Granary Books, 2010. Item #GB_147
9 1/2 x 15 3/4 in., 40 pp., accordion-fold book with suede wrappers, clamshell box.
The following commentary by Leslie Scalapino is excerpted, in part, from "The Division Between Fact and Experience:"
“The Animal is in the World like Water in Water is a collaboration of drawings by Kiki Smith and poetry by Leslie Scalapino (myself), published by Granary Books in 2010. Kiki Smith sent me color Xeroxes of a completed sequence, forty-three drawings, which she’d titled, Women Being Eaten by Animals. I wrote the poem using the sense of an unalterable past occurrence: one female, apparently the same girl, is repeatedly, in very similar images as variations, bitten and clawed by a leopard-like, lion-like animal. Both person and animal have abstracted features, giving the impression of innocence or opaqueness. As in a dream of similar actions or a dream of a single, timeless action, the girl flecked with blood while being unaltered by the animal’s touch, there is no representation of motion except stillness of the figures floating in space of page. Neither the girl nor the animal articulate expression, as if phenomena of feeling(s) do not exist.
"The words make in an outside/space a sense of the undoing of social tyranny as undoing of any hierarchy in individuals’ feelings and perception as well as in people’s values (public indistinguishable from private). Without hierarchy, past-reality-future is apparently free paradise of childhood and of birds. This outside space of the word/or that is my words abuts the other visible space of "Women being eaten by animals" (Kiki’s original title). While reading as well as seeing the images (but also if only seeing the visual images?), the viewer has the experience of body and mind being separated as if that is caused by the outside world. This experience of the viewer arises from their sense, in seeing, that one is separated from the scene of the girl and the animal alone together as if making love; and a sense of separation arises from the girl and animal not mimicking expressions of experiencing sensations. The disconnect that’s itself the dreamlike dialogue between ‘not being experienced (by the senses)’— and separation or union (both together?) of mind/eye and body/sight—has to be first enacted by Smith’s visual images, in order for the language to broach this (subject) matter at all. Is dialogue possible without language?”
This book was produced by Katherine Kuehn and Steve Clay. The digital prints by Justin Israels are individually handcolored ("activated" in her term) by Kiki Smith. The book is accordion-bound in ultra suede by Daniel Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage and housed in a clamshell box. This is from an edition of 45 copies, of which approx. 30 are for sale; each numbered and signed by the poet and artist. Out-of-print.
Pictured: p. 19 detail; pp. 15–16; p. 16 detail; pp. 27–29; 29–30; p. 29 detail; pp. 37–38.
Complete digitized work available at Reed College Artists' Books website.
Further reading: Scalapino, Leslie. "Note on The Animal is in the World like Water in Water: The Division Between Fact and Experience." War and Peace Volume 4 "Vision and Text" edited by Judith Goldman and Leslie Scalapino (O Books, 2009).
Further listening: Leonard Schwartz interviews Kiki Smith January 6, 2011 about her collaboration with Leslie Scalapino, The Animal is in the World Like Water in Water. Available on Penn Sound.