Book Art

by Elena Berriolo

When we look at a book on a shelf or lying on a table, we can estimate how long it would take for us to read it or how long it took the book’s author to write it by guessing the number of pages it contains.


The page of a book is a unit of time as experienced by an individual. An hour or a minute are the same for everyone, but our time on a page is defined by our emotional and physical experience.


Because the sewing machine produces a real three-dimensional line that is able to embrace the two sides of the page as a time unit, it includes time and space.


For example, in my book Hurricane Sandy,(made by listening to the radio while being evacuated from my New York apartment) when I work on side one of the first page with my sewing machine, I can also imagine what I will probably see on side two as soon as I am able to turn the page; once there, I am confronted with the memory of the past on side one, and I can proceed sewing on page three, again reaching into page four with my needle.


This process is repeated throughout the 16 pages of the book.


Born in 1959, Elena Berriolo is a New York-based artist who has created many sculptures and installations. Since 2009, she made a commitment of working exclusively in the book format and performing while producing books. To learn more about Elena’s exhibitions, one-person shows, and public collections, visit her website:

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