July 27, 2015

7/22/15 – What’s the Story with Lynne Avadenka?

Artist: Lynne Avadenka

Location: Her studio


LA – Coffee (w/ cream)

SRS – Coffee (black)

You know when you meet someone who makes you feel lazy? I am often told that I am that person, for other people. So it says something that Lynne Avadenka makes me feel like that. She doesn’t just manage Signal Return – a letterpress studio in the Eastern Market – she also has a thriving personal letterpress and bookmaking practice that, among other things, collects stories into a kind of personal-library-as-lifework.

Think about that, for a minute. If you’re half the bookphile I am, it will probably get y0ur motor running a little to realize that bookmakers can just, you know, make a book out whatever they want. And Lynne’s books aren’t just powerful stories; they are really beautiful. Her aesthetic choices are deliberate, and tailored to best support the stories in a variety of surprising ways.

But I think it’s the stories that most attract me. Representation–that is, whose stories make it to print, who is subsequently remembered beyond their own ability to tell their story–is a political issue. The labor-intensive nature of typesetting and printing forces artists like Lynne (as well as trade typesetters throughout the history of printing) to be selective about what text gets replicated and what gets cut, which in turn, shapes history. I like it when politics manages to find a delivery mechanism as smooth and subversive as Lynne’s pretty little volumes.

More on that, in detail–I have a profile of Lynne’s work, particularly in relationship to her own original texts and those of other writers, in the works for an upcoming issue of Detroit Research. So you can look forward to more on Lynne, and I can look forward to another breakfast, once I’ve figured out how to tell Lynne’s story.

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