Marlene MacCallum, “Shadow – Canto Three: Incidental Music”

Marlene MacCallum
Ameliasburg, Ontario, Canada

Shadow – Canto Three: Incidental Music
Hand bound artist’s book with image accordion suspended over text accordion and concertina spacer. Images are digital pigment prints on Digital Aya. Two-part text of hand set letterpress poem set in 12 point Goudy Old Style and blind embossed soundscape letterpress set in 16 point Univers Bold. Case bound with digital pigment print covers on Anasazi Canvas around Eterno boards.
Closed: 9.33 x 6.25 x .43″; Open: 9.62 x 11.81″

Artist Statement

Shadow is an ongoing project, an artist’s book variation on the long poem format. Each piece, or canto, is a discrete and distinct manifestation of “shadow” within the context of domestic and private spaces. Each canto is subtitled to refer to an undervalued art genre, and reflects my personal politic of attending to the overlooked and dismissed aspects of our daily lives.

The third canto, Incidental Music, presents itself as a straightforward codex but upon opening reveals a cascade of nested accordion-fold structures. Naturally occurring patterns of light and shadow create cyclical but transient intrusions into interior spaces. Sunlight progresses through the time and space of the pages with a brief shadow-play balancing-act performed mid- way through. The images hover over and almost obscure the poem and soundscape components quietly awaiting detection within the folds below. The poem rests within the base of the text accordion. It is a variation on the villanelle and cycles through psychological states. The blind embossed soundscape floats within the uppermost folds. It evokes subtle movements in a space so quiet that you can hear the most minute sound. Each component of the piece — image, poems, folded structures — exists independently and plays out its own rhythmic logic and integrity; a visual, poetic and material ostinati. The components complement each other by their shared manifestation of transitions. Incidental music bridges one scene to the next. In this piece, however, the interlude is the significant event; the condition of being the present. The past and future remain unknown.