The Bread Book

Text

I was interested in making an artist book, and I was thinking about what would be appropriate. And what I was interested in was things coming together and touching when the book was closed. So that this loaf of bread became like an eighth of an inch thick when it was all close. But just the feeling of what of those things touch, and together, touching each other, and the book was closed, interested me. I could have used other things. But it seemed a loaf of bread was the most appropriate. And luckily one of the loaves, when I cut into it, it had a yeast hole which acts as a climax. It's kind of like a traditional story. It has a beginning, a middle, a climax, and end. And it's like a flipbook, too. Doesn't function as well as tiny flipbooks but it's a flipbook, too. And it's dealing with some basic thing that we use for nutrition, a very basic thing. . . . Well, I bought two loaves, and started cutting them. And that loaf worked. I guess I would have gone out and bought some more loaves if that hadn't happened. So I was interested in what would happen inside the loaf of bread, too.

—Kenneth Josephson, Interview with MCA, 2018

Quote

I thought a loaf of bread would be ideal. As you can see, it has a beginning, and then each slice of bread is photographed front and back. . . . It's kind of a traditional story because after the middle the climax begins, which is represented by this yeast hole and then it gets larger and larger and then it disappears and then that's the end.

—Kenneth Josephson, The Chicago Tribune

Scans of the book

Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Kenneth Josephson, The Bread Book, 1973. Offset print on paper; saddle-stitched, softcover. MCA Chicago Artists’ Books Collection, gift of the artist, 81.406. Photo © MCA Chicago.