Press Release: Sparagana, Sleeping Beauty
With the publication of Sleeping Beauty: A One-Artist Dictionary, the University of Chicago Press is proud to announce Project Tango, a new series of experimental collaborations between artists and writers. Exploding the traditional dynamic of the artist’s relationship with the critic, Sleeping Beauty inaugurates a genuine dialogue, in which the interlocutors have equal agency. This conversation tests the limits of creative collaboration, bringing new ideas to the process of making books and expanding the possibilities of the medium.
Here, for example, Mieke Bal contributes twenty-six essays—one for each letter of the alphabet—which borrow their organizing principle from the dictionary but reach far beyond the utilitarian purpose of a reference work. Each one enters deeply into John Sparagana’s art, illuminating concepts from Abstract to Zestful that inform, underlie, and lend meaning to the exquisitely ruined images he creates by crinkling glossy images from fashion magazines until their sheen disappears and they become soft and elastic. The images, for their part, speak back through Sparagana’s unique process of subtraction, which physically rubs away not only ink and material, but also transience and commercial usefulness. The result is an extraordinary first step in Project Tango’s unchoreographed dance. We can’t wait to see where it leads us.
Read the press release.