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Re: [BKARTS] Artists' books and exhibitions

Having organized two national traveling exhibitions, and been a participant
in numerous traveling exhibitions, I can assure you that the mere process
of exhibiting a book, even one which just stands in a case NOT to be
handled is a stressful one. Add to that the wear and tear of mounting and
taking down the shows, environmental damage from light and temp/humidity
variations, and it all adds up, and that's without lots of hands touching
it and leafing through.  I currently have a book in an internationally
traveling show where, and several others, requested that our books not be
handled. We'll see how that works.

I will agree that books are meant to be read, but to get back to our
example of the Mona Lisa, we wouldn't hand her around at a reception
either. Even with gloves, there's clumsy handling... When binders and book
artists invest a great deal of time and money in a book (materials / text
blocks...) the risk is too great. Then there are the "self-destructing"
books which should never have made it out of the studio. One of the
problems is also that binders often borrow books back from collectors to
there is that added liability. Also who wants to buy a book that's been
through the wringer, and I hate to think of exhibition materials as
disposable items, which is what they become.

Unfortunately not handling means a good part of the bookish experience is
lost, but that is preferable to me as a binder (whose work is on the
outside anyway).

My thoughts.


At 04:19 AM 7/23/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>Not sure about exhibiting books that you cannot handle. Paintings hang on a
>wall to be looked at, but books sit on a shelf to be read. If you can't open
>and read it, surely, it is not a book. Books are meant to be handled. If they
>can't survive that, they can't be very good books!  Of course, they might be
>works of Art, but that is something else??
>David Bolton, The Alembic Press

Philobiblon: Book Arts, Different By Design
Hand Binding, Conservation, and Project Websites
Peter D. Verheyen

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