“El Prisma en tus Manos”


The Spanish title of this book translates as The Prism in Your Hands. This lithographic accordion pivots around a sequence of images from Aldrovandi’s 17th century compendium on minerals. Aldrovandi was an Italian naturalist who assembled one of the largest cabinets of curiosity of his time. He also studied and classified numerous specimens of plants, animals and minerals while driven by the impetus of early modernity. Frid studied his books at the Biblioteca Francisco de Burgoa in Oaxaca during a period of research that culminated in her artist’s book exhibition “Materias / Matter and Subject Matter” (on view from August to November 2015).

“In El Prisma… the colors of the spectrum of light are used to tint a group of minerals chosen from Aldrovandi’s text. Likewise, the background on which the sequence unfolds consists of a field of spectral colors that has been printed beneath reflective aluminum leaf. These colors peek through the aluminum leaf, which has been spaced in an array of rhythmic cracks. These spaces are what make each print in the edition unique with subtle variations”.

Both the title, “El Prisma en tus Manos”, and the print itself suggest, on the one hand, that a book in your hands is prismatic because of what it illuminates and makes tangible. On the other hand, it alludes to the endeavor of reading as a prism in itself: one where the act of interpretation brings to light and visibility that which a book holds in its pages.