By Philip Zimmermann
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2009. Edition 1000.
8.25 x 10.75 x 1.5"; 90 pages. Four-color offset lithography. Gilded edges. Self-covering.
Philipip Zimmermann: "Four-color offset lithography printed book was created as a series of two page board book spreads that minimize the visual distraction of a 'gutter' on the panoramic view of each skyscape. The edges of the book are rounded and gilded in the fashion of religious breviaries or missals.
"This is a book of border beatitudes. This work comments on the complicated attitudes of Americans on illegal immigration from Mexico. The cover shows a photograph of the area of Southern Arizona which is the most active in terms of migration across the Sonoran desert, and where thousands have lost their lives in the deadly desert heat. The interior pages show the progression of a typical high desert day from dawn to sunset with a single line of text on each two page spread."
Zimmermann (Blog), March 8, 2010: "In December of 2002, I was driving back into the United States from Mexico through the Lukeville border road entrance. As I was traveling through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument just inside Arizona, I was stopped for a couple of hours by several groups of men each consisting of large number of heavily armed Border Patrol agents on some sort of special operations. They eventually lead out of the desert scrub a large number of illegal immigrants that had been hiding in the mesquite and cactus as they attempted to head north through the park. They clearly weren't drug smugglers. They looked too poor and were unarmed. They made for a rather moving and pathetic sight, and looked disheveled and dejected. I had never seen an operation like this up close and it was rather upsetting, and got me thinking about the life these folks were trying to make for themselves and the efforts that we in the United States make to prevent them from coming here. Sanctus Sonorensis was a work that came out of this experience."
CJ Mace, review, JAB 27: "With gold-edged pages and title referring directly to a hymn of the Christian liturgy, Philip Zimmermann's book 'Sanctus Sonorensis,' is clear about its associations with the messages within gilded bibles. The main contrast between the structure of these books and Zimmermann's is the weight of the individual pages; while the pages of missals often rattle and are tissue paper-thin, the board-book structure of 'Sanctus Sonorensis' allows for the page and binding to merge into a seamless unit, and the pages turn silently. This silence suggests reverence and the apparent starkness of the Sonoran desert that forms the background photography, a landscape where light becomes sound in a sort of synesthetic radiance. ..."