Bound (dependence imposed)
By Heather Weston
London, England: Heather Weston, 2004. Open edition.
Offset lithography on paper; blind debossing; sewn nubuck.
Achieving ‘separateness’ in infancy is one of the cornerstones of psychological development and relies on a firm adaptation to reality as presented through a healthy primary relationship (parent and child). Failure to achieve this can result in a debilitating range of psychological difficulties in later life. BOUND looks the structure of codependence and uses the single-section codex to explore the experience of psychological merger and separation. Central to this complex and private book is the concept of ‘imposition’ – how book pages are laid out and assembled for print – and its alternative meaning of ‘encroaching and burdening’. The book looks at what can go psychologically wrong within the parent-child relationship when the psychological reality that is imposed on the child is one of co-dependence. The result can be an eternal and binding dependence between parent and child which sets a pattern for all other relationships in the child’s later life. The two books within this piece have identical narratives, but each book is dependent on the other for its reading because of the way the imposition has been applied (onto a straight A4 sheet of text). The inappropriate imposition thus creates one text’s dependence upon the other. The two books are then bound within the same skin. The blind debossing of the impositional layout provides a visual key to unlocking the narrative held within the pages. The task of the reader is to discover the hidden narrative by understanding classic imposition.