self-scrutiny book

By Robbin Ami Silverberg
Brooklyn, New York: Dobbin Mill , 2011. Edition of 20.

4.25 x 5.9 x 3.2" two-piece box containing 49 cards (3 x 5"). Materials: Glass mirror; Dobbin Mill papers made from cotton, abaca & pulped cataloged cards; library catalog cards; acrylic paint; silk bookcloth; brass hardware. Archival inkjet text and images. Box: clot-covered with brass id slot containing title card. Signed and numbered by the artist on the last 3 x 5" card.

Robbin Ami Silverberg: "After reading István Örkény’s novella ‘Self Scrutiny’, I found a tongue-in-cheek syzygy to this terse yet information-loaded tale in the now (sadly) dated card catalog system used in libraries. For this artist book edition, I worked with cards that have been donated courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and images of cards in the still active Petofi Literary Museum archive in Budapest. By repeatedly writing/typing/painting and re-writing actual cards along with fictitious ones, I was able to re-create both the storyline and my own commentary. The latter appears as notational references about simulacrum and hyper-reality.

“This box of cards tells the story of a man’s attempt to face the ‘fact’ that his mirror image has become independent of himself. The paper and mirror card were fabricated each with a hole, that keeps them in sequence on a screw post, and which, references the missing hole in the last line: ‘And the strangest of all, the glass had no trace of a bullet-hole’.”