This is a book about immigration, nostalgia, identity and adaptation.
Bilingual artist’s book by Beata Wehr investigates the dilemma of being a person from two places trying to bring those worlds together. She suggests connecting through travel: ‘But you need a plane ticket.’ Or sending letters, but ‘most of us do not write letters.’ Illustrations, as well as text, tell the story. A map of the world gives way to maps of two cities, followed by dual envelopes with return addresses in Warsaw and Tucson. Finally, she attempts to wed the two worlds via computer graphics. Fusing photographs of each locale, she places architectural columns amidst the spires of cacti near her desert home—a virtual reality that is, of course, uninhabitable. The final resolve: adapt to a nomadic life. Pages are divided in three vertical sections with central images crossing the spreads. Text is printed in English and Polish, from left to right, then backwards, as a distorted mirror to translated counterparts—perhaps a ‘literalization’ of that peculiar travel discomfort of not knowing whether you are coming or going.
inkjet printed on Laid Cover Neenah paper, self enclosed carousel accordion, metal object stitched to the cover
Beata Wehr is a visual artist and educator from Warsaw, Poland. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, traveling back to Europe every year.
She graduated from the Warsaw University in Poland with an M.A. degree in art history in 1982 and from the University of Arizona with an M.F.A. in painting/combined media in 1999. She paints and creates artist’s books, examining in her work the ideas of home, place, time, transience and multicultural experiences. Her works were shown in international and national exhibitions and are included in over 50 public collections in the USA and abroad.