Sandra Haar
A Book of Longing

A Book of Longing is an artist’s book that explores the complicated knot of emotional longing and sexual desire. It is the Sandra Haar’s newest erotic work, which is characterized by explicitness, introspection, and personal revelation. In her ongoing concern with the representation of subjective experience, she employs aspects of self-portraiture, performance photography, and popular erotic imagery. A Book of Longing continues the artist’s development of visual languages and texts portraying erotic experience, extending into emotional states of being. It draws on her ongoing interest in the relationship of experience to popular imagery, including media representation of sexual experiences. Feminist discourses and queer approaches to the production and reception of erotic material, as well as self-representation, are important influences and provide the context for this work. The representation of personal revelation is investigated through project format and bookwork design. The format of the book’s design and materials and the viewer’s manipulation of pages, provide an intimacy of experience for the viewer. A Book of Longing conjures up memories and fantasies; it represents tokens of affection and objects of yearning; it evokes interaction with the lover, the self and the lover-in-one’s-self. Personal effects, sexual joinings, clasped hands, candy hearts, gestural portraits and a poetic text, appear in succession and combination as the pages of the bookwork are unfolded, inviting the viewer to consider different layers of experience and understanding. A subtle and evocative rhythm is created through the use of images in series and a loosely narrative format. This edition was printed from an original screenprinted work.

Self published
5.625×5.5 inches, 16 pp, full-colour offset, saddle-stitched, 2012
Edition of 400
$30 CDN

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Sandra Haar is a Toronto-based artist. Throughout her artistic practice, she has focused on issues of representation and subjectivity, investigating a range of personal and cultural concerns. The taboo and traumatic figure strongly in her work, as do themes of sexuality and eroticism. She works in a variety of media and formats, including mixed-media installation, bookworks, and flat work, with recent practice focussing on serigraphy. All of her work contains a textual component. Ms. Haar’s art has been exhibited locally and regionally, including Gallery 44 (Toronto), Forest City Gallery (London) and La Centrale (Montréal), published in several periodicals and anthologies, including The Girl Wants to: Women’s Representations of Sex and the Body (Coach House Press), and sold through Librairie Formats (Montréal), Art Metropole (Toronto), Printed Matter (New York), and Open Studio (Toronto). Reviews and articles on her art have appeared in a variety of arts and general publications, including the collection Textura : l’artiste écrivant / the artist writing. Ms. Haar is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art (New Media Arts) and the University of Guelph (General Arts). She is a recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council.