With the arrival of COVID-19 came an invitation to let go. This artist book germinated at the beginning of the lockdown in spring 2020, as I settled into isolation and reflected on my attachments. I finished production two years later, when faces began emerging from behind N95 masks.
How much is enough? In this catalog of belongings that I’ve given away or let go of, I examine the relationship between longings and belongings and the wrestle of generosity with attachment. It’s a record of practicing generosity, of making space for a sense of enough. After an object leaves my possession, the residue of attachment often remains. The greater the sentimental value, the longer the memory of the object persists, filling the space as if it had never left.
This endeavor to leave the world of never enough and abide in the space of enough is a daily, minute-by-minute practice. Occasionally I glimpse what it’s like to simple be.
Encouraging me in the practice of generosity are sages across time and faith traditions. “Enough Is Enough” features quotes from those sages. Their words appear on the white sheet opposite the image of an object.
Paired with their words of wisdom throughout the book, my own reflections concretize the pursuit of ideals in a culture of insatiable craving. My words appear over the ghost image of each object.
The book consists of 16 folios and 18 single pages, all unbound and contained within a clamshell box. Each folio, printed on Thai mulberry paper, features an image of an object and, when the folio is opened, the negative space, signifying the giving away or letting go of the object. Behind each folio is a single sheet, printed on BFK Rives. On the front side is the ghost image of the object and my written reflection of that object. On the back side is a quote from a sage.
To produce this book, I used an intaglio printmaking method for the image and monoprinting for the background. I letterpress printed the text from photopolymer plates at Minnesota Center for Book Arts on a Vandercook Universal 1.
When I began printing “Enough Is Enough,” I’d intended to produce an edition of 15. However, the printing techniques were challenging, and I ended up with only 6 copies. After 18 months of problems and challenges, my outbursts matched the title of the book, with the occasional variation of “Enough already!” I’m considering having a trade edition printed digitally, so more of the books can get out into the world. The price would be around $60. If you would be interested in a copy, please let me know. That will help me determine how many to print.
Enough Is Enough
Intaglio, mono print, letterpress printed in an edition of 6
16 folios on Thai mulberry paper
18 single sheets on Rives BFK
Folios and sheets contained within a clamshell box
“Enough Is Enough” is a semifinalist for the 2022 MCBA Prize.