Barbara Justice, “Volume of Eight”



Barbara Justice
Madison, Wisconsin

Volume of Eight
Library Card Catalogue Cards, Library Card Catalogue Drawers, Found Slide Photographs, Used Books, Short Narratives
Each book is 17″ length x 5.5″ wide x 4.5″ depth (length can expand to 16 feet)

Artist Statement

Who are we without systems of organization, record keeping, historical references, and chronicles of time past? How do we hold onto events, experiences and narratives that have shaped our lives? I’ve chosen artifacts, for this exhibit, that heed clues to the past such as photographs, library cards, books, and dated short stories to amplify the significance of objects of memory through handmade artist books. Though technology has shifted how memories are nurtured and kept, these tactile artifacts continue to inform the future.

The names I’ve chosen for each volume are many of my great grandmothers up to twelve generations before me. I’ve assembled eight volumes that present short stories of both fictitious and real librarians as a vehicle to commemorate narratives and events that I have carried throughout my lifetime. The accordion books are memorial pieces. Though I am not a librarian, my work and time spent at Memorial Library on the UW Campus has inspired my research because it is a place that holds objects such as rare books, diaries, historical photographs and documents, maps, printed ephemera, record of personal histories, sheets of music, and much more-all of which are historical, physical archives that illuminate time and history.

*There are eight books in this body of work, paired with eight photographs and short stories. The books can be displayed as individual pieces, or as a complete installation. They can be displayed with their accompanying photographs as a set or individually as singular books. They can be fully extended or collapsed into the drawers. Displaying options are endless!