Marlene MacCallum, “Corner”
Hand bound accordion book work with slipcase. The book block structure is held closed into a codex form by sewing across the spine into the end pages. The soft pocket-structure cover is inkjet printed on coated Tyvek. The book block is hand printed photogravures on Somerset paper.
Top view: expanded view of the first half of the book block. Bottom left: view of the book block removed from the cover to show the sewing structure bridging across the end pages. Bottom right: view of the book block slipping into the cover.
Marlene MacCallum (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)
Hand bound accordion book work with slipcase. The book block structure is held closed into a codex form by sewing across the spine into the end pages. The soft pocket-structure cover is inkjet printed on coated tyvek. The book block was made from fifteen photogravure plates hand printed on somerset paper.
Edition of 14
each page spread is 9 7/8 x 9 ¾ inches
10 ¼ x 5 1/8 x 7/8 inches closed (includes slipcase)
Observation and visual interpretation of the private or personal space is the underlying theme in my work. I begin with photographic records made within the oft-overlooked spaces that frame our daily routines. My attention is drawn to instances of incongruity, prompting a sense of the strangely familiar, startling us during our habituated perception of objects and mundane situations.
Having grown up in a suburban housing development, my earliest memory of home is that of living in a space that is reminiscent of my neighbors’ and this remains a persistent fascination. Corner is the final bookwork in a series inspired by living in Corner Brook’s Townsite area on the west coast of Newfoundland. Between 1924-34 the pulp mill built 150 homes to house the mill management and skilled labourers. I have photographed in several Townsite homes, all the same type-4 model as the one I live in, allowing me the rare opportunity to record the evolution of interior aspects of these homes. This project has also been the context to explore the paradoxical phenomena of conformity and individualization that occurs in a company town. Each bookwork from the series explores variations on image memory, multiplicity and sequence as a means to generate the visual equivalence of the underlying theme of the domestic uncanny.
The experience of Corner begins with the brick shaped slipcase containing the book. Slipping the book out, it rests comfortably within the hand. The images on the cover position the viewer outside the home. Turning to the end pages, the viewer moves inside the personal space. The first spaces are entryways and then the viewer is led deeper into the home; from sparsely furnished entrances the images gradually move us into more densely filled and layered living spaces. The perspective within each echoes the perspective of the book pages. The gutter coincides with the represented corner, creating interplay between the architecture of the book and of the imagery. Each page spread cradles an unoccupied space charged with implied conversations between absent inhabitants.
The book block is loose within the pocket-structure cover allowing the viewer interplay with the interior window imagery nested within the exterior view. The entire book is printed using photogravure. The integration of ink and paper create a tactile and physical presence while simultaneously evoking a state of photographic memory. The images are printed on book weight Somerset paper and are hinged at the fore-edge. The book block is held into a codex structure by sewing the end pages, bridging across the spine. In this way the perspectival illusion of each image and page spread is not interrupted by sewing.