Sunday, 26 May 2013

book as artwork

books cascading down the museum's entrance by
Alicia Martín from the series 'Biografias', 2012
An truly impressive literature cascade by Spanish artist 
Alicia Martín hangs down from the window of the MARCA 
Museum in Catanzaro, the chief town of the Calabria region 
in southern Italy, greeting visitors of the ”Bookhouse. 
The Book Shape” exhibition in which various forms of art 
develop around one single element, the book.

'Singularidad', installation by Alicia Martín, 2011-2012
'Idiom', installation by Matej Krén, 1998
above: 'Omphalos' by Matej Krén, 2005
below: from the 'Still Lives 3' series by Maria Friberg, 2004
In the most critical phase of its existence, when technological
revolution presents us with the new Gutenberg era, book in
contemporary art has never been so modern and the display
at MARCA is probably the most comprehensive homage to
this magical mean which has been keeping its features
basically unaltered for more than 500 years.

'Upper Cut' by Dennis Oppenheim, 2000-2001
'Sulpicia' by Anselm Kiefer, 1999
above: 'Entrapped Words' by Maria Lai, 1964
below: Michael Rakowitz 'What Dust Will Rise', 2012
Conceived and curated by the museum's art director Alberto
Fiz - who declared ”The meaning of the book lies in its thinking
shape. If it were simply a container of texts and images, it
would have already been swept away. On the contrary, it
still has a primary role as sensitive object that can create
a symbiotic relationship with the reader and, at the same
time, has the ability to organize the thinking...”
- the
exhibition includes 50 of the most significant artists
questioning each other on the miraculous shape of the
book, such a perfect object that Italian semiotician,
essayist and novelist Umberto Eco 
compared to the wheel.

above: horse-shaped library by Mimmo Paladino, 2001
below: from the 'Naples Library' series by Candida Höfer, 2009
artwork by Jannis Kounellis
'Library for the Birds' by Mark Dion, 2005
Furthermore, books as well as archives and libraries are the
focus of the contemporary artistic debate, from Kassel's
Documenta to the Venice Biennale yet the MARCA's varied
cross-exhibition deals with the regenerative power of books
involving different languages and techniques while getting
rid of the hypothesis of the artist's book, it rather focuses
on an extension of the work of art where the book itself
becomes sculpture, installation or environment in a
riveting journey through contemporary art in which 
the book is totally re-written.

the MARCA exhibition's poster

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