Wednesday 26 November 2014

Issues of Classification

Over the past few weeks I have been 'librarian in residence' as part of an art exhibition at Cafe Gallery Projects and aside from engaging visitors with the art on display,  I've answering questions about my own practice.

Librarian in Residence as part of Folles de leur corps / Crazy About Their Bodies
Despite the fact that my artwork hasn't changed much in style over the past ten years or so (compare The Weimar Years (2005) with In Explanation of the Book ( 2011)), I still find it difficult to describe. Although this must be a common experience for many contemporary artists,  I think it is compounded when it comes to art that involves books.

Still from The Weimar Years

Still from In Explanation of the Book
I think there are two reasons for that:

The first reason is that more and more people I speak to have heard the term Book Art. A shortcut like this can be useful when speaking about someone's art practice, however the term Book Art can incorporate vastly different types of art. Just looking at the art that Egidija,  George and I produce - we can see that each work can be structurally and conceptually diverse (From Egidija's Damnatio Memoriae to George's The Mind Follows and my Book Becomes Book).

Damnatio Memoriae
The Mind Follows
Book Becomes Book
The second reason is that each of us has a whole personally history with books and therefore a lifetime of associations.  Depending on our reading habits and preferences, we can all have a slightly different relationship to the same everyday object.

Seen from a different perspective these preconceptions and these differing understandings make for a rich in-depth discussion and add layers of meaning to the artwork, making the creation and the viewing, a much more rewarding experience.


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