Words for Portraits is a series of essays and short stories from English-language and Italian-language authors written on a portrait of their choice.
Each book is the result of an encounter and collaboration between the visual and the verbal, the temporal and the spatial, the silent and the spoken.
Home can be a space of conflict or a source of continuity; it can entail hospitality or xenophobia. Changing concepts of home, from the medieval practise of living with livestock to the feminine gentility of nineteenth century domesticity, are today altering notions of public and private.
Addressing the theme with prints, Juxta invites artists to consider how art may constitute one of the acts we perform to makes ourselves at Home. But it is also an idea that transcends the materials we use to bolster it. As Heraclitus said, shivering at his stove, “For here too the gods are present.”
Nine contemporary artists contribute to this series of prints devoted to the idea of Justice. Plato saw justice as the ultimate virtue of both individuals and societies. Still, after the thousands of years our species has been on the planet, we remain uncertain about whether justice comes to us naturally or must be acquired through ongoing introspection and communal experiences.
Each print here operates as a kind of manifesto, a word that in Italian means both a poster and a statement announcing a new world view. Instead of words alone, however, now the statement comprises visual as well as mental values.
For Juxta‘s first series of artists’ books, we invite artists to consider the afterlife in its multifarious imaginings, such as extinction and nothingness, dislocation and resurrection. Throughout the millennia, every civilization and culture has developed a system of beliefs and rituals to address this universal conundrum.
The afterlife is an idea that evokes many questions but provides no assured answers. Is there anything ensuing the extinction of the body? Can human beings reconstitute themselves after death? Each artist explores such uncertainties, preserving their original viewpoint within a book.
This series binds together the work of master calligraphists from all over the world; they are the heirs and reinventors of a millenary tradition. Each book contains original drawings that foreground basic rhythm and form, tying together words and images, emotions and thoughts, nature and human imagination.
There is no space for hesitation; calligraphy moves between description and depiction, capturing the flux of what it signifies. Such modulation leaps beyond the here and now, as if to become a link of ink traversing the cosmos.