Al-Mutanabbi
Street Broadsides
  Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition project
––one of only ten in the world––

Books Exploding







Artist's Statement

I imagined books exploding and the pages blowing apart and scattering above an urban street in Baghdad. The pages dislodging from the spine and binding of the book and then tearing and dislocating.

I thought of the sentences and stanzas being disassociated from their original intended spaces in the text and I saw sentences floating without their original context. And then I imagined the words floating without the entire sentence to hold them. And then, of course, each letter exploded into a chaotic space where so many other letters had been dislodged from their origins.

And the book became a metaphor for the human body. And the sentences became dismembered limbs, the words became detached hands and feet and fingers and toes and even parts of face.

And that’s why I created the circles floating like cells—of the word and of the body. And I ran the paper through something that would create a scar to further alter the paper in some way, permanently. And the sewing machine didn’t just stitch the thread into the paper—too close to the edges sometimes serving almost as a perforation—but the needle actually pierced the paper and somehow this cutting seemed more violent and therefore appropriate.