Eugene, OR: Terri Warpinski, 2017.
First printing. 13.5 x 11 x 3.5 inches (book, closed); 14.5 x 11.25 x 5 inches (box). Images printed by the photographer with archival pigments on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 188 gsm paper; laser-cut covers and text pages, structure, and binding design and execution by Rory Sparks of Portland, Oregon.
With essays by Richard Rodriguez and Sandy Tolan.
The last copy in an edition of nine numbered and signed copies; as new. Item #4520
Focusing on three border zones — the Israel–Palestine separation barrier, the US–Mexico border, and the former Berlin Wall — Surface Tension: Landscapes of Division photographically examines the multiple and conflicted perspectives that complicate these places. The book uses an unusual variant of the dos-a-dos binding method, with three rather than the usual two books married into one, each having a unique point of access.
In the book’s ‘normal’ orientation a viewer begins with the US–Mexican landscape; when the book is flipped over so that the ‘back’ faces up, they encounter another front cover with another laser-cut sculptural title. In this orientation the book functions as all books written in Arabic and Hebrew do, in that the cover opens left to right and the text unfolds from right side of the page to left. In the center, between these two sections, sits the segment with the landscape of Berlin, which can be entered from either side, and can serve as either a prologue or epilogue for the two contemporary borders.
The very innovative sculptural structure of Surface Tension is designed to allow for a vertical presentation when the book is not being examined page by page. Standing upright in the custom cloth-covered box, the book echoes the slabs of concrete that stood side by side to create the Berlin Wall, as well as those barriers that separate the Palestinian Territories from Israel, and the United States from Mexico. When stretched out into a large “W” shape, the book extends to between three and four feet in length.
Surface Tension: Landscapes of Division is the culmination of more than fifteen years of work, which began with Terri Warpinski’s Fulbright scholarship in Israel in 2000–01. Selected from literally tens of thousands of images, the photographs in Surface Tension (as well as those in the photographer’s two collaborative portfolios of US–Mexico images, Liminal Matter: Fences and Liminal Matter: Traces, published with poems by Laura Winter and viewable on this site), capture the stark contradictions and extraordinary terrain of these zones of contact and conflict.
Terri Warpinski is a Professor Emerita of Art at the University of Oregon, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Israel in 2000–2001. Her work has been shown internationally in more than a hundred exhibitions, at such venues as the Pingyao International Festival of Photography in China; the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem; Houston International Fotofest; the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York; the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; and Camerawork in San Francisco. Her work was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of the Society for Photographic Education’s journal Exposure with an essay “Insecure Borders: Terri’s Warpinski’s Surface Tension” written by Katherine Ware, Curator, New Mexico Museum of Art.