Sumi Perera, “Through the Pinhole IV”

Artist book & box [designed for colour conservation}

Double page [‘codex’ version BEFORE the spine is withdrawn]

Extended version of 30 pages once the spine is withdrawn fully [CONCERTINA version/display also possible]

Retractable detachable spine-withdrawn & re-inserted partially


Sumi Perera (Redhill, Surrey, U.K.)

Through the Pinhole IV
Etching, embossing, photography, stitching
Edition of 3
30 pages
13.5 x 300 open
14.5 x 11.5 x 4.5cm closed

One of a series of artist books that pay tribute to the fading existence of photo-labs, print studios and photo albums. The embossed inverted pages allow a peep through the keyhole of Victorian photo studios. The verso of discarded photos extracted from Victorian family albums have been re-photographed, re-scaled and re-positioned to examine the status of the studio expressed through its advertising tactics. Like much of the artist’s work, the sequence of detachable photos can be rearranged to form different narratives. The reverse of both the photos and the pages have been left blank to express the void that will be created by the demise of the aforementioned print services. Each page is cut and stitched to the other, rather than being folded, to reflect on the loss of manual skills that are replaced by digital technology. The stitched pages are held together by a detachable spine, which allows a private reading of the double-spread within the ‘codex’ like structure. Once the spine is retracted outwards, the book unfolds and is converted to a leporello for a public communal reading. The album is housed within a box to optimize colour conservation.
[Another variation on the theme of this book titled: THROUGH THE PINHOLE, an earlier prototype is held in the Yale Centre for British Art, purchased at the London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery, London 2009]