The New World (2010) continuous scroll of collaged engravings made from the photographic contents of the 1894 travelogue “Glimpses of the World” by John Stoddard
This work is the first in an ongoing practice I came to think of as “epic” collage, a single monumental photomontage made from the entire photographic contents of a book. I found “Glimpses of the World” in the "breakers" section of the rare book room at the Strand in New York City (where books have lost their spines or are otherwise already damaged). First published in 1894 by John Stoddard, it is a photographic travelogue, a Grand Tour, of the Victorian world.
The "epic" collage is made through a very physical process of cutting, handling and visually rubbing different images against one another until a whole is formed. I have been fascinated with the way we represent our cultural history through time and by the way images disseminated through books, lodged in technologies of reproduction, come to represent a part of our contemporary selves and a largely unconscious way of knowing. I posit the epic collage as a physical encounter with this largely invisible history of images.