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exhibiting, selling artists' books



          Just a thought on the message I read about the exhibition
          of books. "You can't hang them on the wall". True but part
          of the attraction of books is that you are at some level
          required/requested to get more involved with them than with
          many forms of art. They induce a kind of intimacy which is
          part of the reading process. You can walk around a museum
          with a bunch of strangers and look and be at a distance, but
          when you sit in a gallery and start reading you become more
          intimately involved with that small wonderful piece. It's
          not easy to do in public, when someone else is trying to see
          over your shoulder, wondering when you're going to turn the
          page. And I find that I can only look at books for so long;
          it's very saturating. Also, I think the general viewer in a
          gallery, museum is looking for that quick art fix, picking
          up bits and pieces, sort of like MTV. They don't
          necessarily expect to have to pause and savor. I wonder if
          the enjoyment of artists' books is a sort of applied
          appreciation, a commitment to taking the time to look, to
          pause, to read for a while. And honestly, sometimes I like
          taking peoples artists books home with me and lending mine
          to them so that we can take time to experience them.

          evigneau@nybg.org


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