Body of Evidence

Body of Evidence is an artist book instigated by how twice after the 2016 election (but never once before) people attempted to leverage my immigration status as a compensation for their white fragility. The book was printed in red & blue over white, with black and various shades of gray. It is shaped as an envelope with flaps open, folded lengthwise. By design, it is unable to stand on its own.

back and front covers
cover detail

The text is made of excerpts from personal journals about my experience of 20 years as an immigrant artist, supplemented with quotes from Rebecca Solnit, Emily Dickinson, William James, Agnes Martin, and Fernando Pessoa. It was printed at The Center for Book Arts, using the house type collection.

All images are from my neighborhood in Northern Manhattan, historically an immigrant sanctuary. They were printed from woodcuts, alternative photographic processes, screenprints, and photopolymer plates. The photogravures plate and printing are by Aurora De Armendi. The screenprints were possible thanks to a scholarship by the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.

The book is bound on meeting guards, and the covers are full leather lacunose panels with tree bark and mother-of-pearl onlays.

2020, 9×16″ (closed). 30 pages, edition of 09 numbered copies. Here is a video showing the page flow and some details, with the added grace of an original tango score and expert editing:

The completion of this project was possible thanks to a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

For a deeper insight about processes & circumstances, please visit the related blog post.

Photos: Argenis Apolinario