The series of prints on the alphabet by Christine Ljubanovic is impressive first of all because of its character as a total project. Its principle is to interweave the totality of writing systems with the totality
of graphic techniques. This enterprise, extreme in its distinct way, means that this graphic series is one of those rare »infinite works« (Gilles Deleuze) that, precisely because of their claim to totality, are unconsciously structured so that they can never be finished and yet still take on a particular form, like in literature the great incomplete novels by Proust, Musil, and Joyce.
Because of this characteristic, this graphic series cannot easily be assigned a place among the styles of recent art, and it has its temporal dimension: you can sense that the artist has worked for ten years on just this one series.
Three themes predominate throughout the work. The first consists in exploring the alphabet (writing) and printing as technology. The alphabet, paper and (book) printing are presented as one, indivisible structure that by itself creates an aesthetic, or an »aesthetic threshold«. Christine Ljubanovic probes the various possibilities and nuances of this aesthetic, sheet by sheet, print by print.
Second, this structure (alphabet, paper, print) is scrutinized in the work as it manifests itself in different
parts of the world in all sorts of different cultures. The work derives its formal rigor precisely from the fact that the different »aesthetic thresholds« of the various cultures lend each individual print its particular form. And third, an ethnological or even anthropological dimension is apparent throughout the work.
In ten years of research all over the world, Christine Ljubanovic has brought to light and revitalized a
veritable archive of diverse printing cultures, many of whose particular techniques had already been
forgotten.Thus, in a very personal way, this work succeeds in doing what was the aim of Concept and
Story Art right from the beginning: to provide a direct, visual »picture of thinking«.
Translated from German into English by Steven Gilbert
Christine Ljubanovic impressit Alphabet & Signs, Letters/Lands 1983–1993
published by Kupferstichkabinett der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna
on the occasion of the exhibition with the same title, October 22-November 21, 1999.
The Artist Book: impressit Alphabet & Signs, Letters/Lands 1983–1993
The content of this artist book are original prints of a limited edition, realised on various locations around the world. It was impressed in collaboration with a great number of artists, artisans and printmakers
in various techniques and working processes. Exploring the alphabet (writing), printing as technology, paper as surface. Ethnological and anthropological aspects have been investigated and researched. Undertaking the transfer of a visible picture of thinking.