Kena Kitchengs, “The Scallop’s Spine, a Book With Eyes”


Kena Kitchengs
Toluca, Mexico

The Scallop’s Spine, a Book With Eyes
Ceramics, stamps, watercolors
7 x 7 1″/2 x 3 1/2″

Artist Statement

The Scallop’s Spine, a Book With Eyes is a work that plays with and mingles what it means to be a book and what, from our human standpoint, it means to be a scallop. During my research, I inevitably
stumbled upon several bivalve shells turned into books, including clams and scallops. They appear tous, or at least the book-obsessed of us, as sea books of sorts. Bivalves consist on two “covers”, that is,
symmetric shells that join on one side by way of a sort of hinge, or a “spine”, from a book perspective.

Bivalves barely have brains, let alone spines. From all of this, I created this artists’ book that delves into the book itself as an artifact–following quite a tradition in this respect in the book arts genre–looking at not only how the scallop would translate very neatly into book-form, but also how this rather bookish structure contains a living being. Scallops, by the way, have hundreds of tiny blue eyes