Erica Baum

D'Amelio Terras

IN HER LATEST SHOW, Erica Baum's approach is almost absurdly simple: She photographs printed words. But the pictures she makes of/with them are enlivened by a sense of linguistic play subtler and more sophisticated than that demonstrated by most entries in the broad category of “text-based art.” Baum's contemplations of verbal signification and the visual conditions of reading tease moments of poetry from sober systems of knowledge classification. Similar concerns informed her earlier photographs of card catalogues; the new work constitutes a second chapter, or completes a diptych, with these endeavors.

Hung salon style in plain white frames, the large black-and-white digital prints in Baum's recent show depicted excerpts from the subject indexes of books: uniformly scaled and cropped, the twenty-seven individual piece felt like a series. Isolated in a sea of white space were a few lines

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2000 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.