Just yesterday in the Archives Reading Room a student was looking over an artist book from our collection that caught my eye. It is accurate to say that any book that comes in its very own egg casing typically does catch my eye.
The publisher’s website describes Evolve/Unroll: “a snake that unrolls out of a felt egg, considers a recent evolutionary theory…Snake Detection Theory…which proposes that humans and certain other primates developed our excellent vision and intelligence due largely to co-evolution with snakes.”
20 Short Poems by Zoologists, published in 2005, is a collection of found poems discovered in the texts and field guides of zoologists’ and contains four letterpress illustrations of primates’ hands and feet.
Of 20 Short Poems by Zoologists, Deeply Game Publications writes “these excerpts of unintentionally poetic language are delicious both linguistically and in the unbelievable-yet true bizarreness of the creatures described. The volume celebrates the poesy and affection inherent in the supposedly objective scientific eye.”
Reared from a Cub: A Selection of Incidents Involving Captive Wildcats is precisely what it sounds like. This work includes hundreds of excerpts from news articles describing attacks by wildcats on their captors, be it zookeepers or pet owners.
From the publisher’s website: “This is an examination of humans’ persistence in trying to make decorations and pets out of big cats — creatures that persist in being wild.”
“This volume has a clear Plexiglas cover, reminiscent of display habitats in zoos. The text is printed on semitransparent vellum paper, and appears layered, cage-like, over images of the animals. The silk-screened ink drawings feature wild cats in ambiguous settings. Their illustrative presentation refers to their comfortable place in our decorative visual culture, while currents of scarlet color running through the ink suggest otherwise.”
The Sensitive and Vegetable Souls: A Bestiary, published in 2001, is the earliest Sara Press work we have in the Archives & Special Collections. This is an edition of 30 with each volume containing unique ephemera and hand annotations.
“This Bestiary is a genealogical palimpsest from a parallel universe, with the construction of an antique tintype album. Twenty C-print photographs depicting “beasts”, set in die-cut windows, are bound into a corkskin cover, with a sterling silver closure sculpted especially for the project.” “Biographies of the beasts and their intergenerational history are annotated by fountain pen, typewriter, and silkscreen, and elaborated with inserted ephemera.”
Come check out Sara Press and other artists’ books in the Archives & Special Collections.
All quotes in this post are lifted from Sara Press’s Deeply Game Publications website.