Published by University Galleries of Illinois State University. Edited with text by Kendra Paitz. Text by Grace Deveney.
The work of Chicago-based conceptualist Bethany Collins (born 1984) examines personal, bureaucratic, lyrical and literary language for its racial biases and failures. While straddling multiple mediums, Collins’ practice frequently finds expression through artist’s books. This publication accompanies her survey exhibition at University Galleries of Illinois State University and features dozens of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, artist’s books and performances created from 2012 to 2021. Examples include Black and Blue Dictionary, for which she methodically erased all terms related to the colors black and blue in a dictionary; America: A Hymnal, for which she researched and reproduced 100 different versions of the song “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” laser-cutting and burning the unifying musical notations; and A Pattern or Practice, an installation of 91 blind-embossed prints featuring text from the US Department of Justice report on the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department.