The Distance at Which Heavy Gun Firing Has Been Heard (2009)
Altered book assemblage
The inside cover is covered with a forest green fabric with a sparse floral pattern. Centered and at the bottom of the inside cover is a cropped figure from Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus painting Above the painting illustration is a list of attributes pertaining to science. Just above this is a tiny tin black toy locomotive with a green boxcar. They both rest on a shelf of mirror glass and pasted onto the side of the boxcar is a clipping of an eye from an etching illustration. The frame is covered with pages from the encyclopedia set from which this book originally came. The title of this piece, “The Distance at Which Heavy Gun Firing Has Been Heard,” is a section heading on these pages. The background of the framed area is color photograph of 1950s skiers standing out on a ski slope. Hanging from the top left of this section are two white Christians tree light bulbs with another one mounted below. To the right of the bottom bulb is a plastic black knight chess piece and opposite that, tucked into the left corner is a plastic eyeball mounted on a metal gear bracket. They all rest upon a blue and silver diamond pattered fabric. To the right and left of this section are black-and-white photos of opera singers posed in character. The top of this upper section is a color illustration of a futuristic rocket ship moving though space. The bottom section is covered with a color postcard of a Florida motor-court with an inch-square window cut in the middle, revealing part of an etching illustration. This postcard is a flap that opens downward revealing the interior of this bottom section. In the center is the full illustration of what was partially revealed through the small square window. It is an illustration of a seated older woman in a frilly bonnet. A young girl stands beside her with her arm draped over the shoulders of the seated woman. This illustration is on a tile which itself can be removed, revealing another interior. This interior box contains a set of collaged cards wrapped with a toy $500 bill. In the background of this central box is a black-and-white photo of a rock wall pile with two figures, clasping hands for balance, at the top. To the left and right of this box are two small vials. Inside the bottom third of each vial are black-and-white photos. The vial on the left depicting a group of large rodents and the vial on the right a group of robed figures on a staircase. Atop these illustrations and inside the vials, pinned to a bed of cotton, are disembodied toy plastic heads. In the background of the compartment where the vials are placed are dictionary clippings from the “S” section. Mirrors are on either side of this lower compartment.
Original book cover title:
Book cover used for this piece: Source Book Encyclopedic Vol. II Candy - Erie
Some elements of this assemblage. Select one to find other altered books with the same.
$500 bill, Botticelli, chess piece, collaged cards, dictionary clippings, disembodied head, eyeball, Florida, gear, girl, green, light bulb, mirror, old woman, postcard, Renaissance painting, rock wall, rocketship, rodent, ski slope, skiers, vials