Doug Beube

Channeling French to English
Altered French/English dictionary, gouache
8 x 11 x 11in.
2012

There are two contradictory actions creating the piece, the crumpling and straightening of each page.   I repeated this dual action throughout the body of the book until all pages were blemished.  My attempts to restore each crumpled page to its original pristine form were impossible.  The unforgiving nature of the delicate paper forever damaged retains the memory of past actions. The red elongated indices in the white crumpled pages appear to be gouged out sections of the book as if the book is bleeding. In the front cover of the book, two oval shaped holes penetrates the text block, where each hand can reach inside and the reader can support and wear the book as an article of clothing like a winter muff. 

From a formal aspect, I chose the book for its off white color, thin paper stock and red alphabetical indices. When the paper is crumpled, then straightened, the permanently misshapen pages resemble, for example, the round ruffled collars worn by women, specifically, in Rembrandt's painting Portrait of a Woman. The oval openings on both sides of the outer covers also reference the 1994 Channel Tunnel between Folkestone in England and Calais in France. The causeway unites the two countries as European Union members.  However, one page separates the differences in language, an enduring metaphorical barrier between the two cultures.


Kylix: The Stuff of Tho
altered book, wood stand
4 ¼ x 8 x 5 in.
2014

Traditionally, drinking wine from a kylix reveals various decorated figures after the choice of vintage is consumed. Metaphorically, using a book instead of ceramic ware, text is swallowed and information and knowledge within the book is ingested. By transforming a codex, the original book title is, 'The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature,'  by Steven Pinker published in 2007, into a container or kylix for someone to acquire as artwork is a form of consumption and hopefully is as sweet as any libation. Sometimes information and knowledge is held up to our lips as truth and at other times it may be elusive and pass through our mouths and minds like a sieve.



Masked Words
2011
19 1/2 x 6 1/4x 5 3/4 in.
altered Webster’s Dictionary, metal, marble

Masked Words is a dictionary that is transformed into a mask. It can be used to either hide or reveal feelings, depending upon intention.  We can use words to communicate poetically and educate others, speak hateful and prejudicial phrases or hide our true intentions depending on whether we are connected to the meaning of words and vocabulary we use. 

The ‘paper hair’ piece is removable allowing. The sculpture can be viewed with and without the accessory of another altered book that seems to explode from within the top of the artwork to reveal a stream of thoughts or consciousness. 





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