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

Just Like Any Other Explosion

 

 

Artist's Statement

This excerpt, from a much longer and fascinating text, focuses on language and the power of the printed word, and the precariousness of both. Printed words on paper are blown up in explosions or burned for fuel; “Meaning dissolves like a piece of salt in a dead sea.” The author conducts a private meditative ritual of piecing together fragments of papers she picked up from the Mutannabi St explosion. The design and creative process of the broadside were my attempt to align with that journey.

It made the most sense to use pre-printed paper and create something new with a transformed version of it. Rejected prints from a large commission of the previous year became the back side of this broadside. I used India ink to obfuscate the original prints, and two coats of stain for the front. While the dark brown walnut stain (covering the non-text areas) was still wet, I quickly drew pencil lines connecting the text blocks to each other and to the edges of the paper, with no pre-determined pattern.

In addition to the fluctuating densities of stain throughout the edition, each sheet shows variations of the hand while coating the dark brown or drawing the radiating lines. The ones I found interesting stayed in the edition. The rejects may have yet another life ahead of them.