Artists’ Books Presentations
ISBN 91 85752 12 6 TILLSTÅND/GRUSGROP · CONDITIONS/SAND PIT
... In the middle of the book, there’s a shift in it’s two sections of images which is marked by a single image,
a close-up, of earth – and the markings the man has made in it by the movements created from throwing
his body towards the pit’s ‘wall’.
210x148 mm (A5), 34 pages, glue bound, published in 500 copies, price approx. 25,- SEK
I recently found this artists’ book, from John Hunovs collection, at a small pop-up store set-up to sell the books from the collection called John’s Art Books/ @johnsartbooks. I was immediately attracted to the book and it’s way of working with the artist’s book as a concept. Also with it came an ordering note/postcard containing the book’s press release, which is great and a piece of creative writing in itself (hence that it was, I guess, written by the publisher Leif Eriksson).
“Idag ger vi ut världens förste grupsgroup!”
This is how the publisher, Leif Eriksson – himself an artist –, in the press release presents the book, which mean: “Today we publish the worlds first gravel pit!”
Which again, in my reading, means that they are both being silly – might even be taking the piss on the readers of the books –, and at the same time seriously expressing a sceptical approach towards the properties of language. Thus pointing out the boundaries of language and its apparent ability to – accurately enough – ‘represent’ the world which we experience; in the ways we experince it.
The book shows images of a man, at two different settings – in different ways – interacting with a sand pit. Throwing himself at one of it’s sides – it’s layers a material and concrete metaphor of earthly materials, and thus the passing of time. In the middle of the book, there’s a shift in it’s two sections of images which is marked by a single image, a close-up, of earth – and the markings the man has made in it by the movements created from throwing his body towards the pit’s ‘wall’.
I read these markings as paradoxical kinds of acts of writing: Conflicting the photographic and it’s way of producing images that, we agree, we can believe in telling ‘the’ story. The man in the photographs might perform such speech acts, for the photographic medium, with the intention of saying nothing; a no-thing. Maybe.
My reading is marked by the fact that I’m, by these actions and choices of the artists left to my own devices, and I will thus be reading through the lenses which I am myself used to put to use when trying to ‘deciphering’ ‘the world’ and ‘the relations’ which arise within it. That is the ways in which the sense one gives to objects (and the relations created through making them into siginificant objects), through applying the structuring forces one uses to bring meaning – and out of – into the world, through ones attempts at reading ‘it’.
I choose to display this book, because of the readings it allows the viewer to make, I hope that it has been inspirational and that my readings will also be able to inspire.
Jonas Georg Christensen, fall 2021