Kathi Beste ~ Illinois

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Kathi Beste is a curator, performer, photographer, designer, performance presenter, and book artist based in Chicago. She is Director of the Flamenco Arts Center of Chicago.

Coses Petites / Little Things
Poems by Anna Aguilar-Amat & Francesc Parcerisas
Illustrations by David Abed & James Hajicek
English translation by Elizabeth Hildreth
Chicago, Illinois: Flamenco Arts Center Press, 2012. Edition of 100.

5.75 x 9"; three volumes 24 pages each. Printed on the Heidelberg press at Columbia Center for Book and Paper Arts. Illustrations by David Abed and James Hajicek. Book design by Kathi Beste. Each volume bound in paper wraps with pamphlet stitch. In paper slipcase with titles laser cut on side. Bilingual: English and Catalan. Numbered and initialed on the slipcase by Beste.

Introduction: "These poems were written in 2000 by Anna Aguilar-Amat and Francesc Parcerisas, inspired by Arundhati Roy's 1997 novel The God of Small Things. The central love story of that book features an Indian woman who loves an Untouchable. Because she and her lover can't go out in the world together, their interactions and observations and discussions are limited to the 'little things' — for instance, plying with an ant, or talking about a stone or leaf. This series of poems was written as a way to communicate between two lovers as a dialogue between souls.

"Anna Aguilar Amat and Francesc Parcerisas were friends, colleagues, and lovers at the time this book was written. Their personal relationship and ongoing writing collaboration started in 1999, and Little Things was written during the years 2000-2001. The poets started out simple commenting on each other's poems, and then began to work more closely. Eventually the poems began to take shape in a collaborative symbiosis, as they worked to develop the poems with four hands. One would name a subject ... The other would write four or five lines about it and then hand it over for editing. Modifications would be at times drastic, other times minimal. In some cases two very different versions emerged ... In those irreconcilable instances, the poets chose to retain both versions, having them appear side by side."

"Although the poem titles of Coses Petites signify simple objects (“Apple,” “Stone”), Anna Aguilar-Amat’s and Francesc Parcerisas’ poems most often focus on large concepts—fear, sickness, commitment, or loss. The monumental abstract is reduced to a small digestible poem, allowing the poets to speak about love as a kind of force, or power, or energy that passes through all things. And, even when passion dies out, the common things touched by this energy remain both alive and blessed."

Coses Petites was originally published in Catalan in 2002, as a limited edition art book by printmaker Miquel Plana.

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Quick Sketch
By Kathi Beste and James Hajicek
Chicago, Illinois: Kathi Beste, 2011. Open Edition.

4.5 x 5.5"; 30 pages with three foldout pages. Three color offset printed onto Mohawk Superfine 28# paper at the Columbia College Chicago Center for the Book. Handbound quarter cloth with illustrated boards.

Kathi Beste: "Quick Sketch documents the learning process, using figure drawing as the medium through which the stages of learning are experienced. When learning anything, one goes through periods of struggle, tedium, breakthrough, and plateaus. Fighting against the natural process can leave one stranded in a stage long enough to take away motivation to continue.

"Quick Sketch serves as a small pocket-sized reminder of stages in figure drawing. It is hoped it will help drawing students work through those inevitable times of struggle, and then push through to the other side. It ends with a gentle reminder that learning is never over, and that 'Practice doesn't make perfect ... Practice makes permanent.'"

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Page last update: 05.29.15


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