Week #1 Notes:
Nina Katchadourian’s Book Stacks projects:
- Started in 93’
- Stacks of books, that are ordered based on their titles to create a sentence
- The goal was to symbolize what was held in the libraries
- The project had multiple locations and re-creations, using libraries, private collections, and home libraries
- The works were often presented where they were found
- How books can tell a story
- How books can represent a person
- Think about the books in all terms (physical aspects, titles, author, style)
- Does your library represent you?
Dave Dyment One Billion Years (Past and Future), 2012:
- This collection represents the past, present and future by using the information inside the books
- The Books selected by Dyment use the inner contents of the book to represent a timeline of one million years
- Bright coloured books create a visually stimulating image, with lots of areas to focus on
- The use a prominent dark background suggests similarities to the work of Katchadourian
Ryan Park, Untitled, 2009:
- This work differs from the others as it offers an open book style of stacking, rather than the traditional stacking used in the previous works.
- The use of colour is very apparent in this work, as the books transition from cool to warm coolers, then back to cool
- The background is again a solid colour, but this example uses a white background which brings more openness to the work
- Some strategies used by the artists would be choosing specific books based on specific characteristics, for example; Katchadourian stated that she was trying to create sequences with her books, so the titles would be the deciding characteristic in that case. She also mentioned representing the owner of the books, this can be done by using the titles, or it can be done with symbolism by using physical aspects of the book such as colour of the outside, size, shape, condition and many more.
- Colour was used heavily by Park in the selection of his books, as can be seen the ascending then descending colouration of his work. A strategy used by Dave Dyment; he used the information written inside the books to create a timeline. Using the contents of the books can be a great way to represent someone or something because it gives you a well-rounded appreciation for whatever it may be.
Unfortunately, my lack of interest in reading resulted in me owning only four books… at first I was stumped on what to do, my roommates only had textbooks and I didn’t want to use material that has no connection to me, while I still had the four other options. As I decided to use my books, I noticed how figuratively they represented me quite well.
The titles of my books are the following:
- Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnecut
- The Art of Racing In the Rain, Garth Stein
- Die Rich and Tax Free, Barry Kaye
- Gucci Mane, Autobiography with, Neil Martinez-Belkin
I am a huge fan of rap/hip-hop (Gucci Mane), I love cars, especially fast ones. The book also heavily features a dog, which resonates with me because I’ve owned dogs all my life (The Art of Racing In the Rain). Die Rich and Tax Free, connects to one thing that I am known for which is my spending habit, the book was given to me by my former employer (a financial advisor) who constantly criticized my spending, till the point he found a book that has helped to reduce my spending. The last book, Breakfast of Champions, I have almost no ties to, besides the irony of me not typically eating breakfast, and the honest not knowing of where I got the book from.
For my “stacks” I wanted to make my library to seem more diverse than four books, so i tried several angles and positions till I arrived at three that i liked, I liked these three because of how different they are, I think in some ways it symbolizes how vast my own interests are.
For my stacks I wanted to make my library seem large and vast, so I tried to work with different shapes in order to accomplish that. I also wanted to incorporate some of Ryan Park’s ideas because I liked the look of the books being open, as I feel the back cover can offer a little more insight into the library. I also wanted to incorporate Katchadourian’s location selection, of stacking the works in the location they come from, so I decided to photograph my images inside my bedroom.