In the work of Erica Van Horn, books collect and transform remnants, remembrances, and remainders. From fragments that might otherwise be forgotten, Van Horn makes meaning in beautiful and unexpected ways. “I use the portability of the printed sheet, mostly in book form,” Van Horn writes, “to construct a narrative around the incidental parts of my life.”
The artist weaves together her methods and preoccupations into a common fabric of artistic practice and subject. Her interest in exploring the daily aspects of her life though her art, for instance, is informed and/or determined by her frequent use and reuse of ordinary materials as the raw materials of her work. A creative tension is present between her interest in language as a practical and physical matter worthy of sustained exploration and her deep interest in visual narrative; textual and imagistic qualities of identity, community, and memory are revealed by contrast and comparison.
Van Horn’s work insists that the book is to be valued as a record—of an event, a landscape, a creative vision, an obsession, or the most quotidian activities—even if the book revises or re-imagines that which it documents. The books in this exhibition remember everything—they discover, explore, and sometimes enact their specific content, but each also tells the story of its making, its reason for being, and its creator’s process.