Lives and Books

Lives and Books Interior Detail
Detail of first two pages. Image © Chris Gibson.

‘Lives and Books’ was created for ‘An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ – a fascinating international project founded in response to the car bombing of a notable street in Iraq that happened on 5th March 2007.

Lives and Books - Page Detail. Image © Chris Gibson
Lives and Books – Page Detail. Image © Chris Gibson

Al-Mutanabbi Street (named after the celebrated Iraqi poet) was a street of booksellers and an intellectual hub – the intention of the project was to invite artists to create new books, to reassemble some of those lost books in a symbolic way.

‘Lives and Books’ is a green, A6, pamphlet-style book featuring lines of crossed out text that leave single exposed to create a poem, a poem which draws parallels between the flow of our lives and the experience of reading.

Lives and Books - Exterior. Image © Chris Gibson
Lives and Books – Exterior. Image © Chris Gibson

Artist’s Statement: “I was intrigued to submit a book to ‘An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ as the idea of symbolically replacing the lost collection seemed like a thoughtful response to such a brutal act. I didn’t want the book to be overtly political, as it is impossible for me to understand the day-to-day experience of someone immersed in such conflict, so I focussed on more universal idea of reading and how each of our lives might mirror the experience of reading.

Specification: A6 pamphlet, 16 pages, full-colour. Unsigned, unlimited edition. 2013.