40 × 40
This book is a sort of exhibition space in which things get pieced together one by one on its blank pages, whose confined space gives rise to a playful reduction of the artworks. The pictures narrate an idea, as in a cartoon, except that the graphic works here – which have inspired some of Claudia Comte’s paintings, prints and murals – return from their three-dimensional existence to fit into the two-dimensional medium of the book. In the rigorous play of visual combinations and permutations, the planes, lines and squares occupy a metrical space – an absurdity that turns the book into a kind of two-dimensional sculpture.
This artist’s book is mathematically structured like a Cartesian coordinate system. The horizontal x-axis (abscissa) divides each page into two planes, while the fold down the middle of the book forms the vertical (ordinate) y-axis. This partitioning of the large-format (40 x 40 cm) book produces four smaller squares on each spread.
The Cartesian coordinate system becomes a playful space in which Comte explores the possibilities of her sculptures and patterns as well as geometric operations such as translation, rotation, reflection and glide reflection. The resulting shapes change position, evolving into unique sculptures while remaining part of a larger pattern. They playfully evolve and revolve around the point of origin where the two axes meet, though always retaining their isometry. So the book can be read from all four sides: from the top and from the bottom, from the left and from the right.