Danger Book

‘Be careful of books. Be careful with books. Be careful or one can become a weapon-wielder. Be careful or one can become the victim’ -Cai Guo-Qiang

Artist books are not so much books as book-like objects. They are in themselves a work of art, they come in all shapes, sizes and forms, often challenging our notions of what constitutes a book. Artists have come up with some pretty inventive ways of presenting their work, however the most bizarre I have encountered is by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s Danger Book is made up of a series of drawings made using gunpowder and glue. Within the pages is attached a bundle of matches with a string that dangles out of the edge of the book, inviting the reader to pull it and in so doing ignite the book and set off the gunpowder. Thus each book is unique and comes with a kind of performance included in the price.

Read The Transient Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

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Cai Guo Giang Suicide Fireworks
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Danger Books: Suicide Fireworks. Edition of nine unique books, one prototype and one artist’s proof. Each book is individually titled.
Height: 75 cm | Width: 41.4 cm | Depth: 2 cm

The video below is a documentation of the process of making a Danger Book:

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The Dream

The Dream (The Bed). Frida Kahlo. 1940.

The Dream (The Bed). Frida Kahlo. 1940.

In this painting, as well as others, Frida’s preoccupation with death is revealed. In real life Frida did have a papier-mâché skeleton (Juda) on the canopy of her bed. Diego called it “Frida’s lover” but Frida said it was just an amusing reminder of mortality. Frida and the skeleton both lie on their side with two pillows under their head. While Frida sleeps the skeleton is awake and watching. The bed appears to ascend into the clouds and the embroidered vines on her bedspread seem to come to life and begin to entwine with her body. The roots at the foot of the bed appear to have been pulled out of the ground. The skeleton’s body is entwined with wires and explosives that at any moment could go off… making Frida’s dream of death a stark reality. In this painting and in others, Frida uses the “Life/Death” themethe plants representing the rebirth of life and the skeleton representing death.

Text from FridaKahloFans