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Artists Respond to Questions About Truth and Lies in “Book of Lies” Art Exhibit - Humboldt State Now

Artists Respond to Questions About Truth and Lies in “Book of Lies” Art Exhibit

HSU’s Reese Bullen Gallery presents Book of Lies, a project by conceptual artist Eugenia P. Butler (1947-2008) with works by 76 contributing artists. Conceived as a global conversation about truth and lies, Book of Lies is a book that is more than a book, a work of art made of other works of art that invites us into the intimate world of its creators, while considering universal questions of identity, reality, and existence. The exhibit opens on Thursday, Oct. 23 with a free, public reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and runs through Nov. 20.

Left: James Cobb, The Big Lie – The Spider and the Fly, linocut, 2003. Right: Georganne Dean, Mother’s Lies, mixed media, 1994.

Begun in 1991 and continued until Butler’s death, the project is an examination of how we use “the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.” Butler held three artist dinners, where she asked her guests to consider the questions “What is the lie with which I am most complicit?” and “What is the truth that most feeds my life?” A wide range of artists and poets responded in unique and provocative ways.

Left: Tom Marioni, Pi is a Lie, ink on paper, 2005. Right: Eugenia Butler and Corazon del Sol, Where does the lie begin? lithograph and mixed media, 2004.

Each contributing artist made eighty versions of their artwork, which were then compiled into a three-volume set of limited-edition artists’ books. The exhibition showcases these works as framed articles, but their significance is bound to their essentially interactive and tactile nature. The pieces themselves resonate with the time and laborious processes that played a critical role in their creation. The exhibit is curated by Butler’s daughter, Corazon del Sol and toured by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions.

The Reese Bullen Gallery, located inside HSU’s Art Building at the intersection of B St. and Laurel St. in Arcata, is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 12-5 p.m., Thursday 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m., and Saturday 10-2 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please contact the gallery office at (707) 826-5814. For parking information please visit