Sara Luz Jensen

delaying dumfounding ease

Artist Statement 

Falling is a hand-printed, hand-bound artist book in an edition of 20 copies that features a poem written by James Dickey, titled “Falling.” This artist book edition is the primary project for my thesis at the Center for the Book, and reflects my practice in book design, letterpress printing and book binding. James Dickey’s poem, originally published in 1967, is the entire text of this artist book. The poem is about a flight attendant who is sucked out of an airplane at cruising altitude and drops to her death over Kansas. Dickey was inspired to write the poem after reading a brief article published in the New York Times in 1962 that reported an airplane accident resulting in an airline stewardess falling to her death. A few lines of this New York Times article appears as the epigraph to the poem. The mood of Dickey’s poem is haunting, but also beautiful and surreal, and my goal was to create an artist book that engaged with and reflected the themes of the poem by way of the book design, book structure, material choice, and image.  

This project reflects my artistic and conceptual interests in the book as a site for performance and my assertion that every aspect of a book can be manipulated for effect. In other words, the book structure, binding, materials, printing and movement of the book can all be considered as content, just as any words or images that may appear on the pages. In this way, making books becomes an art practice.