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Chesapeake Chapter talk Na’ama Zussman 181102

Na’ama Zussman
“The Liminal Experience of the Artist’s Book”
Friday, November 2, 3:30 – 5:00pm
Rosenwald Room, Library of Congress

Former Chesapeake Chapter Denker Fellow (2015) Na’ama Zussman will deliver a talk entitled “The Liminal Experience of the Artist’s Book” at the next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies. 

Abstract: Established in the 20th-century, an artist’s book is an idiosyncratic manifestation of art, a framework of space and time conveyed through modes of re-distribution and re-coding of a pre-existing cultural object—the book. The myriad literature on artists’ books proposes a true reflection of the difficulties posed by this phenomenon and reveals the debate’s labyrinthine nature. These difficulties bring forth a necessity to change the course of the debate—from category-based to an observation of the ways artists’ books stimulate experience. In this talk, and through a few artists’ books from The Rare Book and Special Collections Division in the Library of Congress, I will portray the ways in which experience is embodied in the artist’s book, constantly oscillating between the German duo of ‘Erfahrung’ and ‘Erlebnis’ (‘Erfahrung’ refers to the accumulation of the experience(s) over time, while ‘Erlebnis’ marks one’s own experience, relating thus to a concrete, stimulating, event). The artist’s book leans upon millennia of the book’s experience, as both notion and form (and on a loyal sensorial readership), while simultaneously being registered against given regimental praxis. Hence, it conveys a lived and concrete experience, and opens possibilities of experimentation that breach the perception of the senses: of what can be known, thought, said, and done. Is this a moment of collapse, or a moment that transports us elsewhere?

Na’ama Zussman is an artist and a Ph.D. candidate in the Cultural Studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research, entitled Artists’ Books—A Framework of Re-Distributions, draws attention to the critical impetus of artists’ books and the link between the aesthetic and the political they provide. Zussman holds a master’s degree in Art and the Book from The George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. Her thesis essay, which received the Award for Graduate Critical Writing, discusses the coexistence of artists’ books as both map and territory.

The Jefferson Building is located between First and Second Streets, SE in the District of Columbia. Nearest metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at washagpcs “AT”