18 Reasons has eagerly awaited the return of Julia Goodman, artist and papermaker, to our space. About a year ago, Julia joined us along with sound artist Scott Cazan to host “Transparent Substrate”, a beet papyrus workshop and hands-on exploration of pre-paper technology using the amazing, edible, seasonal beet. During the workshop, Julia discussed the range of materials used prior to the invention of paper, then led the group in pounding out their own piece of beet papyrus.
Julia’s returning next week with a new exhibition, which will be here at 18 Reasons from February 4-March 31. We want to share her below artist’s statement with you so you can read up before you come and see the exhibition in person. You can get an idea of Julia’s process from these brilliant photos of Julia taken for website In the Make when they visited her at home last year (thanks to Klea McKenna for letting us re-purpose them here).
If I were you, I’d join us for her opening February 4th from 6-9PM or at 18th Hour any Thursday in February or March–that way you can enjoy a bevvie and bite while you take in Julia’s work. Both take place at 18 Reasons at 3674 18th St.
For RADICLE PAPYRUS, Julia Goodman makes papyrus out of beets using bold colors and diverse symmetries that exist underground. Her continued interests in mortality and scarcity influence her use of delicate materials. The work establishes the existence of overlapping territory between the history of papermaking and the root vegetable. The exhibit includes related sound collaborations with Scott Cazan.
“With the abundance of paper used today throughout the world in books, magazines, and newspaper and for writing, it is difficult to conceive that there was a period of thousands of years when true paper did not exist. At the present time it would be impossible for civilization to endure, even for a day, the total lack of paper – a material that is as little understood by the average consumer as it is indispensable.”
Dard Hunter, Papermaking: The History & Technique of An Ancient Craft (1943)
My work originates from my investigation into the materials used before the widespread availability of paper, known as pre-paper technologies. Using this root vegetable and its incredible staining powers, I explore the different steps in the papyrus making process. The result is a thin, transparent, skin-like, intensely colored material. There’s something simple and satisfying about repositioning a material and letting light come through something that grows underground.