Sunt Lacrimae Rerum by Amaranth Borsuk - SOLD!

Created in response to the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad's street of booksellers, Sunt Lacrimae Rerum mourns the loss of both books and bodies. It takes its title from Aeneas's words of sorrow uttered before a Carthaginian mural depicting the Trojan War. Tragedy must be brought home to us, but how can we relay the depths of loss—a very idea predicated on absence? This reliquary is part lachrymatory: it contains a book whose text of tears is designed to tear away at itself each time the book is displayed. Pleated into an accordion, it plays the elegy for its own effacement as, gradually, the cut-out letters catch on one another, pulling themselves up and off the page until they may fall away entirely. Not only is the book's texture designed to transform, but its text does as well: page by page, one letter of the phrase changes at each turn. Although right now, "these are the tears of things," over time we might enter a space "where all the tears embraced."

Artist Bio

Amaranth Borsuk is a poet, scholar, and book artist whose work focuses on textual materiality-from the surface of the page to the surface of language. Between Page and Screen, an artist's book of augmented-reality poems created with programmer Brad Bouse, has been exhibited widely and was released in a trade edition by Siglio Press in 2012. Her collaboration with Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher, Abra, received an Expanded Artists' Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and is forthcoming as an artist's book and iPad app in 2014. Amaranth's poetry collection, Handiwork, was selected by Paul Hoover for the Slope Editions book prize in 2011. She is an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she also teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.