Tom Bendtsen’s first book sculptures appeared in 1997. After initially creating basic structures, his work evolved with the idea of using the books’ colors to create a pixelated image effect. Bendtsen even fills the gaps in his structures with objects or scenes that ask the viewer to consider ideas of history, narrative, and creativity. The laterality of the structures and how this mirrors our absorption of contrasts and oppositions inherent in written narrative are also at play. His largest structure is composed of 16,000 books. String is used to create the forms of the sculptures, and then those forms are filled with books.
Guy Laramee delicately cuts caverns through the centers of books. He carves the pages away to reveal caves that seem to be ready to be explored. His work explores the insides of books in a very literal way. Indeed, Laramee’s sculptures in way recall the plot of a classic: Journey to the Center of the Earth. And, in fact, Laramee mentions this book in his statement on the series. He says:
“Like in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, we seem to be chained to this quest. We “have to” know what lies inside things. But in doing so, we bury ourselves in the “about-ness” of our productions – language, function, etc- all things “about” other things.”
Bob Staake, the author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, has reimagined the covers of kid-friendly classics from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, giving each one a twist that is often more PG-13 than G and always darkly comical. With a simple off-beat quip and a slightly adjusted illustration, those once comforting, sweet tales of little trains that could and hungry little catepillars morph into something a little more sinister and a bit disconcerting. You know what? You can take a look at more of Staake’s “Bad Little Children’s Books” after the jump, while I go find a stuffed animal to hug.
To the other side of the world we went, going from the sunny summer in Madrid to a mild and rainy winter, with the romantic intention of converting the modern and somewhat cold architecture of Federation Square, into a cozy, human and intimate space, which encouraged reading and tranquility.
So the folks at Milan-based collective Luzinterruptus (previously) went down to Melbourne and did their thing with lights (if you don’t know by now, they’ve put on some really ill installations using all sorts of LED lights), except this time they used thousands of books to “block traffic” in “a symbolic gesture in which literature took control of the streets and became the conquerer of the public space”. The pages seem to flow into one another as a cohesive whole and the LEDs add some sort of mystical dimension to the whole thing. I love the shots of people just swimming in the installation, which was up for a whole month. The positive message promoting literacy is just frosting on the cake. Click the jump to see more of what went down. (via)
Nice wall-mounted sculptures made from books by Tennessee via Malaysia artist Daniel Lai. The sculptures feature clay figures in “Thinker” poses positioned amongst artfully folded leaves from various books. These capture the quiet, contemplative mind-space brought on by a good read, and would make good company in any studio, study, or living room. The Internet and tablet readers are alright, but there’s something about print that just can’t be beat. Always up for a good tribute to ink on paper. (via)
Adam David Brown creates installations, often with video projection and altered publications. He removes small selections from established objects and expands them on a large scale, highlighting and contextualising material that may have otherwise been overlooked. This practice of presenting part and whole in juxtaposition with each other is an intelligent take on concepts of emptiness, individuality, and history. And to top it all off, Brown’s work is really interesting visually, as well. I could stare at these for a while.(via)
In applying borax crystal to books and magazines, Alexis Arnold turns functional reading material into sculpture. The naturally geometric planes of crystal adhere and warp pages, simultaneously marring and preserving classic and lowbrow titles alike. And hey, if nothing else, crystals are pretty cool. If you’re not afraid of inhaling some chemicals, turns out you can make your own at home.
Chicago’s Paul Octavious creates imaginative and whimsical scenes from household objects and everyday life. His work is full of clever ideas that always make me smile. Make sure to check out his gravity-defying “The Book Collection” where he plays a literary Jenga to spell out words and numbers.
See more of Paul’s work at his website and below the jump. Then see how many books you can stack up.