Ann Hamilton - book weight qq (human carriage)
American, b.1956
book weight qq (human carriage), 2008
Archival inkjet print, 44 x 34 inches

Gift of the Global MBA Class of 2010

Born in Lima, Ohio in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. She is a visual artist internationally recognized for the sensory surrounds of her large-scale multi-media installations. She works in variety of media including photography, text, audio and video. At the beginning of her career, Hamilton concentrated on the relations between cloth, sound, touch, motion and human gesture, but her more recent work has added themes on the less material acts of reading, speaking and listening.
The series of prints book weights (human carriage) was created as an outcome of Ann Hamilton’s installation human carriage, which was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum in 2009 as part of the exhibition The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989. The photographic prints are created with small stacks of cut and rejoined sections of paperback books. While the prints may look larger than life, the original stacks were small enough to fit in one hand.
The time we spend in words is enormous. At any moment we might be speaking, reading, writing or listening to and with words. We are text based. Words record what has been and speculate on what might be. Writing is one of the central ways culture makes and records itself…It is no surprise that the book is a central artifact of culture. While reading a book might forever change us, it seems paradoxical that the act of reading itself doesn’t leave a visible mark; though we mark and remark upon the books that we read…I have come to wonder how the “invisible” experience that is the act of reading might become a form of materialized making; how the way one reads might be thought of as a form of drawing.
~Ann Hamilton, 2010