|Melissa Jay Craig, (S)Edition, 2010, Handmade abaca paper,|
Processed by the artist
Putting aside the tongue-in-cheek tone of my over-the-top references to Melissa Jay Craig's (S)Edition, the transcribed panic above may not be too far removed from the message the artist meant to convey with her fearsome book mushrooms. If you find this statement difficult to believe, feast your eyes on the following definition of "sedition":
si • dish • uhn -- noun 1. incitement of discontent of rebellion against a government; 2. any action, esp. in speech or writing, prompting such discontent or rebellion 3. archaic rebellious disorder.
I don't know about you, dear reader, but I have a new favorite word.
By creating paper mushrooms that take the shape of books growing from the walls, Craig plays with the seedy side of knowledge and its tendency to grow and reproduce in the shadowy corners of society. Mushrooms, for those of you whose parents aren't crazy biologists who are fanatical about fungi, grow and thrive best in dark, moist locations like the underside of a tree root or--in a more off-putting yet relevant scenario, in a dark basement. By fusing books forms with those of mushrooms, Craig brings to mind such dark, secluded spots and the kind of information that is produced in such locales. There is an element of danger to these ideas, for the implication is that they would not be able to form in the open air of public (or government) scrutiny.