Cinderella Ever After
Digitally Printed on Whatman Wove, Binder Board, Linen Cord, Linen Thread, Laval and Asahi Book cloth, Silk Dye. Design, printing and fabrication by Miriam Schaer, text by Mary Florio, Shaped Drum leaf Binding, 7.5 x 4 x 2.75 (hwd) 62 pages, 2012.
Photography: Stephen DeSantis
Cinderella Ever After is a revisionist version of the oft-told tale. Housed in highly decorated heart-shaped covers and digitally printed interior pages featuring collages based on Schaer’s suburban childhood — a world of idealized women and imaginary perfect homes. The images do not illustrate the text, but serve as counterpoint for the imagery in the poem.
The book is covered by wrapped cords, resembling arteries that crawl over the laser cut, heart-shaped covers. The densely packed cords twist and turn in and out of the covers in a manner both embracing and strangling, an effect that could have only be produced by Schaer’s intensive handwork.
The shape of the book refers back to medieval codex structures, in which heart shaped books were often used for prayer, and to reflect a love of god. Cinderella Ever After contains a different sort of prayer by a narrator who urges Cinderella to flee from her prescribed path, and to change into “someone you can recognize.” Florio’s text contrasts the myth of happily-ever-after against the reality of finding one’s self.