February 27, 2023

Radicalizing the Hebrew Letter – on Lynne Avadenka @ Hyperallergic

With each passing moment, how close do we come to losing valuable aspects of culture for want of attention? Are we all, as keepers of the cultural flame, resigned to a Fahrenheit 451-type existence, maintaining mere memories of the words that inspired us to great thoughts and actions? Not Lynne Avadenka. An artist and bookmaker, she absorbs the power of her readings and translates them into forms that transcend literature.

In addition to a prolific personal practice that includes book-makingprints, and mixed media; experimentation with the mechanics of typesetting as a graphic art form; and meticulously researched series connected to literature, history, and religion; Avadenka also sits at the helm of Signal Return, a community letterpress shop in Detroit, founded in 2011, and celebrating a dozen years with an impending move from its flagship location in the historic Eastern Market, to a new eastside art complex, Lantern.

“Reading is radical,” says Avadenka. Like many of her statements, it is a straightforward sentiment that carries an astonishing depth of commitment. Who truly understands the labor involved in creating readable content if not letterpress artists? Before reading can be a radical act, something must be printed; it is in seizing the means of production that Avadenka is able to disseminate ideas that hold significance for her. In this sense, her work is largely about paying attention.

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