Silverberg tackles anti-woman rhetoric on a global scale, collecting derogatory proverbs into four categories- death, sex, knowledge, and good/evil. Although she has chosen to print some of the text in upper and some in lower case, the delivery is uniform across the page and clustered in patterns through clever use of repetition.
Silverberg is concerned with the traditional perception of how the work and existence of women is equivocated to worth, and the common thread of oppression as expressed across the continents. One of Silverberg’s other works, a very literal piece titled Proverbial Threads, riffs on this idea through the formation of bobbins. In All About Women, however, Silverberg examines the proverbs by printing them onto crafted paper, binding them in concertina fashion to provide flexibility for the viewer’s inspection.
On Robbin Ami Silverberg’s website, she writes that her work “conceptually focuses on word cognition and interlinearity, with an emphasis on process and paper as activated substrate.” Examining the paper, one can see that the darkly colored balance of painted shapes performs a somber delivery. Blacks and dark blues make up a majority of the paper’s coloring. Paired with the proverbs, this book is a meditation on paper’s influence on the impact of letters and message delivery.
With this book, Silverberg demonstrates the mastery of her craft alongside words like “The women’s side of the house. The side without knowledge.” Silverberg exposes the preposterous nature of gender expectations and exploitation, while also reflecting on the word’s ability to restrict and govern human behavior.
To view this work, please come to The Center for Book Arts before September 10th and see it in our exhibition: “Multiple, Limited, Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection of The Center for Book Arts.”
To read more about this work, please click here.