Mary Hickman, ecce animot
36 pages; hand-stitched binding; printed in a numbered edition of 120 in Chicago and Houston in September 2009 / March 2010.
5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches; $6 (shipping included)
Opening with Derrida's neologistic and punning declaration, Behold animalogos, Mary Hickman puts the problematics of distinction at the center of this work. Her deft play among the particularities of species, even as far as (con)fusing the lines between the plant and animal worlds, has us constantly questioning the nature of being, its permanence and mutability. But more important, her work also makes us reconsider our affinities and loyalties, examine what it means to recognize (to "re-cognize") the others around us, and face the ramifications of acknowledging their otherness while maintaining a concomitant vigilance over the distances that recognition can create. Hickman has succeeded in presenting ethically crucial material in startlingly vibrant, enlivening language. — Cole Swensen