Earlier this month the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston wrapped up an exhibition called "Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art," which featured work from five mixed-media artists who "sculpt, scrape, bend, and carve" the printed page. The exhibition showed books to be a surprisingly versatile and evocative medium. One artist sculpted what appears to be a South Pacific islandscape across the top of a row of staid-looking volumes. Other, more invasive artistic interventions, included a copy of Webster's Dictionary with a cave-like hole bored into the cover, and a stack of the magazine Art Forum disintegrating into a phantasmagoric swirl, as if overcome by the vitality of the art featured in its pages. In each case, the visual elements collude with the content of the books and the sacred ideas we have about the written word, so that it feels like you're seeing much more than the printed page transformed.
Images courtesy of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
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