ELIZABETH DOVE
ARTWORK SCREENS INFO HOME
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recent work Editions
It Started with Aardvark
past work
Aardvark: B Sides
all letters
Dictionary Collages
Beyond Words

This project was completed in 2012 after three years of work with a small edition of twenty-six prints and set of B Sides, prints with only two to five select layered illustrations from each letter. I did all the printing myself. Each heavily layered print becomes a gestural, somewhat haunted composite which is both legible and chaotic, a dense logo of information.

This colossal act of manual labor helps to form the conceptual basis of the project and is integral to the meaning of the completed material artwork. It is this quality of passing time, the compression of visual and textual history into one icon which needs to be unpacked and deciphered by a viewer that is the crux of this project. The project’s strategies of process and material take advantage of a cultural framework shared between the artist and the viewer. Exclusively using illustrations appropriated from a canonical cultural resource (the dictionary) quickly suggests that the artwork is engaging in a conversation about meaning.

A screenprint that takes legible information in the form of dictionary illustrations and condenses them into a nearly illegible web of lines isn’t nihilistic. Rather, it is attempting to demonstrate through the process of its own making the difficulty and the complexity of the search for meaning. The action of making is almost a performance that remains embodied in the work as a ritual dedicated to the beauty of trying to figure things out.