Julie Chen, Flying Fish Press, Berkeley, CA
Toy and Moveable Books
Full Circle — like so many of Julie Chen's bookworks — offers the sensation of being caught up in something at once momentous and personal. Another elegantly clothed, unmistakable Chenbox opens to reveal a marvel of execution and effect. Once again, Julie Chen takes physicality, an essential part of all books, and makes it a vital element of expression. From Vamp and Tramp Booksellers Inc.
A spinning wheel — that the reader controls and rotates — suggests a clock, or progressive stations along some journey. The contents of the book are viewed by turning a wheel and pausing whenever text and image are centered in 4 windows. At 3 intervals a drawer lines up with the opening in the front of the box. Pulling a tab reveals a tongue-like 3-dimensional diagram of the mind and heart in relation to each other. The subject? The clue is on the face of the top of the box: an array of intersecting circles hold phrases like "Things I was told to believe in," "Things I would like to believe in," "Things I used to believe in." Full Circle is about belief, or more pointedly, about cycles of belief. As the wheel moves from stage 1 to stage 12 (12 stations?), the windows offer four different ways we can chart belief: a single word, objects, the image of a body part, a sentence. At station 1 are the single word INQUIRY, some tear-shaped egg-like objects, the image of a closed mouth, and the sentence "I look for you but you will not speak to me." At each stage the windows have new content. At each stop connections between the windows are left up to the reader. And, as the stages progress, so is the developing story. Full Circle demonstrates that the cycle of belief is the same for all, but different in the particulars. Over and over, Chen's works have a foundation of social connection. Early in her career, the connection was in collaboration with others; lately, her works have insisted on reader/viewer participation, directly as in Personal Paradigms or now indirectly as in Full Circle. From Vamp and Tramp Booksellers Inc.
39 cm x 39 cm x 8cm
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