Erica Van Horn: The Book Remembers Everything
Edited and with text by Nancy Kuhl.
Erica Van Horn's books offer miniaturist celebrations of small rituals and everyday civic and household matter, from shop signs, cook books and French lessons to napkins and envelope interiors. “I use the portability of the printed sheet, mostly in book form,” Van Horn writes, “to construct a narrative around the incidental parts of my life.” The artist weaves together her methods and preoccupations into a common fabric of artistic practice and subject. Her interest in exploring the daily aspects of her life though her art, for instance, is informed and/or determined by her frequent use and reuse of ordinary materials as the raw materials of her work. Many of her books have been collaborations with poets, artists and bookmakers such as Laurie Clark, Simon Cutts and Harry Gilonis. Van Horn’s work insists that the book is to be valued as a record—of an event, a landscape, a creative vision, an obsession, or the most quotidian activities—even if the book revises or re-imagines that which it documents. The books recorded in this volume remember everything—they discover, explore, and sometimes enact their specific content, but each also tells the story of its making, its reason for being, and its creator’s process. The Book Remembers Everything is published on the occasion of an exhibition of Erica Van Horn's work curated by Nancy Kuhl at the Beinecke Library at Yale University January 13 through March 27, 2010.