Kegan McFadden
once a thief

once a thief is an artist book that contains the same sentence written 204 times, using the font book available in a recent version of the Microsoft Word program. The sentence used, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of time…” is the famous introductory line to Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities (first published in 1859). By re-writing this particular sentence of Dickens and using the various fonts available, my goal is to allude to the history of theft (plagiarism) in the art world and beyond, and also to point to the overuse and over quotation of certain authors’ works while simultaneously acknowledging the complete obliteration of work by others who are not quoted on a daily basis. The sentence acts as a synthesis for the creative process, but continues to carry weight and prescience for times of social, economic, and cultural struggle. In keeping with the overindulgence in this sentiment, the book is published in an open edition.

Self published
10.25″H x 7.75″W, 412 pp, POD, perfect-bound, 2012
Open edition
$25.00 CAD

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Kegan McFadden is a Winnipeg-based artist, curator, and writer. His work, in exhibition and print form, often questions how memory functions in society. In 2002, McFadden began producing independent publications through the artist-run collective As We Try & Sleep Press. The press explores the overlapping points between the literary and visual arts on a project basis. McFadden took part in the group exhibition, BOUND, an exploration of artists’ books produced in Manitoba at Martha Street Studio / Manitoba Printmakers Association, curated by Stacey Abramson for the Manitoba Crafts Guild in 2008. ‘once a thief’ was recently accepted into the Reshelving Initiative 5 exhibition at Eyelevel Gallery in Halifax (2012-2013).