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Gallery exhibits books as art in today’s digital age

Books. How do we view, value and relate to the books in today’s digital world?
Angela Grauerholz. Privation (folded Book #43, front), 2001. Ink jet print (Giclée) on Arches paper.


How do we view, value and relate to the books in today’s digital world?

That’s a question Prince George’s Two Rivers Gallery poses with Unbound, an exhibition running Jan. 17 - March 31.

Meghan Hunter-Gauthier, Assistant Curator, said the show’s idea sprang from a problem common to many book lovers - what to do with overflowing, personal libraries.

“I was thinking about digital media as an advantageous means to store information, and also the enjoyment of holding a book in my hands,” she said. “It’s a predicament a lot of people have arrived at.”

That led her to research artists who have considered books in some way, or have made art out of books by re-purposing them.

Five artists were chosen, and their work forms the exhibition.

The first is Jennifer Bowes, a Dawson Creek area artist who created an installation using pages from her diaries.

“She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with them and the history they embodied, so she created giant tapestries from them that can be up to 13-feet-tall,” Hunter-Gauthier said.

Vancouver-based, multi-disciplinary artist and publisher Robert Chaplin will show sculptural objects that have been assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the 10 or 13-digit number, which identifies a specific book.

“His work challenges what a book can be or look like,” Hunter-Gauthier said, adding Chaplin has created a book of matches with an ISBN number.

Toronto artist Adam David Brown’s contribution will include core samples extracted from discarded books he found in the High Park neighbourhood of Toronto, ON. This work considers how easily today books can be discarded.

Montreal photographer Angela Grauerholz will display a selection of images depicting remnants of her home library damaged by fire.

“She took high-resolution scans of the front and back of the burned books, creating historically charged images,” Hunter-Gauthier said.

Also from Montreal, Guy Laramée, will feature books he has carved into.

“He uses books the way a carver uses wood,” Hunter-Gauthier explained, adding there will be two landscape pieces, one is made from a set of dictionaries and the other from a set of encyclopaedias.”

For more information about Unbound, visit the gallery’s website, call 250-614-7800, or drop by at 725 Canada Games Way, Prince George.