Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Bombing

Artists Mary Tasillo and Michelle Wilson invite Philadelphia residents and visitors to keep their eyes peeled for the launch of BOOK BOMBS. BOOK BOMBS, a collaboration between Tasillo and Wilson, is an Independent Project of PHILAGRAFIKA 2010 Print Quadrennial. “Bombings” of prints and artist books will activate public spaces in Philadelphia, examining city parks and benches as social space, shelter, and art gallery. The first bombing will took place in Christ Church Park, Love Park, and Logan Circle on January 8, coinciding with First Friday gallery openings. Location information and project documentation can also be seen on the project blog,

BOOK BOMBS re-contextualizes public spaces, particularly park benches, which residents and visitors use for their leisure and where the homeless population becomes a perceived nuisance. The project creates a narrative space where the cityscape becomes a string of havens for the propertyless. As a metaphor for this contrast between the maintained and the neglected, the artists have made their own paper for the prints out of materials that embody the content of their imagery. The paper for the first print is made of old clothing, an item that can exemplify everything from luxury to survival depending on an individual’s circumstances. Prints distributed in the coming months will be on paper made from invasive plants harvested from abandoned spaces in Philadelphia.

The culmination of BOOK BOMBS will occur in March, when the artists release their zine. Like the prints, the zines will be bombed in various parks throughout Philadelphia. In addition, zines will be released at a reception at Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art, located in the Crane Building at 1400 North American Street, on Friday, March 25.

BOOK BOMBS is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through its regional partnership, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA). State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered in this region by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Additional support of the PPA Partnership in Southeastern Pennsylvania is provided by PECO.

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