In her artist’s book, Elaine Sturtevant draws upon Jorge Luis Borges’s short story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, in which Borges combines fiction and reality in such a way that these become indistinguishable.
The protagonist of the Argentine writer’s tale is the French author Menard, who aims not to copy, but to recreate the Don Quixote of Cervantes, line for line. The result is a work identical to that created by Cervantes 400 years earlier, for Menard’s version is the only perfect way to reinvent Quixote. It is a reflection on questions of originality and authorship – the ideal reference for the conceptual approach taken in Sturtevant’s artistic work.
Sturtevant is known for copying the works of famous artists – including Warhol, Johns, Stella, and Rauschenberg – while at the same time employing original techniques. Her aim, as she herself notes, is to evade the compulsion to be original that burdens all artists.
This is an artist’s book in the form of a high-quality literary breviary with black linen bookcloth and marbled paper.