• artists' book
  • pictorial wrappers
  • offset-printed
  • staple bound
  • black-and-white & color
  • 28.5 x 20.5 cm.
  • [120] pp.
  • edition size 10
  • signed and numbered

Playboy, Vol. XLI, No. 1 (Braille Edition)

Barbara Bloom


A transformed a Braille edition of Playboy Magazine, produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. "One of Barbara Bloom's prized Braille objects was her copy of 'Playboy.' (The Library of Congress makes several magazines available in Braille, and 'Playboy' was one of the most widely circulated.) She had the thought she would like to give the magazine a centerfold -- a picture for the sighted snuggling up amidst text for the blind. Most people had no reason to be aware of the Braille 'Playboy' until, in the Reagan years, Congress maneuvered the Library into eliminating it in the name of taxpayer responsibility. In addition to the obvious jokes about the blind, at least, actually getting 'Playboy' for the articles, the story raised a variety of questions about how people connect words on a page to the world at large; whether a haptic reading was somehow more 'sensual' than scanning a page with one's eyes; and whether it was the sighted world with its fixation on photographs that was missing the point. It was after this incident that Barbara Bloom amended her copy with a centerfold of Eve Arnold's famous photograph of Marilyn Monroe reading 'Ulysses' in a Long Island playground. According to Arnold, Marilyn had borrowed the book from a friend and was reading it in fits and starts -- rather as Joyce had written it. Barbara Bloom commented on how sexy people look reading in libraries. And sad. And beautiful. And fleeting." -- from "The Collections of Barbara Bloom," New York : ICP / Stedil, pp. 238 - 239.

New York, NY: Barbara Bloom,
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