Emma Bolland is an artist, writer, and educator based in the North of England, UK. Her visual and written practice is preoccupied by ambiguous memoir, impossible translations, the problem of 'book', and the expanded screenplay. Her material processes are eclectic, including text, performance for camera, drawing, moving image, and sound.
Projects and activities in 2015 include the publication of a free-associative translation of Freud’s Überdekkerinnerungen (with accompanying sound work / audio performance) on 3am Magazine; a commissioned text for COBRA RES 1.9; and a solo exhibition of film, installation and text work at Bank Street Arts as part of the ‘Opening up the Book’ International Artists’ Book Prize season.
'Preface: What is a book?' (video still). Emma Bolland 2015.
This year has also seen the publication of her single author pamphlet Lectolalia (a romance), by Gordian Projects, the performance of an experimental spoken text and film piece Lectophobia/Lectolalia at Baltic in Gateshead, as part of their book market events programme; and wrote the commissioned text for Micromegas Vagabond Flux, a boxed exhibition and publication curated by Tracy MacKenna and Edwin Janssen, published in partnership with Artconnexion (Lille) and supported by The University of Lille, The University of Dundee and Fondation de France.
Conceptualising the Haptic: the Artists' Book in the Expanded Field
The notion of the expanded field is not new. The term 'art in the expanded field' might be used to describe a definition of art that is post-medium - not confined to or categorised by discrete disciplines and thus moving beyond the nineteenth century restrictions of art as painting or sculpture. Latterly, it articulates an idea of a further expansion of art practice as that which encompasses aspects of writing and experimental literature. Further to this, single mediums such as painting and film are subject to ideas of an expanded field, and indeed the artists' book itself might be said to form part of the expanded field of book.
Starting by examining the existing intersections between the artists' book and art-writing I will ask if the artists’ book, an artform in its most orthodox sense seemingly inseparable from the idea of the handmade, single or editioned physical, haptic object, can be thus conceptualised; subject to an expansive material, textual and conceptual testing? Using examples of my own and others' practice I will consider the possibilities of positioning the artists' book as textual narrative, lecture, performance, and film.