Patterns of Abuse
altered book, collage
9½ x 6½ x 11/5 in
This work is formed from two texts. A novel about politics and power by John H. Taylor, Patterns of Abuse, is the actual book whose binding you see and whose cover and pages have been hollowed out in the shape of a bowl. This redaction is not evident, however, as a single altered page of Bob Woodward’s Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, has been slipped in just underneath the gouged-out cover, thus veiling the inner world of Taylor’s book. Of course, the altered Woodward page itself, with most of the print drilled out, resembles a classified document with censored text and alludes to the way in which abuse perpetuates itself, becoming habitual and recurrent.
Portrait of a Virus in the Hermitage
71/8 x 7 x 5/8
The death of two friends from AIDS in the early 1990s sadly inspired the theme of decay in this work, a corrosive force which eats away at this volume of exquisite facsimiles from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, destroying its representations of the human body. I manipulated a belt sander, as a drawing implement, to grind away at the images in an oval shape that referenced cameo portraits in both photography and painting. Instead of capturing the likeness of a human physiognomy within the elliptical field, the alteration ends up eradicating the image like a disease feeding on ink and paper. Compounding the metaphor of fatal illness, here also is figured - by disfigurement - a non-computer virus to which the material works of human culture are subject.
Doug Beube is a mixed-media artist working in bookworks, collage, sculpture and photography. Since 1993, he has been curator of a private collection, The Allan Chasanoff Bookworks Collection: The Book Under Pressure, in New York City. Doug teaches classes at Parsons The New School in artists' books, collage, mixed-media, and photography and workshops at Penland, Haystack and The Center for Book Arts. He regularly lectures on his work throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Prior to receiving an MFA in Photography from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, graduating in 1983, he was darkroom assistant to Minor White in Arlington, MA. He exhibits extensively both nationally and internationally and his bookworks and photographs are in numerous private and public collections.