Not everything we read is “bookish.” The world is full of short, declarative statements, carved in granite, embossed in metal, stenciled on glass or plastic, or else flickering on screens. This is language in its near-instantaneous aspects of signage or spectacle. But the words of a text are another matter, one of duration and absorption, to be sure, but also of an expectancy engaged with another kind of hinge, the page. The absorption of reading arises within a duration of pages, whose successive turnings are slices of time through text. One page starts a narrative, another concludes it. In between, so many parcels of language, each interrupted by the bottom of a page. A text so displayed is inherently partial. Our memory of reading other pages renders each page contingent, bound to other, unseen, pages that open endlessly outward toward the totality of words.
Buzz Spector’s art makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Orange County Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and many private galleries and alternative spaces. Spector’s poetry and experimental writing has been published in various journals and reviews since the 1970s, including Benzene, Café Solo, Piecrust, River Styx, and WhiteWalls. In 2012 a volume of selected interviews of Spector plus new page art, Buzzwords, was issued by Sara Ranchouse Publishing, Chicago. Spector holds degrees from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and the University of Chicago. He is professor of art in the College and Graduate School of Art of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.