The Hesitant Visitor

The Hesitant Visitor - Palaeography - Open on Surface

‘The Hesitant Visitor’ was created to be experienced as part of an evening of performance at Senate House Library entitled ‘Reading as Art: Turning the Pages of Victorian Psychology’. The artwork is comprised of three leaflets, which are named after one of the library’s beautiful reading rooms and a character from history that is related to Victorian Psychology. The ‘books’ are:

  • Durning-Lawrence: Francis Galton
  • Goldsmiths’: Mary Shelley
  • Palaeography: Charles Babbage
The Hesitant Visitor - All Three Books - On Display in Senate House
The Hesitant Visitor – All Three Books – On Display in Senate House

Each ‘book’ has the same appearance, with covers that feature the stone that clads Senate House’s public areas and wood on the interior that reflects the surfaces of the desks and furniture throughout the space.

The Hesitant Visitor - All Three Books - On Display in Senate House
The Hesitant Visitor – All Three Books – On Display in Senate House

Each contains a short story set in the particular reading room, which links the space with the library’s wider collection. On the back of each are references for further reading.

“The reading rooms at Senate House are incredible spaces, full of history and atmosphere – it was great to get chance to visit them let-alone make an artwork that responds to them. Researching the theme of the evening (Victorian Psychology) turned up lots of interesting connections – I hope you find the finished work as compelling to read as it was to make.”

– Chris

All three leaflets are included as part of the Ephemera Collection in the shop, which also contains the Preface from This Journey is a Book and four pages from ‘Between the Actual and Possible’.

Artworks available from the shop:

Goethe’s Divan for Divination

Goethe's Divan for Divination - Cover

Purchase Direct – £7

‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’ is a playful artwork which takes a selection of Goethe’s romantic and colourful poems and makes them suitable for divination.

The book work was originally made for exhibition as part of a group show in Düsseldorf which responded to the work of famous poets, investigating them from a different angle. Goethe’s poetry (and psychically the ‘Divan’) has often been inspired by the work of the Persian poet Hafez, a writer who’s books are frequently used for bibliomancy (divining the future).

Goethe Divan for Divination - Interior Page Spread
Goethe Divan for Divination – Interior Page Spread

The book is intended to be a light-hearted introduction to Geothe’s poetry and includes the original annotations from Alexander Rogers’ 1890 translation.

Goethe is not an author I knew particularly well, so the exhibition provided a great excuse to get to know the work better. I particularly loved the connection between Goethe and Hafez, so wanted to draw a creative parallel between them. I hope you enjoy the experience of happening upon particular poems and discovering Goethe’s poems afresh.

– Chris
Goethe's Divan for Divination - Book Face Down
Goethe’s Divan for Divination – Book Face Down
Goethe's Divan for Divination - Double Page Spread
Goethe’s Divan for Divination – Double Page Spread

The current edition of ‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’ is a paperback. An earlier pamphlet edition is also available from the shop and is featured below.

‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’pamphlet edition – Cover
‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’pamphlet edition – Interior.
‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’pamphlet edition – Interior Spread
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Book as Medium: E.I. CTY1, Anthony Cairns

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.

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

The Library of Chance Encounter

Library of Chance Encounter - Cards and Sleeve

Limited Stock – £15

‘The Library of Chance Encounter’ is a pocket-sized artwork which tells the story of a single meeting between two people and the influence that shared experience has. The work is comprised of a series of cards which contain a text, an image or a barcode that can be read with a smartphone. The images and barcodes link to real books (which can be read online) and collectively these create a virtual library, a library that spins out from that one chance encounter.

The artwork was commissioned by Editorial Facsimile for the exhibition ‘Small Publishing Unfair!’ – an exhibition about miniature books held at Camberwell College of Art library.

Library of Chance Encounter - Cards
Library of Chance Encounter – Cards

“My intention is to create a work that is intimate in size and pleasing to hold and engage with. This kind of one-to-one encounter with the work is important as it heightens the personal nature of the unfolding story. I’m intrigued by the potential that technology holds (especially in providing seemingly unlimited access to literature) and I love the tension created by combining virtual and physical elements because over time the work could begin to fragment, just like memory, as links become broken.”

– Chris
Library of Chance Encounter - Cards in Sleeve
Library of Chance Encounter – Cards in Sleeve

Specifications: 26 card tiles (6.5 x 6.5cm), with text, cover photo or QR code on front and wood-effect on back. The work is an edition of ten and copies are held in public and private collections.

Small Publishing Unfair! - Exhibition View
Small Publishing Unfair! – Exhibition View
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Book as Source: All Images From a Book…, Ciprian Muresan

The Romanian artist Ciprian Muresan uses books as a resource, sketching a copy of every image in a particular book on to one sheet of paper. His source material comprises seemingly image-laden artists monographs or studies.

Ciprian Muresan – All Images From a Book… series. Image © Chris Gibson, 2017
Continue reading Book as Source: All Images From a Book…, Ciprian Muresan