Through altered bookwork, collage, mixed media, paper, photography, and sculpture, Doug Beube's work often explores the book as an object, as a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age. He applies quasi-software functions such as cutting, pasting and hypertext onto an analog system. Doug Beube is a mixed media artist working in bookwork, collage, sculpture and photography. He received his BFA in Film in 1974 from York Univ. in Toronto, Canada and his MFA in Photography from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY in 1983. Prior to receiving his MFA in Photography, he was darkroom assistant to Minor White in Arlington, MA. From 1993-2012 he was curator of, The Allan Chasanoff Bookwork Collection.
Doug has taught classes in artists’ books, collage, mixed-media and photography at various universities throughout Canada and the US. In addition he teaches workshops at the Penland School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and The Center for Book Arts in NYC, to mention just a few. He regularly lectures on his artwork throughout Canada, Europe and the US. Doug exhibits extensively both nationally and internationally and his bookwork and photographs are in numerous private and public collections. In the fall of 2011 a monograph entitled, Doug Beube: Breaking the Codex was published.
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This installation features a collection of specially crafted soap bars etched with racial slurs and epithets. Carefully set onto a wall of soap dishes, this arrangement invites participants to wash their hands with a bar, letting the ink flow from the letters and mix with the white suds and lather. The work explores what it is to be the object of ethnic, religious, sexist or homophobic insults, asking what it might take to cleanse disdainful speech from the collective consciousness.
“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. “
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution." March 31, 1968
Thanks to Marian Cohn for editing the text and writing an introduction to Wash; my anonymous soap maker who taught me how to make the special soap formula firm enough to cut text into its surface; CNC-Step for engineering and building the Computer Numerical Control machine; Gerard Dalbon my studio assistant for programming and running the CNC; Andrew Hayes for fabricating and welding the metal armatures; Irina Krushinskaya for creating the digital files for making the soap dishes and armatures; Tom Lane for opening his clay studio and teaching me how to make the porcelain soap dishes; and Yoshi who assisted in making the handmade soap and gifs. I’m also grateful to the three American linguists for their invaluable insights; Michael Paul Adams, Cecile Cutler and Hiram Smith. Last but not least, I'm indebted to Sam Trubridge with his dedicated staff and the city of Wellington, NZ for inviting me to participate in the Performance Arcade 2020.
Supported by Wellington City Council Public Art Fund