188 pp., 8 x 11 in, 82 color illus.
- Published: October 30, 2018
Artist book tracing the cannibal's consuming action and subsequent digestion, through corporeal flesh to mechanistic fixtures, pushing the material limit of ink on a page as a reflection of this narrative track.
Rochelle Goldberg's Cannibal Actif devours the line between artist book and archive. Each page bracketing a visual thought that leaks off the page seeping through to the next, proposing a structural challenge to the visual, material, and narrative format through which it unfolds. The book's pale cover will wear the dust and dirt of its surroundings, collected over time, while extreme varnish on the pages within will capture the readers residual touch. Thick pools of crude oil envelope bathers in Baku, spilling off their bodies onto a floodline, or further seeping out as a glossy stream of text. Oil poured over gears and out of portals does not stop at the page's edge. These spills are free of constraint—the drainage collects elsewhere onto another page, as a new image: a face, a hand, a snake. The arc of Goldberg's story traces the cannibal's consuming action and subsequent digestion, through corporeal flesh to mechanistic fixtures, while the material limit of ink on a page has been pushed to reflect this narrative track. Overlapping sequences of chroma centric blacks and rusty metallics bend and bleed to offer a psychedelic saliva that lubricates a hardened message, then tempered by soft gradients of reds, greens and pinks, reflecting the visceral membrane of a jellyfish, at once separating and joining two cavities—ingesting and secreting, in rhythm. Contributions by art historian Leah Pires, publisher Frances Perkins, and the artist crack open previous helpings of thoughts served as varnished murmurs, bold words now permitted to ooze across double-page spreads, a regurgitated message we too can consume.