In 2011, a trade edition of "To Whom It May Concern" was published in a limited edition of 1,500 by Violette Editions, London, in association with The Easton Foundation.
Carolina Nitsch, the publisher of the book, approached Bourgeois with the idea of a project in which Bourgeois would create images for a book in collaboration with a writer. Bourgeois asked Gary Indiana, whose writings she liked, to author the text.
In 2009, Bourgeois began drawing male and female forms in profile with crayon, colored pencil, gouache, and watercolor on paper. The fabric printing workshop Dyenamix digitally printed these drawings onto fabric. Bourgeois worked with these compositions in unique prints, as well as in another collaboration, the series “Do Not Abandon Me,” with British artist Tracey Emin. Gary Indiana was shown these works, for which he wrote corresponding text to create the book he titled, “To Whom It May Concern.”
As Gary Indiana worked on the text, he considered not only the compositions Bourgeois created for this book, but what he believes to be a major concern in all of Bourgeois's work, which he described in a 2011 interview as "... a kind of unclosable wound, and a kind of perplexity and paradox of one's relationship to the other. To any other, but, you know, particularly to the loved other and the hated other."
On the format of the fabric book, Indiana remarked in the same interview: "It's an incredible object. ... [it] had this 'thingness' to it that was heavy ... when you turn the pages they're considerable ... it has this physicality to it. And, you know, the whole project was about physicality, in a certain way."
For the text in the book, Indiana chose the typeface American Typewriter because he wanted the writing "to look more handmade."
Indiana, Gary. Interview by Chrissie Isles, Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. 192 Books, New York. 2011.
Gary Indiana (American, born Gary Hoisington, 1950) is a writer, filmmaker, artist, and cultural critic. In the late 1980s, he was the art critic for New York City's "Village Voice" alternative weekly newspaper and he has since contributed to various art journals, catalogues, and monographs. He has authored seven novels.
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