Paper Space
By Kota Ezawa
San Francisco, California: San Francisco Center for the Book, 2011. Edition of 40.

9.75 x 12 x 1.75"; 4 pages. Pop-ups. Papercutting. Collage using solid colored paper shapes. Housed in a custom lidded cloth-covered box.

The seventh Artist-in-Residence project under the imprint of the San Francisco Center of the Book, Paper Space was produced by Rhiannon Alpers in conjunction with Michael Bartalos.

San Francisco Center for the Book: "Paper Space is a 4-page pop-up book consisting of paper cut-out dioramas based on film and TV depictions of historic events from the mid-19th century to the present. The book unfolds into a structure divided into four spaces – each housing one of the pop-up scenes. The dioramas create a timeline of events that have disrupted and confused America’s view of itself. Page 1 shows witnesses of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 at Ford Theatre. The second diorama re-creates John F. Kennedy’s limousine passing the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963. Page 3 presents O.J. Simpson and his legal team awaiting the reading of his 1995 criminal trial verdict. The last diorama recreates the infamous brawl at Auburn Palace in Detroit, involving players of the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons, and fans attending the 2003 NBA game.

"Each diorama is based on a still frame of a widely circulated film or TV program, while simultaneously referencing an existing animated film by Ezawa (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 2005; The Simpson Verdict, 2002; Brawl, 2008).

"Paper Space meditates on space – the space of a book, the space of a page; the book as space, flatness, and three-dimensionality. In this way, two of the most persistent illusions that surround us – time and space – form a kind of pact to create a Paper Space for history.

"Kota Ezawa is a kind of video, film, and photography archeologist unearthing animations and still images that are hidden in archival footage. His projects have taken the form of digital animations, slide projections, lightboxes, paper cutouts, intaglio etchings, ink drawings, and wood sculptures."