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Inside Out: Books

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By Katrina Umber


June 11, 2013

Going through my notebooks, and bookshelves,
the words and images I continue to carry with me...

Books! The first place I encountered good art was in the art stacks at the public library. How I love books!

I will share with you words and images, my own and those of others, that have shaped my thinking and art making.


Alexander Rodchenko, Portrait of Mother,1920. In a scrapbook made by Katrina Umber in her early twenties.

"Read. Read something else. Go back to the first thing and see how it is changed."
from Long Life Cool White, by Moyra Davey


Katrina Umber, Mom Blue Blouse, 2009

"To worry or to smile, such is the choice when we are assailed by the strange; our decision depends on how familiar we are with our own ghosts."
—Julia Kristeva


Robert Mapplethorpe, Portrait of Louise Bourgeois, 1982. In Umber's copy of Likeness: Portraits of Artists by other Artists.

"In German, one does not say 'there is' or 'there are,' but rather 'es gibt,' which literally means 'it gives.' This is not a theological account of Being. … 'Es gibt de Blumen' means that the flowers are in the form of a giving, perhaps even in the form of a self-giving."
from The Author as Receiver, by Kaja Silverman


Yayoi Kusama, Accumulation II, 1962. In Umber's copy of Part Object Part Sculpture.

"To think about something—to think through something."
—Dave McKenzie


Yves Klein. In Umber's copy of Yves Klein: Long Live The Immaterial.

"And few things are more repellent than a programmed sense of "intimacy" or a regulated experience of 'accident'."
—Liz Kotz from Aesthetics of Intimacy


Katrina Umber, Skowhegan 2011, Haig Aivasian and Maria Walker.

"What I can name cannot really prick me. The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance."
from Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida


Umber's copy of Long Life Cool White, by Moyra Davey

"…as if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow in the emptiest of metaphors, since none of us can ever express the exact measure of our needs, or our ideas, or our sorrows, and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we beat our tunes for bears to dance to, when we long to move the stars to pity."
from Lydia Davis’ translation of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary


William Eggleston, Georgia, Late 70s. In Umber's copy of The Hasselblad Award 1998

actuality always outstrips the procedures for registering it


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About Author

Katrina Umber is BR&S artist in residence for June 2013.

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