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In Progress: New Collaboration with Rebecca Roscorla

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Update 1: An Artwork to be Consulted

The idea of a collaboration happened over coffee one day when Becky said that she had made some playing-card-size prints and drawings. I had recently revisited my miniature ‘book’ The Library of Chance Encounter and it seemed like the perfect form to bring both our sensiblities together.

Here are some mockups of how the new book-work might look… My text will follow, so keep an eye for updates.

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Book as Reference: The Immaterial Legacy at MACBA

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The Immaterial Legacy - Exhibition Detail. Image © Chris Gibson, 2014.
The Immaterial Legacy – Exhibition Detail. Image © Chris Gibson, 2014.

‘The Immaterial Legacy’ was an eclectic exhibition held at MACBA, Barcelona between May 2014 to June 2015 which presented artworks from the museum’s collection alongside cultural artefacts from the period (such as music, film, advertising) in order to provide a historical context for the art.

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Book as Domestic Object: Bread Encyclopedia, Maria Lai

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Maria Lai, Bead Encyclopaedia. Artwork detail.
Maria Lai, Bread Encyclopaedia. Artwork detail.

If Lai’s work weren’t safely behind glass, one might expect the aroma of baking to fill the gallery. ‘Bread Encyclopedia’, as the name would suggest, is comprised of a series of books, bound in bread. Each volume is lettered and tied with a string, as if ready to carry. And although the work itself dates back to 2008, the books look freshly made.

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Book as Medium: E.I. CTY1, Anthony Cairns

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Anthony Cairns EI CTY1 2018 - Exhibition
Anthony Cairns, ‘EI CTY1’, 2018 – Exhibition View. Documentation © Chris Gibson, 2018.

From a distance Anthony Cairns’ photographs look like small paper negatives suspended between thick panes of glass. The black and white images feature glimpses of cityscapes; fluorescent lights, architectural lines, empty urban spaces. These anonymous-looking places could be backwaters of any major city. The washed-out tones give a hazy feel, as if we are experiencing the city through a dream and image by image we build a picture of a sprawling place.

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Book as Post-Consumer Product: Studio (Supermarket), Hassan Sharif

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The scene is like some strange mini-market stacked with objects, that through blurred vision at least, could resemble familiar, everyday goods. Shelves are filled with wrapped packages, bundled objects, rolls tied with strings. Among them are mini footballs, old containers, parts of machinery and even a book.

Hassan Sharif, Studio (Supermarket). Image: © Chris Gibson, 2017

Sharif’s works are described as sculptures and it’s clear that thought has gone into each and every object of display, whether the raw materials (the original found objects and post-consumer waste) have been altered significantly or not. It’s no coincidence that we think of a supermarket when we look at the work.

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Book as Habitat: Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, Carol Bove

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A couple of years back I came across this beautiful artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Carol Bove as part of an exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute. Bove’s artwork was presented alongside that of Italian architect/sculptor Carlo Scarpa (who’s garden was home to Lee Mingwei’s artwork When Beauty Visits).

Carol Bove - Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges
Carol Bove, ‘Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges’. Image © Chris Gibson, 2017
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Book as Remembrance: Various Book Paintings, Liu Ye

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Liu Ye’s small, flat photo-realistic paintings are of books collected by the artists’ parents during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76). The books are often theory, text-books or works of literature – some of which (such as Nabokov’s Lolita) have political connotations.

Liu Ye - Book Paintings
Liu Ye – ‘Book Painting No. 10 Piet Mondrian Rot Gelb Blau Insel Taschenbuch 1995’, 2015. Image © Chris Gibson, 2017

Although the images are very cleanly painted, some of the books are displayed upside down and often with a dark edge running along the top. On first glance this gives the impression that the canvasses were painted from badly developed photographs or slides, however in some images, such as ‘Book Painting No. 1’ (below), we can see that the line is intentional as pages stray over it. This gives the suggestion that we are looking at books neatly placed on the edge of a table. And the fact that the book is upside down to us, could suggest that we are looking at the object from above that table where it is positioned.

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