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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. 

Robert Heather
State Library of Victoria
Melbourne, Australia

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
>> http://ufemisms.com/
>> http://artasidentity.blogspot.com/
>> email:ufemisms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
330 W 28 St. Apt. 7A
New York, NY, 10001

Robert Heather
Manager, Events and Exhibitions
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Tel: +61 (0) 3 8664 7288
Mobile: 0438 090 267
Email: rheather@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
website: www.slv.vic.gov.au

New exhibition on show until 25 February 2007  - Heroes and Villains: 
Australian comics and their creators 

         The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 2006 Now Online at
Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Online - Catalog Available
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
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