Used as an example of a complex structure by Johanna Drucker in The Century of Artists Books, this aptly named book unfolds to suggest, and then to illustrate, the circles of Dante’s Inferno. Each page has an open center which when properly positioned serves to make a hollow core and a downward spiral:
“The colors, the crudeness of the written marks, the rough cut relentless patterns (influenced by African textiles) create a vision in which reason collapses…”
The images for this book were made entirely from hand-cut templates and painted with spray paint, applied individually by the artist on each copy.
In his artist’s statement about this book Clif Meador says he wanted to create a reading experience that would mimic a performance sculpture requiring the reader actively to manipulate the book in order to read it. He was inspired visually by the depiction the Apocalypse in a tenth century Spanish illuminated manuscript made by Christians living under Islamic rule.
This book was published by Space Heater Editions in 1984 in an edition of thirty-five actual copies, with fifty specified. Only six remain. All copies are signed by the artist.
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