Graphite, Hand-painting, Ink, Natural Pigments
19 × 18 in
School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts
A rumination on the beginnings of human language, letterforms, and cartography, Mesopotamia is a model of a book that might have been made by prehistoric humans. The book is grounded in Organik’s ongoing imagistic research into animal and human co-evolution, and the human adaptation of natural forms for cultural use: e.g., Are those just antler horns, or are they also a map of the cave? The base paintings evoke the prehistoric caves in which many humans explored their co-evolution with other species in shared environments. The smell of the materials in Mesopotamia, including cinnamon and turmeric, is designed to evoke an olfactory text that transports the reader to a mindset of more basic perceptions and emotions appropriate for a ‘prehistoric’ book.
“…Mesopotamia is a weighty tome more than two feet square, with thick leathery pages encrusted with yellow, orange and brown paint. Its covers are bound in the bark from a chokecherry tree that one of the authors cut down in New York state. The few handwritten lines running along the bottom of its 12 pages tell a formless story about the origins of human mark-making, describing images that shift into text and hazy references to prehistoric cave painting, like a herd of antelopes “writing” their way across the horizon and yellow handprints. It’s a good example of how artists’ experiments can render books impractical but beautiful.”
– Candace Weber (no relation to the artists), Time Out Chicago, July 13, 2011
Organik is a collaborative group that creates books, paintings, and installations in a unique, intimate, spontaneous, and passionate mode of choreographed art making.
Media: Cinnamon and turmeric impasto pigment covered pages, graphite dust painting, xylene ink transfer, ink, other media. Cover made of tree bark.
Hand sewn binding. 12 pages. 19″ x 18.” Unique book.