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Re: [BKARTS] Open book... ways to display and experience the works ...

And here is another thought or two on the subject of exhibiting books.

Judy Houghteling
Hand Bookbinders of California

-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
Laurie Mullikin
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2003 11:11 AM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Open book... ways to display and experience the works ...

My first experience with  book arts  had  aspects of what Roberta describes
and it was an awesome introduction to the art form. On the closing day of
the  Los Angeles Book Arts Center's first exhibit, the creator of  "Thirty
books in 30 days" (there with family and friends) took down each work from
it's individual protected case on the wall and paged through most explaining
her inspiration for it, choice of media, etc. ... and allowing some to be
passed around. It was the difference between viewing duck under glass and
eating the duck.

A few quick thoughts that don't come close to addressing Roberta's wishes,
but would allow a little more viewing in the current context of many book
exhibits ...

- create a limited number of special "tours" where exhibit personnel are
authorized to take the book out of it's protective shield and show tour
members more of the book ... maybe a fund raise with extra charge??

- Stand up books  under glass on a  turnstile/lazy susan mechanism so at
least front, back and a few inside sections can be seen.

- Mirrored backdrop for books on display for similar effect as above. Has
anybody seen a mirrored folding screen which could be used for this?

-photocopy of key parts of the book (either bound or sequentially displayed
on the wall ) that accompanies the real thing under glass. Creating such an
"exhibit supplement" to the book might also inspire artists to include
background on the inspiration, choice of media, etc.

I'm interested in  thoughts and experiences of others re Roberta's post.


----- Original Message -----
From: "RLavadour" <paper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2003 9:44 AM
Subject: Open book...

> I've been mulling this around since seeing the call for entries for "An
> Book" and thought I'd toss it out for discussion.
> For those that missed the call, the organizers have adopted a creative
> approach to the problem of displaying books.
> From the prospectus: "...One of the major problems with showing books in
> exhibition is that too often the books are shown under glass, closed up so
> that just the cover is exposed or one page of a book is displayed. Think
> about how your book is to be displayed. One of the most accessible book
> forms is the accordion fold but there are many other forms that can be
> displayed so that a book can be seen in its entirety when displayed in a
> case or on a pedestal..."
> Let me say from the beginning that I applaud the organizers for
> this issue and for instigating a discussion on the nature of book arts
> exhibit.
> It also opens the door to lots of other questions.
> One of the things that compells me to make books is the way the element of
> time is involved. When you experience a book, there is often a moment(s)
> discovery that occurs in due time, and if the book is particularly
> successful, you are compelled to return to that experience over and over
> again. Other books rely on the fact that all the visual information can't
> taken in at one sitting and demand long, repeated visits.
> The other element that I love about books is their tactile quality. It's a
> thrill to see someone pick up your work and move their hands in a way that
> shows they're taking in information through their skin that will add to
> experience.
> The turning of a "page" (which can be interpreted as broadly as possible)
> plays into all the above.
> In my version of a perfect world, books would be exhibited in a large room
> full of comfortable sitting areas and visitors with clean hands and basic
> knowledge about how to handle the materials. A place where a market for
> arts could be expanded by socializing people into the richly satisfying
> elements of time and touch that separate books from paintings, prints and
> sculpture - a place of active participation.
> In the real world, this would entail sometimes elaborate and impractical
> things like asking artists to submit an extra "exhibition copy", making
> facimilies (like the Russian Avant-Garde books at MOMA last year), dealing
> with damage and theft, etc. While many exhibits are successfully adopting
> "hands-on" approach, I suspect it's more geared toward lower-priced work.
> Another alternative being used is employing a second media in an attempt
> virtually communicate the qualities of the book. At the Bibliocosmos
> at Reed College in Portland this summer, a book that consisted of text
> was watermarked on each page was displayed in a case and an image of an
> illuminated page was viewed on an adjacent video monitor.
> In attempting to grow the market for book arts within the mainstream
> and collector community and with the general public (as opposed to simply
> other book artists), do we make things as easy as possible for the viewer,
> making touch and time secondary? Would an accordion folded page, printed
> one side, be more suited to being displayed on a wall as a print, the way
> Enrique Chagoya presents some of his "codices"? Do we submit work to wear,
> tear, theft, etc. to get it into the hands of the potential collector?
> about one-of-a-kind work? Or does an "open book" concept allow for a
> into book arts that will compell viewers to treat their future encounters
> with artist's books differently, and entice them to take the time to
> the work more thoroughly?
> I'd be very interested in hearing other people's thoughts.
> Roberta
> -------------------------------------------------------
> Roberta Lavadour
> Mission Creek Press / Pendleton, Oregon
> http://www.missioncreekpress.com/newwork.htm

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