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artists' books collection


transforming hate: an artist's book, by clarissa sligh

Clarissa Sligh, Transforming Hate: an Artist's Book.  (Asheville, NC:  Clarissa Sligh, [2016])

Clarissa Sligh writes: "I am interested in history and memory and stories as told by ordinary everyday people. In this artist's book, historical elements are used as a framing device to construct my own personal narrative within our society's shared history of trauma. This journey began when I finally allowed myself to face the reality of white supremacist books. While working on the book's images and texts, I imagined it as dark and dramatic. Finally I accepted that regardless of life's challenges, 'the place' where I live is beautiful. In 2006, the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Montana, and the Montana Human Rights Network invited me to create an artwork for a group exhibition. The invitation requested that artists incorporate, transform, or respond to white supremacist hate books that had been acquired by the Human Rights Network from a defecting member of one of the groups. I had not seen them, but I knew these books were out there.... That box of books made me realize that the conditioning to hate is very much alive and the recruitment of others to hate those who are seen as different continues to this day. Thinking 'transformation' and looking for a way to handle the books, I remembered the thousands of origami cranes I saw while visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan in 1985.  I began using pages from the books to fold origami cranes ...”

And: “In Transforming Hate: An Artist’s Book, I was trying to look at what it was like for me to turn the hateful words of the white supremacist books into a beautiful art object. That exploration helped me understand more fully the many levels of oppression and violence at the intersections of race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Why do we keep each other from being who we really are? How can we begin to talk about what separates us? In our roles, as voyeur and as participant, we make daily decisions about who gets to have rights and who is marginalized in our society. I ask us to question our perceptions about history, reality, identity and voice. Do we have the courage to live differently?”

The Clark’s copy is number 425 in an edition of 1000, signed by the artist.