This ‘Me’ of Mine is an unusual book, as it brings to print an art exhibition that was curated via Twitter and online communications. It is an art book, as well as a collection of essays, interviews, and artists’ statements, edited (or “curated”) by Jane Boyer.
An online search reveals that Boyer’s overall project consists of physical exhibitions at the Ipswich Art Gallery, YouTube videos, cross-disciplinary symposiums, and more. This book serves as one piece of the whole, but also as a representative summary of Boyer’s goals and concepts. The book makes its greatest demands on readers early on, as short essays by a series of artists, lecturers, and other commentators offer their perspectives on the central theme: self in relation to context. It’s a broad concept, and the essays range from the straightforward to the highly stylized, with insights and tedious, meandering tangents alike.
After that, the book offers a guide to the exhibition itself, including photographs of the works, and interviews (conducted by Boyer) with the artists, discussing their philosophies, motivations and techniques. This is the book’s strength: The interviews are mostly interesting and the art itself is excellent and well-photographed for reproduction here. The various media represented include oils on canvas, digital and video art, and many others. Combined with the interviews, they illuminate the themes of self in relation to context better than the sometimes-obtuse essay section.
There’s a lot of art-thesis vocabulary floating around in This ‘Me’ of Mine, and with so many different voices (in text and art), it’s sometimes difficult to focus on the central theme. Boyer admits that this sort of examination of self is “a vast topic and one which many others have tackled.” Although that’s surely true, she manages to add something intriguing to the conversation.
Also available in hardcover.