books as concepts and components in the artists' practice
This exhibition or event comprised of talks, performance, discussion and exhibits in the white cube space. I thought it to be the best 'bookart' exhibition I have been to as all the pieces worked well together in a small but bright space. I liked the idea that some of the works were in display cases and some could be handled so that all the cubic space was used with the display cases taking up floor space in a 3D sense and works on shelves and some on the wall displayed like paintings.
Finley Taylor had a book work exhibited on a plinth East Dulwich Dictionary 2007 which was a book that he had buried underground for nine months and it came out looking beautiful and organic and at first I thought it was a piece of tree bark until I looked closely and realised that it was a book.
Les Bicknell had striking wall mounted works that were simply made by folding paper in a clever and effective way. His works were entitled smocking is evil? 2012
performance piece during the private view
In his talk 'the book : revelation and testimony Les Bicknell explained that he makes work to make sense of the world and that skill was important because learning your craft allows you to realise your most outlandish visions. He has spent a long time folding and understanding materials and comes from a family of makers who lived with the gates of GEC Coventry. He cited Peter Dormer on the importance of tacit knowledge - that knowledge that is gained by experience. Through making by the hand you start to have ideas.
Arnaud Desjardin began his talk by explaining that bookmare meant work horse. As an artist and second hand book dealer and publisher he took books from the college library based on his experience commenting that it is a very varied range within the classification 655. The books ranged in subject matter from book trade, to printing and publishing, frauds and fakes , insects destroying books, Penguin and Helvetica. He stated that the book is an object that is resilient but not eternal and with the book comes baggage. It has been the dominant form of communication of ideas in this country. We can suffer from information overload - I thought 'too many books bookmare - nightmare - And now we can step outside the book as a form and appraise it and its 500 years of printing history in light of the internet and digital information.
Prior to hearing Clare Louise Staunton's talk 'Latham's Language of Form' I had seen Latham's filmpiece Encyclopedia Brittanica. It is a succession of still images of an open book projected on to a wall very fast. What is not captured is the turning of the pages. Staunton is curator at Flat-Time House the workshop and house of John Latham. She explained how Latham burnt and destroyed books. He made assembleges and was process and sculpture based. She then went on to explain the theory behind Latham's practice and at this point I was unable to follow it or understand it. However I am going to visit Flat-time House.