Emily Lazerwitz

Prime Guides, 2014

Found books, sharpie

12 x 30 x 6 cm

‘Prime Guides’, 2014, is an earlier work from Emily Lazerwitz‘s redacted book series.

In this piece, a dictionary and a Bible, the two fundamental books of the English language, are both redacted on the right hand page. The artist has painstakingly removed all words that are not semantic primes from the pages of book by crossing them out with a sharpie. The bleed from the sharpie then comes through on the left hand page. The final work is both sculpture and performance. The artist is performing by reading aloud from the redacted text. This then allows the patterns of language to emerge.

Patterns and code are themes that Lazerwitz continuously explores in her work. In this close-up of the redacted text in ‘Prime Guides’, patterns emerge in the words that are left on the page. These patterns then become more present when the remaining text is read aloud by the artist, in her performances with the sculptures.

The act of redacting also references censorship. In other work, Lazerwitz uses censored CIA documents as her source, transcribing them into other forms, such as rugs and scarves.

See her redacting process on YouTube.