In 2014, Fourthwall Books published The Binding—which is visually and conceptually linked to the larger three part installation—in a limited special edition of 15 books, and 3 artist’s proofs. The New York Public Library and several private collectors have since acquired it.
Working collaboratively with artist’s bookbinder Heléne van Aswegen, Dixie brought the deluxe edition into being as a project in its own right. The different surfaces of the book – leather, mohair, embossment, paper, string– were carefully considered and constitute a conceptual point of departure for the book.
THE SLIPCASE : On the cover of the slipcase an embroidered knife is stitched in white thread, a reference to the knife in the biblical story of Isaac and Abraham, and an echo of the weapons embroidered on the veils in the installation. On the side of the slipcase is stitched an outcrop of animal hair, recalling the substitutive sacrifice of the ram. The cover Visible within the slipcase is the binding of the book. The binding – and the cord with which the reader unties the book – collapses the narrative of the subject with the action the reader must perform to continue the narrative. The hide covering the book reveals, in its imperfection, the traces of the lived life of the animal and alludes to the image in the book of a sleeping boy covered by a hide of skin.
THE END PAGES: Taken from a detail of the installation in which embodied shadows of a sleeping boy were made from toy soldiers, this duotone digital print frames the book, locating it in contemporary practices that perform particular constructions of masculinity.
THE PRINTS: The prints are based on details of the six, large-scale prints exhibited as part of the installation. A combination of etching and embossing appears on the one side and a surface of silver ink on the other. Embossed bandages link the pages and become a metaphoric thread recalling wounding and the violent rituals enacted in the establishment of male identity.
Text supplied by Christine Dixie: http://www.christinedixie.co.za/