Reads Like A Book
January 23rd through March 15th, 2015
ul. Nadwiślańska 2-4, 30-527 Kraków, Poland
Once again Cricoteka presents multimedia and performative artistic strategies, this time focusing on literature. The Book Lovers exhibition strives to prove that literature, when treated by visual artists, can take place well beyond the space of the book. The Book Lovers project investigates the many ways in which artists conceive their novels as part of their art projects. For artists like Jill Magid, Cheng Ran, and Lindsay Seers the novel is not only a literary product of narrative fiction, but they also employ their novels as they would video or installation — as an aspect of a larger work or body of works.
The three projects displayed in Cricoteka have something in common: they all have prepared a complex world of connections waiting to be unraveled through the use of one’s imagination and curiosity. Each element is linked to the next one by means of a narrative thread that connects them to a coherent whole. The novel offers a key to interpret what the spectator sees, so that many times it is possible to “read” the novel without opening the book. The three installations provide an immersive experience to the viewer, who literally walks into a narrative space. Many times the spectator only has access to fragments that belong to a larger narrative. The present exhibition aims at making such a narrative visible, readable.
Cheng Ran’s novel, Circadian Rhythm (2013), is at the center of a constellation of works that play the role of “non-written” chapters. The actual pieces support the narrative world and vice versa, in a relation that runs throughout different media: a carpet that contains the book’s first page woven into its fabric (The Last Generation); a sculpture made of stones and sea shells that hold an enigmatic conversation (Tide Conversations); a text made of aluminum Hit-Or-Miss-ist; and the monumental reading room, made of a wooden structure in the shape of a spiral. The resulting installation explores the physicality of writing and, at the same time, the phenomenology of reading. In Cheng’s work, literature is an inscription in space.