A look at artist's using books as a medium.
For centuries and ages, many, if not all of us have read a book (i would really hope so). And many of us, have distant memories of old Brittania encyclopedia sets, or beat-up hardcover copies of Lord of The Flies, or The Man and The Sea from english class in school. The leather bound, hardcover, faint, musty pages of an old book, remind me of reference libraries, and card catalogues. A time when life was slower, when we had time to sift through stacks of reference materials for that independant project in high school or post-secondary - rather than google or wikipedia.
Don't misunderstand, I am a reader, and I read ALOT, and I appreciate hardcopies, and have an ever growing stack of books of all sorts. We spend most of the time being engaged by, and discussing what's inside the book - the content and the knowledge that is bound in pages between two covers..
For years now artist's have been using books and magazines as media - photographing a book's aging process, sculpting a new edition of The Bible into ironic icons, or lasercutting fairytale scenes. Books, are no long used for 'just' reading. The media is diverse, sculptural and provides great texture and intricacy where needed. Using a book, is not merely starting with a blank canvas. It is transgressive - manipulating the intended purpose, for the sake of visual art and making a statement.
Here are a few examples of prominent artist's who have used books as a medium.
Olafur Eliasson’s "Your House"
A hand-bound, editioned laser-cut book that renders the negative space of the artist’s house at a scale of 85:1.
Robert The's iconic "Book Guns"
Cara Barer's book photography "Butterfly" and "Shitake"