Sunday, January 16, 2011

Works of Paper

Newspapers are the voice of a particular community. Along with general news, they express the point of view, opinions, and news of interest to that particular community, in its own language. They list opportunities, possibilities, social events, births and deaths, the totality of a given population's interests. They either connect people to the larger discourse, or insulate them from other communities.

 So Far, Hebrew, Arabic, and Yiddish

I see a newspaper as a proxy for the people whose political or social issues I wish to address. In these works, I use newspapers in languages that are specific to the idea of the piece. Though I acknowledge the dark circumstances in the conflict or social situation I refer to, rather than express graphic details or battle scenes, I present the conflict through an elusive hope for resolution, or empathy for no resolution, or homage to a bright spot in the middle of calamity. Examples are House Divided which is all in Arabic, and Model for Two Houses, in Polish and Yiddish, which is about one people sheltering another during the Holocaust.

The concept of shelter is central to my work. I use clean lines and open spaces in a form that suggests both shelter and exposure, or room to think. I choose the pages carefully for the colors, often in advertisements, and use those colors, or intentional black and white, as a formal element of the work as well as commentary.

I am very excited to be working again with rolled newspaper, a medium that I started using in 2004, that satisfies my art making both in terms of message and formal characteristics. 

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea Francine Perlman worked in this style. I don't know whether to begin with the concepts or the imagination or with the skill. All of the above.
    Is the work minimalist? Do it need to be in the style of?
    I especially like Newspapers of the Lower East Side making up HUDDLED MASSES.
    What are its dimensions? Where can I see it?
    What would be a piece that would use The Amsterdam News? New York's Jews and Blacks have quite the history together.