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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
Manager, Events and Exhibitions
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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
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
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