Art As Dialogue
  • Art as Dialogue

    250 Copies of Numbered and Signed Artist Book
    23 x 23 cm.
    1998

    The word for ‘tea’ in Turkish is ‘çay’. The word for ‘çay’ in English is ‘tea’. By considering only the sound of these two words, I decided that the world could most probably be divided into two groups: those who say something that sounds like ‘tea’ and those who say something that sounds like ‘çay’. The visual image of the sounds depends on the linguistic system used to speak the words.

    Every step in the materialization of the artist book required that I communicate with others. Without trying to be comprehensive or even systematic, I asked everyone I met who spoke a language different from my two, English and Turkish, to say their word for “tea” into the microphone of my tape recorder and to write their word for ‘tea’ into my notebook. After collecting this data, I used the notebook as the starting point for the book.

    Wishing to bring dialogue into the process of book making, I worked together with a graphic artist. While I prepared a page measuring 23 cm. x 23 cm. for each of the written images of the words using the original pages from my notebook and water color paper dyed with tea, the graphic artist used photographic images of the same material to make computer generated pages. Organization of the finished book allowed for one of my hand made pages to be shown opposite the graphic designer’s computer made page.

    After using the offset printing technique to print 250 books, I signed and numbered from 001 to 250 each copy. In the presence of a notary, I destroyed all of the printing plates used to produce these books. A copy of the notarization is included with each book.