Sometimes creating something new feels like fireworks going off in my brain. It had been months since I last did this kind of creative work - I’ve been writing so much, binding some fairly basic books, and that’s it. I wanted to make a new one of a kind artists’ book for the #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge that I have been missing so much in my months away from it. Energy levels have been low or directed to poetry and a part of my brain was beginning to feel utterly neglected. The challenge theme this month was ‘shadows’ , which I once again chose to interpret fairly freely. I’m currently translating poems where memory and remembering play a big role, and when I was brainstorming my book of the month, an old project of mine quickly came to mind. The line “I forget I am forgetting you” first came to being in a physical form in March 2017, but I never knew where exactly it was going and so the project ended up abandoned until now. And now everything about it feels just right.
I’m a big fan of transparent elements in artists’ books (who would've guessed?) and I also enjoy book forms that look nothing like books. Vastness suddenly (2017) was my first cylindrical book and Always not remembering is a play on the same structure. In this book there is text on four see-through layers (the same line printed on both mica and silk organza, the first one being the more visible of the two, the latter almost like the shadow of the first one) as well as on the outer edge of the cylinder. I see the layers acting as the pages of this book and the cylinder as its covers, even though this object is obviously handled in a way that differs from that of a codex.
I’m of the mind that a good artists’ book needs a container. Soon after I began making mine I realized mine will probably need yet another container for storage - the container took a quick turn for the more delicate when I started adding fragments of mica to it. It’s bordering inappropriate how much I love the way this piece turned out as a whole. The process of making it was so satisfying: I was basically winging it the whole time, never quite knowing what I was going to make next and how to make it work. Yet I ended up with this beautiful cylindrical book and it fits into its custom made container absolutely perfectly. The container is not only pretty, but it also has a very satisfying functionality and a magnetic closure. And I really, really love it when things work just right.
Always not remembering - an artists’ book by Kaija Rantakari, 2019
paper, board, mica, silk organza, linen, ink, magnets
mere contusions of darkness
I forget I am forgetting you
book 5,4cmx3,1cm / 2.1”x1.2”
container 6,1cmx3,8cm / 2.4”x1.5”
I’m posting a video and some more photos to my Paperiaarre Instagram account, so that’s where you should head next. If you’d like to see what everyone else has created for the #areyoubookenough challenge this month, take a look at Instagram posts tagged with #areyoubookenough_shadows (or just click that link…)