Nicole Pietrantoni, “Havened”

boxed set of 9 accordion books.

Havened is simultaneously a series of 9 accordion books and an installation that expands to create a panoramic image. Here, the books are presented in a forest green slipcase box. The forage of each book is a compression of the inkjet halftone dots. The spine is a glowing neon orange.

page spread of book No. 3

Each individual book contains poems by Devon Wootten. These poems wrestle with the problematic representation of beauty, which is an ongoing theme in my artistic work. In the book format, the imagery is abstracted and lost, breaking down into snippets of landscape and a series of halftone dots. The text is privileged and the book object is intended to be held and paged through by a viewer.

installation format of all 9 accordion books, front view.

The 9 accordion books then expand to become a fragmented image of a forest. Havened fractures the image across the accordion books, which are displayed like tents. Each image column moves in and out of focus at different distances in the forest. I was interested in making a series of books that quite literally contained a world – and not just an imaginative space brought about through reading the text, but an actual world that came to life when the books are opened. The accordion is an ideal structure for this work, as it quite literally references a compression and then expansion of time and space.

installation format of all 9 accordion books, side view.

The image shifts and transforms depending on the viewer’s relationship to the work. As a viewer moves around the installation, the imagery is fragmented, then reconstituted again as they pull back in front of the work.

detail of installed accordion books.

The underside of each book is a fiery neon orange, which reflects and glows on the white pedestal.

Nicole Pietrantoni
Walla Walla, Washington

Inkjet on Awagami Inbe Thick, spraypaint, folded and bound into 9 accordion books that expand to create a panoramic image.
edition size of 2
5″ x 84″ x 84″ (installation)
6″ x 6″ x 1/4″ (each book)

My research and artistic work explores the complex relationship between human beings and nature through installations, prints, and artists’ books. With a specific interest in photography’s historic relationship to representation, my artworks draw attention to our active role in constructing and idealizing landscape. I am interested in interrogating the tradition of landscape photography and the tension between beautiful, picturesque images of nature and the near-constant threat of environmental change. By referencing the encyclopedic book form, the 19th-century panorama, as well as the Romantic painting tradition, these book works and large-scale installations invoke older modes of image-based representation in order to highlight
the inaptness of these tropes to the complexity of climate change.

Havened is a collection of 9 hand-bound accordion books that expand to create a panoramic image of a forest. As books, the overlaid poems by Devon Wootten are highlighted and wrestle with how to represent beauty through text and image. As an installation, the books expand to create a fragmented image that is dismantled through cuts, folds, and halftone dots.