Since I wrote the post on The Process of Finding exhibition, I’ve been thinking about that show a bit and I’ve decided that it was a bit of a missed opportunity. The show itself was pleasing and I experimented a bit but there was so much potential when you work in a space like that. Such a rich history in the kind of building, the kind of shop, the kind of product as well as a huge wealth of information in the books themselves. I think (with the glorious benefit of hindsight) that we could have pushed further, harder and more conceptually. To a certain extent we made the work we would have made anyway and just put it in a different place, a place that wasn’t a gallery, a place that has it’s own thing going on.
(I stole this image from here: thepausesbetween)
And that’s just it, it has it’s own thing happening, and we could have tapped into that more, subverted it and played with it. Set up conversations around our expectations in a place like that, our expectations of art and books, customers and systems of information. I was too tentative in my approach with most of the work I used, the reason why the $1 reserve Anthony Robbins Collection (see previous post) worked is because it had played with some of these things, had played with the rules just a little bit.
If I could step backwards and talk to myself pre show, I would tell myself to not be tentative. To push harder, make more work, maybe even work that would piss people off and get in their way. To not be afraid of subverting the idea of a book shop, of that bookshop, of the idea of books themselves as paper blocks of knowledge, or a series of beautiful spines. To think harder.
While I was looking for an image that I could put into the post above, Google search gave me this lovely juxtaposition, check out the two black and whites in the top left.
Beautiful together. Places to store information, systems of information, ways of finding things. Codes and codex.
(this was supposed to be posted yesterday but I didn’t get home in time!!)