Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Books Changing Galleries

Several entries here have already commented on the long-standing influences of books' iconicity on library architecture. Now there's a first sign that the rise of book art may influence, if not the architecture than at least the furnishing of art galleries.

Tom Sowden and Lucy May Schofield created "sitting rooms" for book art in the touring exhibition they curated at several galleries in 2007. Sowden explains:

We both wanted to present a show where we could lose the preciousness that can surround an artist’s book. Let them become the tactile and interactive objects that they are usually conceived as being. Take them out of glass cases, out of libraries and away from the artist’s book fairs, resituating them in an environment that was conducive to reading and engaging with the books.

To both of us and to many who choose to work with the book form, handling is of prime importance. The ideas and experience are only available to a viewer if it is picked up and leafed through. We felt we had to create an easier atmosphere for the visitor to spend time with the books. In discussing the components that we would like in the show (comfy chairs, rug, lamps, bookcase or shelves) we quickly realized that what we were hoping to re-create was a sitting room, or perhaps more specifically the impression of a sitting room from a bygone age.

(h/t BookPatrol)

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