The following is the description of an exhibit of publications that a colleague, George Drury, and I have been involved with, shepherded, cheered for, jollied along, facilitated, or created ourselves.
The description is for an in-house e-publication. George and I had that odd out of body experience of writing in the third person about ourselves. Strange that. “I’m Dating a Scientist” has been our working title, although the exhibit has been titled “Compose” from the WCW’s poem.
And the text begins ####
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
from A Sort of a Song– William Carlos Williams –
An idea becomes a thing and that thing leads to an idea which leads to another invention which begins from a composition. Who knows where an idea begins and where it will eventually end?
George Drury and Kate Tabor have worked together for over a decade, and in these past years their mutual love of publication in its many forms has brought them together in collaboration and in support of each other and the many forms of publication they have experimented with. As the tools to publish have become easier to use, the varieties of texts created have expanded. Drury approached Tabor with the idea of curating an exhibit of publications, an idea that she responded to enthusiastically.
“We sat down to look at all of the different publications from the last ten years, and the number of works and their variety was astonishing, even to us. And then we began to look at the artifacts from the process of publication, and George and I both knew that we had a trove of drawings, galleys, photographs, drafts, and artwork to share.”
Finding a way to organize the materials presented an opportunity for them to pair materials and publications that might not immediately seem related.
“The form of the exhibit—our text/weave—highlights our active collaboration. Displaying the publications and production-related artifacts this way is meant to reveal the shared nature of our work with each other and with our students. From the start, we’ve met regularly to talk about new possibilities and techniques, always coming away from those conversations encouraged and ready to try new things,” added Drury.
The exhibit is on the fourth floor, near the art wing. “We loved this location right away. Although it is a public gallery, it seems like a space that you discover on your own. I also liked it because so many students go by there on their way to art and drama,” said Tabor.
Included in the exhibit are pieces from class projects, advisory publications, literary magazines from the Middle and Upper School, flash publications, samizdat editions of comics, poetry, letterpress, and anthologies.
Both teachers have enjoyed the chance to collaborate on this exhibit. “When we were placing the pieces in the gallery, we faced the problem of how to display the anthologies Kate produced with her 7th grade students,” Drury says of their work in the gallery space. “In a matter of minutes, she’d devised an elegant solution. She cut strips of plastic and made them into holders that supported the books. It was a characteristically inventive move. ‘No ideas but in things’ indeed!”
We both agree – Paper good.