DIARIO NO. 1 by Mirtha Dermisache. Antwerp, Guy Schraenen, 1975, 48 x 36cm. Issued in folio size newspaper format.
The Argentinian artist Mirtha Dermisache (1940-2012) is one of a rather overlooked group of female artists who were working in the 1970s and who used the artist book as a medium to express themselves. Dermisache’s first book, written in 1967 and divided into Libro no.1 and Libro no.2, was wordless. Melissa Gronlund says of Dermisache in her essay ‘Decodable Signals’, ‘In her Diarios series, the artist copies out the daily newspaper, turning an organ of information into a rectangular array of shapes and forms, preserving the architecture of the newspaper but losing the informational remit. Though we learn nothing from the newspaper about the events it records, we can gauge a lot about Dermisache’s state of mind on the day she does the copying: concentration reflected in small, precise characters; tiredness in lazy loops; enthusiasm in large characters…’
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