SHELTER Philip Zimmermann (2006 pigment inkjet version + 2009 HP Indigo version)
Shelter came out of an exploration of losing faith and questioning one of it’s opposites: the process of finding faith and religion. This content of the text came out of watching my dying father, who was never religious when I was growing up, become increasingly interested in faith and salvation as he became sicker from heart disease and bone cancer. I saw the desert with it’s unfriendly flora and harsh environment as a metaphor for the difficult worldview that many have towards the end of their lives. The desert is also used in many religious tracts as a place for contemplation and mortification. In this work roadside shelters and evangelical gospel ministries were used as signifiers of ways and places where people look (vainly?) to relieve the stark unknowable prospects of their approaching death.
This book was started in 2005 and completed during a residency during the summer of 2006 at Light Work at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. During my time there I completed several copies using inkjet on my Epson Stylus Pro, but it proved too difficult to produce an edition using archival inkjet and I abandoned this edition and looked for other methods of printing it. Inkjet produces beautiful results on coated smooth paper, but, aside from the expense of the pigment inks, the pages were and are too fragile and crack and scuff too easily. Inkjet is fine on uncoated paper where the ink soaks in, but that kind of paper does not accurately reproduce a full tonal range when printing photographs. The final edition was created using HP Indigo, a digital printing process which is ideal for short runs and which I am very happy with, although not inexpensive.
The HP Indigo version (in an edition of 50 hand case bound copies) was published in November 2009, Tucson, Arizona, USA. The size of the book is 28.5 cm x 21.5 cm x 1 cm (11.25” x 8.5” x .375”). The number of pages is a bit complicated since it is a book within a book: 52 total pages, in a sewn, hand-bound book, in an edition of fifty, signed and numbered. It was printed by HP Indigo printed book on Mohawk Superfine paper at Spectrum Graphics in Tucson. ISBN:978-0-9841980-0-9 $850 USD, plus applicable tax and shipping charges.