When the body meets geometry meets the world’s edges, what uncertainties emerge? Theorem is both question and answer, proposition and proof. Accompanied by luminescent images that complicate and dissect the speaker’s voice, this collaboration is a glorious meditation on what it means to hold secrets across time and space.
In Theorem, a collaboration by poet Elizabeth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro. In the book, spare images, distilled text, and the resonant space between investigate the legacy of secrets acquired in childhood and held through a life. Part visual interrogation of shapes and forms, part lyrical bewilderment at the interface of memory and geometry, Theorem charts a luminous path of self-discovery that unsettles and upends. Theorem's collaboration opens possibilities beyond the simple life-changing epiphany. As John Yau writes, "The revelation is not in arriving at a destination but in beginning to map the journey, as well as in recognizing that one's perspective of past events changes as time goes by. This is the enigma of being alive and alert. This is what Theorem offers the willing reader---a place to return to in order to set out again and see what has changed." Using tropes drawn from math and science in both text and images, Theorem grapples again and again with how to find certainty and clarity within the chaos of lived experience.
Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of the poetry collections Once Removed, Approaching Ice, Interpretive Work, and the mixed-genre Toward Antarctica, which pairs her photographs with brief, hybrid essays. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Orion, and many anthologies. She has been awarded a Stegner Fellowship, the Audre Lorde Prize, and was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Founder and editor-in-chief of Broadsided Press, she works as a naturalist and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.
Antonia Contro is a visual artist whose work ranges from discrete objects to site-specific installations and collaborations that engage artists and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines. Her art explores the nature of knowledge, memory, and time. Contro’s exhibitions include Tempus Fugit at the American Philosophical Society Museum, Ex Libris at the Chicago Cultural Center, Closed|Open at the Newberry Library, and Descry at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Contro’s work is in the collections of Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum, Harvard Art Museums, and Museum of Contemporary Art. Contro was a awarded a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, an Illinois Arts Council fellowship, and a doctorate in humanities honoris causa from Lewis University.