This luxury edition of 5 signed and numbered books is presented in a silk box designed and built by Small Editions. It measures 12 1⁄2 x 16 inches. The book is entirely handcrafted from the binding to the photogravure and silkscreen images printed on handmade Japanese Mura Udaban paper. The texts are letterpress on Japanese Sekishu tissue. Lux Perpetua features twenty hand-pulled photogravures measuring 7 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2 inches, two double-page foldouts, and two full bleed double-page spreads.
Photographs by Josephine Sacabo
Text by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
Design by Jacqueline Miro
Photogravures printed by Meg Turner & Jennifer Shaw
Letterpress executed by John Fitzgerald
Hand-bound by Small Editions Press
Published by Luna Press, New Orleans, LA, 2017
for Sor Juana
This series was inspired by the life and work of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz,a 17th century Mexican nun who was one of the greatest poets and intellectuals of the American continent. She created the most renowned salon of her time from behind the bars of her cloistered cell.
In that cell she studied science and philosophy; wrote poems, plays, and music; and championed women’s rights to intellectual and spiritual freedom.
In the end, after resisting valiantly for over twenty years, she was silenced by the Inquisition. It is my hope that these images will help break that silence so that we may once again “hear her with our eyes.”
This work is dedicated to women everywhere who, whatever their confines, prevail. They are our hope.
Sor Juana’s life and work seem to me to be enormously relevant today, particularly for women, because it is the story of a very courageous and gifted woman living and fighting for intellectual and spiritual freedom, not unlike the brave women in Iran and Africa, Ciudad Juarez, or New Orleans for that matter, who are basically fighting the same fight across continents and centuries – and who have still not won. It’s also relevant as a cautionary tale about the oppressive side of prevailing ideologies, whether it be the Inquisition or the Taliban.
For me it was a very moving personal experience to discover her poetry. Most of my work is about spiritual survival under duress and once I intuited that aspect of her life and work I identified with that effort and a huge bond developed. I embraced wholeheartedly the correspondence between her text and my images by engraving both onto the plate – depicting two ways of saying the same thing.
– Josephine Sacabo