Midway brings to exhibition one of twelve handmade artist-books that have been produced in collaboration between American poet John Yau, and local visual artist Kathy Barry. Commissioned by bookmaker Gervais Jassaud for his ongoing Collectif Génération project, Midway is one of the most recent iterations of the Colectif Génération mission; to bring artists and writers from different parts of the world into conversation, so that they might work and think together in the arena of material production.
Following in the tradition of the Livres d'artistes, the interests of Jassaud’s project extend beyond the intersection of visual and textual mediums to a more fullsome consideration of the book-as-object. Jassaud’s ‘activated book’ puts the architecture of the book itself into play, allowing artists and writers to experiment, reimagine, and blur tactile and sensual knowing with that of written language and speech.
For Midway, John Yau’s short poetic works build from simple, yet formally clever repetitions of words, phrases and ideas. His textual play redirects familiar scenes and sensibilities into a series of compositions pitched in texture and rythm. Similarly, in her work with hand-drawn geometric abstraction, Kathy Barry accumulates and alters, repeating and applying pressure to simple forms in order to transmute the page into an altered spatial, or energetic, domain.
Kathy Barry is a visual artist who lives and works in Auckland. Kathy has exhibited in artist-run spaces, private galleries, as well as public art institutions throughout New Zealand and internationally. Most recently she was commissioned by the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo to participate in INCERTEZA VIVA/ Live Uncertainty (2016). In 2012 Kathy was the McCahon House Artist-in-Residence, which she followed with a three-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States. Her work is held in numerous collections including: The University of Auckland Art Collection; the Wellington City Council Art Collection and The James Wallace Arts Trust Collection.
John Yau is a poet, essayist, critic, and publisher who lives and works in New York City. He has published many books and collaborated with numerous artists. He co-founded the online magazine, Hyperallergic Weekend, and currently teaches art history and criticism at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University).
For more information about Gervais Jassaud and the Global Books project please visit http://www.gervaisjassaud.net/books.html