Don’t get me wrong. The books were the stars of CODEX 2013, as they always are. Meeting and reconnecting with artists, getting a sneak preview of a book in-progress, or listening intently as an artist walked his or her listeners through a book that took years to complete—all of this captures the essence of CODEX. But this CODEX offered an added allure that was all about the space, and I returned home haunted by one of the snapshots I took that first morning. Since I enjoyed the path it opened up for me, I thought you might, too, after I’ve carried us through my other musings.
Here’s the photo, on the right:
|Ines von Ketelhodt and Peter Malutzki|
|Dan Mayer Studios & Pyracantha Press|
|Julie Chen, Flying Fish Press, Praxis (Illustrated), in-process|
|Gaylord Schanilec, leaning over the end grain Maple blocks|
on which he engraved the fold-out map
of Lake Pepin for Lac des Pleurs
His earlier books, such as Sylvae and Mayflies of the Driftless Region, capture the intersection of related stories to the subject, that refract out from its beginning, and slowly entrance a reader into following those threads that weave into a larger whole, a world-within-a-world. This will be another world, and I can’t wait to live in it. In particular, visitors were fascinated by Lac des Pleurs’ custom-marbled papers, created by Jemma Lewis and based on one of her patterns, but adjusted and painted in a color palatte derived from Gaylord’s photograph of wet stones along the shore of the lake. The pattern truly resembles stones under water, and yet, it doesn’t. I swear I saw the water move.
|Lac des Pleurs's custom-marbled papers (on left) by |
Jemma Lewis, with Schanilec's photo on the right
My third in-process find was Robin Price’s Love in the Time of War by Yusef Komunyakaa (below). I was struck by the book’s dark, crisp, semi-translucent sheets of hand-dyed and -painted silk, whose shifting earth tones suggested Camouflage (I later read that this visual reference was Robin’s intention for the book’s etched aluminum covers), or perhaps, as I followed that thought, the sheets suggested the earth re-absorbing war’s detritus, evidence of lost life.
|Robin Price's in-process Love in the Time of War|
by Yusef Komunyakaa
|Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above a Sea of Fog, ca. 1818|
I laughed aloud at the reference—perfect! Craneway Pavilion is nothing if not a romantic space, soaring in height, engulfed in light, the Eucalyptus tree filling the Eastern wall, and just inside the stage, the spotlights, and more light. That scale which holds in it a disjunction in the intimacy of each book’s exchange—we could call it a sublime experience. Sublime, because Friedrich takes us there.