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Body for Words

Body For Words is a book of images of the title, colophon and contents pages of The Nude - A Study of Ideal Form  by Kenneth Clarke (1956 and 1990 - The Folio Society edition of 2010), in which the naked body of Philip Lee, the performance artist, replaces the text.  Body For Wordsis a book about words (almost) without words, reducing the materiality of the original work to its first three pages. 

The front matter text is replaced by different parts of one image of Philip Lee's body; the blocks of text become 'windows' onto his naked body. In this way the author's words about the ideal form are replaced with parts of an image of an actual nude man: they become peepholes on to the flawed, naked body of a man in his fifties.

The book comprises of four leaves: front cover (of text only), three recto printed pages, and a back cover, including text about the book. The text font on the front and back covers will match that of The Nude source copy, and its citation will also be included. Body For Words is laser prints on paper, 285mm by 200mm, matching the dimensions of the original book, in an edition of 15.

AMBruno's words collection, selected by Maria White, was shown first at the 19th International Contemporary Artists' Book Fair, at The Tetley (5 to 6 March 2016).

A selection of books from the words collection was also shown as part of the National Poetry Library Open Day on 16 October 2016. This is a annual event held on the top floor of the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London. Pascal O'Loughlin organised the event and Katarina Kelsey curated our books.

The Poetry Library introduced AMBruno's words collection with the following quotation:

Artists' books transform the condition of bookness, and complicate it. In almost every case, attention to the book's visual presence - its objectness - is pronounced, in a manner that embraces elements from painting, sculpture, collage and filmic techniques. Some [...] are made for reading; some for looking; some for touching; many for all three. In content, they range from political statements, to formal meditations, to personal fantasies; they are also visually wild, inscrutable and weird. Holland Cotter (Introduction) in The Century of Artists' Books (Joanne Drucker, 2004) Poetry Library

The words collection was also shown at the Small Publishers Fair, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 November 2016. Small Publishers Fair

Body For Words has been purchased by: Chelsea College Library, Tate Britain, The British Library, The National Poetry Library, MICA in Baltimore, and The Brotherton Library of the University of Leeds.  Body For Words was exhibited in Future Legacies: Collections, Collecting and Artists' Books, at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds in 2017 and has been selected for a touring display for New Voicesan Arts Council funded project, coordinated by Professor Chris Taylor and Dr John McDowall. New Voices project supports alumna Teanne Buxton to develop her artist practice

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