Brad Freeman, “Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine”

Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine explores the possibilities of the book-as-collage composed of associative links among the pages and on the plane of the page spread. The book is a visual journey through the elemental aspects of what it means to be a human. Visually represented themes of creativity, sharing, curiosity, sex, safety, domesticity, beauty, and the danger inherent in living interweave through the pages. My annotations are visual commentaries accomplished by relationships formed by the placement of the images rather than the traditional textual gloss used in scholarly works — my strategy being a sort of visual anthropoetry. The associative possibilities within the turning of pages combined with the lushly layered quality of the highly rendered images allow for an immersive viewing experience.

As a photographer and offset lithographer I intervene creatively and experimentally at any point during print production — from the camera, to digital image program, during photomechanical prepress, and on press. In Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine I used many experimental printing techniques and editing decisions in order to heighten the visual and emotive impact of the images. I consider the idea of the book-as-collage to be influenced by musical improvisation.

 

Near the beginning of the journey through the book is an image of a ship heading toward a lighthouse on a small island. This is a metaphor for a journey fraught with danger and the unexpected. The photograph of the lighthouse is an extreme close-up revealing the halftone dots that comprise the original image in which the lighthouse is less than an inch tall. The image also refers to the print technology used to produce this book — the halftone dots of offset lithography. I approach offset lithography as a creative printmaking medium, with decisions often occurring on press — as on this page spread in which I added two additional runs of black to frame the image in a shadow and to mirror the lighthouse by the boat.

 

The photo of “Aunt Jemima” offering oranges was taken at the Xapuri restaurant in Brazil and is meant to surprise with a demonstration of a prevalent racist attitude. And yet, the offering of oranges by “Aunt Jemima” is meant as a symbol of welcome and fellowship from a lush and verdant place.

 

The verso – hands writing, sharing, creating – during a performance of “Cloud Texts” initiated by the Mexican artist Martha Hellion – Belo Horizonte. The recto – a hand poised next to a drawing and the hand-written word BOOKS. This spread is a further development of the theme of creativity-as-sharing occurring through the book.

 

Toward the end of the book — vividly colored flowers symbolizing bountiful life — held by a woman on the far left. On the far right a dark demon-like figure as a metaphor for death.

 

Artist: Brad Freeman (Chicago, IL)

Title: Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine (2012)

Medium/technique(s): offset lithography as a creative printmaking medium; case bound; all the printing and binding are by the artist

Edition size: 100

Number of pages: 68

Dimensions, open: 12″ (H) x 20.5″ (W) x 11/16″

Dimensions, closed: 12″ (H) x 10″ (W)

 

Artist Statement:

Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine explores the possibilities of the book-as-collage composed of associative links among the pages and on the plane of the page spread. The book is a visual journey through the elemental aspects of what it means to be a human. Visually represented themes of creativity, sharing, curiosity, sex, safety, domesticity, beauty, and the danger inherent in living interweave through the pages. My annotations are visual commentaries accomplished by relationships formed by the placement of the images rather than the traditional textual gloss used in scholarly works – my strategy being a sort of visual anthropoetry. The associative possibilities within the turning of pages combined with the lushly layered quality of the highly rendered images allow for an immersive viewing experience.

As a photographer and offset lithographer I intervene creatively and experimentally at any point during print production – from the camera, to digital image program, during photomechanical prepress, and on press. In Annotated Amusement Guide Magazine I used many experimental printing techniques and editing decisions in order to heighten the visual and emotive impact of the images. I consider the idea of the book-as-collage to be influenced by musical improvisation.