place was known for intellectual resistance to the regime and as a center for liberal ideas, the government hated it. In the manic days after the fall of Baghdad, a flood of Western journalists came to Al Mutanabbi Street to meet dissident Iraqi writers, and in the cafes and shops there was always the excited roar of conversation.’

After doing some more recent research I have begun to think of books as objects of as cultural artefacts and as a form of organizational culture:

‘A system of knowledge, of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating and acting . . . that serve to relate human communities to their environmental settings’   (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984).

 ‘The deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are: learned responses to the group’s problems of survival in its external environment and its problems of internal integration; are shared by members of an organization; that operate unconsciously; and that define in a basic “taken -for-granted” fashion in an organization’s view of itself and its environment’ (Schein 1988).

Also researching the idea of the changing form of books in our own society or their replacement by interactive devices such as the ipad or Kindle.

 Books=ideas(not containers)

‘The human mind, no matter how cultivated its memory  or refined it’s recording systems can never fully and faithfully recapture the past, but nether can it escape from it. Memory and imagination supply and consume each other’s wears.’  Jerome Burner