New York

Erica Baum


For about a decade Erica Baum has quietly been making work, intimate black-and-white photographs that, in their selective focus and cropping, isolate uncanny textual coincidences in card-catalogue drawers and book indexes. The result is a kind of found concrete poetry, as in her “Index” series from 2000, one piece in which reads: NIAGARA FALLS, 207 / NICOTINE, 260 / NIGHT AIR, 302 / NIGHTMARES, 298 / NINETY-NINE, 379.

In the recent body of work she exhibited at Dispatch, a small storefront gallery on Henry Street, Baum continues to frame strategically. The photographs’ titles, such as Shampoo, Nixon and Pat, and Amnesia, correspond to the subjects of the movie novelizations, celebrity biographies, and other popular-interest, nonfiction dime-store paperbacks being shown. Baum shoots the books from the side, opened slightly and standing upright, so that only the pages’ dyed turquoise or

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