Longing Press ~ South Carolina
(Ashley Kauschinger)

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Ashley Kauschinger is a narrative photographer that explores identity and family.
By Ashely Kauschinger
[Columbia, South Carolina]: Longing Press, 2014. Edition of 6.

3 x 9”; 16 pages. Printed letterpress with handset type on Rives BFK paper. Bound in faux leather book cloth with coptic stitch binding. Archival inkjet prints. Other materials: upholstery thread, grommets. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Ashley Kauschinger: "For the last few years I have been making work about my family without photographing any of my family members -mostly still lives and self-portraits. During this time, I have been feeling a change in my relationship with my mother. The mother/daughter relationship is complicated and changes as you both change and as time passes. For me, there started to be a greater physical distance, but an unchanging emotional closeness. As well as, a shift in that instead of being a child being cared for by a mother, we began to care for one another. I started to think about what it means to be a woman, and how much of that is influenced by my mother. I was interested in looking from the past up to the present to explore the relationship and how it affected me, but ultimately how it affected both of us. I feel that the mother/child relationship is important to a lot of people, and I wanted to make an artist book that could be personal to many.

“This book is part of a larger body of photographs titled Questions of Origin. They were exhibited together in a solo exhibition this past May 2014. I wanted to further explore the mother/daughter relationship in book form in order to use symbolic materials to communicate emotions and aspects of the relationship.

“The cover of the book is a timeless and elegant dark red faux-leather with a gold letterpressed title. This elegance creates an impression of important contents within, and also references a personal photo album. The Coptic stitch represents two people (the covers) being connected and intertwined through the looping of the stitches.

“The long thread in the book is one single thread that as it moves throughout the pages, appears as two threads. The thread keeps the pages together but also functions as a constraint, limiting how wide the book can open and causing the viewer to cradle it. The book cannot lay flat, but is capable of standing up on its own. All of these aspects represent emotions about the mother/daughter relationship. Each photograph within the book was printed together, and then sliced apart. The connected images actually exist on two different signatures that are reconnected by the binding to appear as one. This represents how the mother and daughter have been connected since birth, and even as they both separate, they are still one.”


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Burnt Reflection
By Ashley Kauschinger
Columbia, South Carolina: Ashley Kauschinger, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

9 x 8 x 5" sculpture. Metal. Photo transfer.

Ashley Kauschinger: "Burnt Reflection investigates feelings associated with a past relationship such as longing, faded love, and loss. The two pieces of metal represent two individuals that made a commitment to be welded together, but through being welded can now never close and embrace each other. The design of the book is reminiscent of a locket, containing a photograph of a memory to be kept and gazed upon. This memory has been cared for, by grinding away the rust until a reflective surface was created. The back remains brown and rusted as a reminder of what occurred when the relationship was not tended to. Time has caused the image and relationship to fade as well as rust and degrade the metal. On the other side of the faded photograph, viewers can see their face in the reflective surface allowing them to imagine themselves within the distanced relationship. The book's heavy weight and jagged edges makes it difficult to pick up and continue to hold over time."

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tiny mistakes
By Ashley Kauschinger
[Denton, Texas]: Longing Press, 2013. Edition of 10.

6 x 9”; 26 pages. Bound in paper covered boards with coptic stitch binding. Letterpress printed with handset type on Rives BFK paper. Other materials: linen tape, upholstery thread, coffee. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Ashley Kauschinger: "tiny mistakes. explores feelings of anxiety, quiet anger, inadequacy, and a desire for perfection. The design of the book suggests a personality that desires perfection, but a tension is created when outside forces manipulate the pages with emotional actions. These manipulations complicate and complete the book, which would otherwise remain empty and flawless.

“The Coptic stitch binding represents the exposing of the self as it shows evidence of staining and other manipulations that cannot otherwise be seen from the outside. The threads connect together in a lopped chain, representing the repetition of thought and desire. The cover of the book is created with the same paper from the signatures, but was crumpled until it became soft. This sets the tone, as the action of crumpling paper in frustration and smoothing it out represents the transformation of mistakes.

“The content within the pages is made up of small mistakes that have been multiplied to create a design. I have made each mistake while creating artist books in the past: scored, punctured, bit, and coffee stained. Each layer of mistakes affects the layer under it, as they work together to become more complete. The text within the book reads, "Im not perfect." Leaving out the apostrophe in "I'm" is a common and cardinal do-not rule in letterpress. This mistake is placed in each signature as a reminder and silent reiteration of imperfection.


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Page last update: 10.17.14



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