San Francisco Center for the Book (CA), International Call for Artists: (retro)(intro)spection

San Francisco Center for the Book (CA), International Call for Artists: (retro)(intro)spection

Deadline: September 1st, 2019

From their call: For their inaugural exhibition of 2020, San Francisco Center for the Book invites artists to interpret the past, consider the future, and reflect upon where we are going. A juried exhibition, (retro)(intro)spection will showcase artists books which look backward, inward, outward, and forward in a variety of ways.

Theme: What’s in a word? What about a prefix?  Retro- can be used to describe furniture, artifacts, graphic design, fashion, and interiors. Retroactive (taking effect from a date in the past), retrocede (to go back), retrocognition (backward knowing) and retrograde (moving backwards) are words that lead us to the past where might learn something about where we are in the here-and-now.

The etymology of intro- encourages artists to look within, gain and gather perspective. What about the suffix -spection? It means to look, see or observe, having evolved from the Latin Specere (to look at) and the Proto-Indo-European language root spek (to observe).

Artists are frequently inspired by the past and aim to make work which speaks to future audiences, subsequent generations. Tandem processes of introspective questioning and retrospective storytelling often come together in the artist book format—giving reader and creator the opportunity for personal reflection.

Artists books tell us stories by using narrative, structure, materials. Each of these aspects help the artist to communicate a perspective, one that is singularly unique to themselves and the work. (retro)(intro)spection seeks to explore the crossroads where artists books and artistic process intersect. When do our amorphous ideas become real, at what point? What is the role of introspection and one’s personal past when applied to artists books? In the act of looking back as well as in, the curators hope that artists will be inspired by their body of work, regarding the path or discovering the throughline that brings them to the present, creating work to speak not only to future audiences, but also to subsequent generations.

Media: This exhibit is open to handmade book and paper arts related works created either in edition or as a one-of-a-kind work. Artists’ books, sculptural books, book objects, altered books, installations, zines, and broadsides are all encouraged.

Curators: Maureen Forys (Happenstance Type-O-Rama) and Jennie Hinchcliff (Exhibition Manager, San Francisco Center for the Book)

Jurors: Alisa Golden (Never Mind the Press / author, Making Handmade Books), Lisa Beth Robinson (East Carolina University/Somnambulist Tango Press, Greeneville, NC), Steve Woodall (Achenbach Collections Specialist, Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco)

Website link:

Link to apply via CaFE and for more detailed information:

Link for more information and to apply via CaFE:

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