1958: “… All these things, the visitor may do, all these places he may visit, but he will never weary of Africa, the unspoiled playground of the world and the continent of the future…”
2010: Sixteen countries described in the above quote are now listed on the US Department of State’s website with a travel warning. This is issued to “describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous and unstable. A travel warning is also issued when the US Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to consulate closures, drawdown of staff…”
This book has been altered in a way that does not allow access to information. No matter what hope we had for the “continent of the future” 52 years ago, those facts no longer exist, and the current social, political and economic climate presents an entirely different situation today.
Mary Bennett is a conceptual artist working with book arts, printmaking and art projects that engage the public on issues of community, social justice and the environment.
Regarding her work with found materials, including vintage books, Bennett says, “It’s very important for me to start with materials that have had a former life. I want them to have been something else, and I want to transform or reconfigure them to make something different. I don’t care if you recognize it or not, this former life, and I almost always use text.”
Boise Weekly recently called Mary Bennett a “book arts pioneer” who alters an object by “Transforming its traditional origins both emphasizing her source’s former life while challenging the viewer to reconsider the same.”
|Place of Publication||Portland, OR|
|Book Structure/ Binding Method||Vintage book altered with folds and thread|
|Dimensions (WxH) or (WxHxD)||6 x 10 x 4.25 inches|
|Signed and Numbered?||Signed by the artist|