[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 10 Jan 2007 to 11 Jan 2007 (#2007-12)

Just a quick note to reply to your comments below Norman - 

In my experience it is usual for the collecting institution to try to meet 
the artist's requirements for display of work as effectively as possible. 
There are of course a number of issues which affect that including the 
purchase of works through acquiring works or receiving donations through 
third parties which may mean that there are no records of any special 
display requirements etc have been kept/recorded. 

Also most libraries and instituttions which exhibit book arts also have 
reading rooms or study rooms where individuals can make appointments to 
read or view artists' books on their own or with a librarian or curator. 
That is certainly how people can access the collection directly here in 
Victoria. Des Cowley our Rare Books Librarian is very happy to help people 
discover artists books within our collection and a number of artists, 
curators and researchers regularly visit and view artists books in the 

Its just the nature of things that collecting insitutions look to the long 
term life of the object when discussing issues like access and exhibiting 
of the artworks because they see themselves as caretakers for future 
generations. It is different to individuals who collect artworks for their 
individual interest or passion. Both approaches are equally valid. 

Also when we have an exhibition it is free to the general public, so we 
don't make a profit, we measure our success in terms of the feedback we 
receive from visitors and the media, the educational impact of the 
exhibition and the activities that we can program around the exhibition 
(ie workshops, talks, etc). We have had a number of artists book makers 
tell us that the Mirror of the World exhibition provides them with a 
constant source of inspiration and stimulation, even though the books are 
under glass.

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

Robert Heather, another consideration comes to mind concerning how 
works of art are exhibited authentically....  It has to do with the 
museum's policies and standards distinguishing the works of living 
artists, as opposed to those who are dead and gone.  It is one thing to 
display the art of organize collections of art and artifacts of 
thepast, vanished civilizations, etc. and another that is of a 
contemporary genre and the works by artists who are alive and quite 
engaged in the work they do.

It seems to me that the artist is out of the loop. Is it because he/she 
is not the owner of said works on display?  How does that work? Who is 
in the loop? When I speak of the spirit of book art, I do speak on my 
own behalf.  Do I give up my rights and intentions as to how I intended 
my work to be looked at when someone buys my book?

It can be said I am naive to think there is an injustice here. It may 
be said we do not live in a socialist society. This is what capitalism 
is. Museums represent and respect the donor, the collector, and it does 
not have to contend with the intentions of active living artists whose 
works are specimens under glass. The show must bring in the crowds, 
appeal to large numbers of people, make a profit.

It is this aspect that I am reading between the lines Robert Heather 
has written.

Ah well, who am I to quibble over such as that? This is the REALITY. 
This is the way it is.

When I became a book artist, ( in the 1980's) it was to bypass 
galleries and museums, and direct my effort at addressing individuals 
who would hold my art in their hands, be alone and solitary and engaged 
with it.  It is, after all a book.

I can see now that I lacked the bigger picture when I started out. 
-Didn't think like a winner. My art was not heroic, grandiose in scale 
(read expensive, a good investment) such as was made by many aspiring 
artists of the 50s 60's and 70s (read the abstract expressionists, et 
al).....  Book art is not about making it big in a capitalist society. 
At least not the genre of book art I ventured into, using the copier 
and the computer to print out my multiples. I sigh, but have not 

Norman Shapiro
book artist
330 W 28th St/ Apt 7A
New York, NY 10001

         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.
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]