Thursday, March 11, 2021

Sam Winston, A Dictionary Story, Arc Artist Editions, London, 2005/2013

the book inside a clear plastic cover

This is a new version of Winston's original 2005 book of the same title, but this time it's presented as 3 single-sided accordions of 5 pages each. As Winston has stated "I became interested in the dictionary because it has the ability to say everything that can be ever said. It contains all the stories imaginable, but just not in any comprehensible order." Furthermore, in a recent interview (Typeroom, Nov., 25, 2020) he ruminates on the nature of the dictionary as a book, "Here's a device that is designed to explain a words' meaning by offering further words in its place - to me that is remarkable. This is a type of knowledge that can only explain itself through referencing itself".  

Each of these separate accordions plays with the connections between each word and its 'wordy' definition, with the words questioning their order in the dictionary, and then spinning out of control with their individual letters spilling haphazardly across the page creating a crazed kind of visual poetry.

Here's an excellent interview with Winston in which he talks about his practice and the history and reception of this book: SAM WINSTON - DICTIONARY STORY

3 accordions, 8" x 6", 5 pages single-sided, and when individual accordions are opened up 2ft 6".

back cover

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