Pliant History
Artist Book
By Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman
To expand the current discourse of power, Ciurej and Lochman requested women to “assume the pose” of Michelangelo’s imposing figures of authority – the prophets and sibyls from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The presence of these seers and storytellers symbolically validated prevailing institutional power. Stripped of thrones, books, and robes, their contemporary counterparts confront history and embody another type of knowledge.

Printed on translucent vellum, images from the past overlay the present, creating moments of hybridity and fusion. Together, the figures transcend the binaries of male/female, past/present, strength/weakness, intellect/emotion. The structure of Pliant History allows the viewer to literally turn the page on the past, suggesting other narratives and possibilities. The images are interwoven with excerpts from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, underscoring the inevitability of change.

74 pages Edition of 9 Signed and numbered 7 1/8 x 10 5/8 x 7/8 inches Asahi Japanese bookcloth with blind embossed cover and spine Images, text and custom endpapers printed by the artists with piezography inks on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Book and Album paper Interleaves printed with digital archival inks on Reich Paper acid-free vellum Signature-sewn case binding by Candor Arts, Chicago 9 x 12 inch archival presentation box Published 2017 in Chicago, Illinois
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