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Re: [BKARTS] review: The Artist and the Book in Japan
While I agree with the comments below about the 'perfect' book arts
exhibition enabling visitors to touch and hold the books on display it
doesn't take into account the sheer numbers of people who visit
exhibitions as well as the physical security of rare or ancient objects.
Our Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas exhibition has been seen by over
80,000 people at the State Library of Victoria in the past 13 months
and has been a huge boost to popular awareness of rare books as well as
artists' books throughout Australia.
Unless you want book arts to be the domain of just a small clique of book
lovers then institutions curating and displaying major exhibitions for a
broader audience will always have to address these issues and the most
cost effective solution is by mounting books in cases. The informed or
inititiated book lovers can still have their solo intimate experiences
with books by organising a viewing with the rare books librarians or
keeper who look after the collections.
Even with their limitations (crowds etc) exhibitions can assist with
promoting popular awareness of book arts and supporting curatorial
research into books that may not be possible without the broader scope of
large scale projects.
State Library of Victoria
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 03:00:46 -0500
From: Norman Shapiro <ufemisms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 6 Jan 2007 to 7 Jan 2007 (#2007-8)
January 8th, 2007
from Norman Shapiro
Subject Re: review: "The Artist and the Book in Japan"
I am appreciative of your asking what I would propose, Eric.
It seems to me that curating a book art show must entail the preparing
of limited editions, 'multiples', selected bookart that people can sit
down with and read. Perhaps these are permutations, abridgments,
excerpted and annotated -anthological. They would be made especially by
the artists for the live occasion of the exhibit. It is a live
happening. The show is not one as seen in a museum of natural history.
Works of real bookart are made accessible and available to everyone in
attendance at the bookart exhibition.
I agree with you as there being such books as you tell ones that are to
be protected. But when seen that way they are so many 'specimens',
pinned bugs and butterflies, dead shells, things in amber ( glass
The authenticity of any art exhibition depends not on watching film
clips of paintings and sculptures, but the actual works as they are
meant to be looked at with the naked eye and to be walked up to, around
and away from.
And, yes, to be touched, handled, fondled, hugged. Some art, bookart
especially needs to be experienced in solitude, not ALWAYS in a room
full of people.
Norman Shapiro, book artist
>> Norman Shapiro, book artist
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