María Carolina Ceballos, “Un Libro”

María Carolina Ceballos
Bogotá, Colombia

Un Libro
Digital book design, photography, bookbinding, handmade paper.
Clamshell box with cradle 11.25 x 8 x 2.25″ closed.

Artist Statement

María Carolina Ceballos, Canto Press Introducing Un Libro 2021 Un Libro is a book about the experience of being a woman bookbinder, book conservator and Colombian in the US. It has its own language; in the shape of a book, the printed content explains the process of bookmaking and conservation with words, lines of thread, pieces of paper, and lines of text made with pieces of languages.

I started writing this book as I was learning bookbinding and working as a book conservation technician. There is a perfor[1]mative act when crafting something, in this case, a book. The book connects with our body by its craft but also by itself. To name a book and its parts, is to recognize ourselves in it, its body is a mirror of ours. My body changes to accommodate to the bookbinding practice, and the book changes too, showing itself and its weakness at the conservation lab: books age. The job of a book conservator is my way of taking care of others. I take care of history, memories, imagination and knowledge; all coming from the human body, all engraved in books that, too, live in time and degrade in their many layers of materials. This book is also part of a research about performance in the book arts. As a vocal performer myself, I introduce the voice of the bookbinder and their body in this piece. In terms of performance and notation, this book translates the !neness of the thread to the lightness of dancing bodies and fragmented voices and languages, the hybrid-language writing translates to a “uent constant shift in the interpretation of words.

The book is 10 x 7.5’’ to speak to the traditional format for music scores, with 96 pages. It was published in February 2021, Iowa City, by Canto Press. The standard edition of 25 is handbound with a letterpress printed paper cover on a slotted tape binding. The deluxe edition of 5, comes with one !ne bound bradel binding book with digitally printed photographs on Japanese paper, and handmade paper, leather and thread in-lays and on-lays, and one copy of the standard edition in a clam shell box with cradle, to allow for future collaborative performances between readers and performers, box dimensions are 8 x 11.25 x 2.25 inches. This book was digitally printed on a laser printer on Classic Crest paper, text 80, smooth.

To watch the first performance of this book, click here.

To see this book and its box, click here.