Ellen Knudson. Subject/Verb/Object.
(Starkville, MS: Crooked Letter Press.2012.) Sam Fleming Southern Civilization Collection.
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
Ellen Knudson employed the use of a volvelle or wheel chart in this work. Invented centuries ago, these were paper creations in a circular form with moving parts. Early examples of volvelles are often found in astronomy books to describe the movements of stars and planets. In this piece the artist describes "that the concept behind the book stems from the frustration and anger I feel towards art criticism and other academic writing. Academic language seems intended to control its audience, exclude 'outsiders,' and is not meant to clarify the subject for a reader. It takes the beauty and passion out of language and, in turn, out of people. Subject/Verb/Object pokes at this idea by doing something similar: it uses simplistic language and structure to force the reader to attempt a visual organization of the things we cannot put in order: our desires."