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The Veil is Seen Only When It is Lifted

ByCarlotta Origoni
Rosendale, New York: Women's Studio Workshop, 2018. Edition of 49.

32, a-w, 3 pages; 14 x 15 cm. Silkscreen in four colors. Frutiger LT Std 95 Ultra Black typeface. Coptic stitch and spiral binding. Signed by the artist.

Colophon: “This book is made of two parts: the first is based on statistical data, generally on global samples. Pages are from 1 to 32. The second is based on surveys of reported data (perceptions, sensations, beliefs. Pages are from a to w [that is, a to v] You can read the two sections separately, or you can use the index to find links between the two. Choose your subject, match the numbers and letters, and then overlap the pages.

"All data came from research done between October 2016 and January 2018, through different databases, reports and surveys."

WSW: "'Frequently, the debate regarding gender equality becomes a clash of opinions, impeding any real inquiry. In ‘The Veil is Seen Only When it is Lifted’, the artist provides accumulated data as an instrument for breaching this impasse. Origoni visually restructures this conversation, arranging statistics with simple, playful design and breaking up the codex’s linear narration. The book is composed with two studies; their bindings fall on opposite sides of the book. A Coptic-bound section presents quantitative data and the spiral-bound section reports experience-based data. Viewers are invited to read these parts separately or simultaneously, pages can be overlapped in patterns that unveil new information. ”

These Key Truths, May 10, 2018, Kathryn Scudier (WSW): “’The Veil is Seen Only When It is Lifted’ … explores the relationship between design and social issues. … A few years ago, Carlotta felt she had to arm herself with statistics during an interactive, theatrical show by Femmes Nomades … Once she began searching for information on inequality between cisgender women and men—starting with the lofty 400-page ‘World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report’— the roles it played in her life became much more apparent. The book’s materiality echoes themes of unveiling, as pages are meant to overlap one another in ways that either amalgamate or obscure information.

“Bound on either side of the book, the text is divided into two parts. One section of 32 Coptic-bound pages compile quantitative statistics. The second is spiral-bound, semi-transparent pages reporting the prevalence of qualitative perceptions, what the artist refers to as ‘reported data.’ For example, the first infographics of either section represent numbers just over one-half. The quantitative page states that the average progress of closing the gender gap sits at 68%. The reported data reveals that, in one study, 6 of 10 women agreed that they enjoy the same equality and freedom to reach their aspirations as men. Page numbers on the edges of both pages indicate that they match together.

“Carlotta’s not looking to flood readers with sterile facts, but asks that they consider methods of reading the subject. … Instead, she’s focusing on ways of seeing. Basic shapes of red, yellow, blue, and black—adopting very simple, familiar design to parse meaning and relevance among the facts pulled from global reports … Key shapes or text interact when the context illustrates a mutual point; viewers may choose to read the sections simultaneously or separately.”

The Veil is Seen Only When It is Lifted

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