Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artist Books/Books by Artists in the Cultural Olympiad

Books, Records
Curated by Dave Dyment

photo left: Michael Snow.

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Perhaps because of influential publishers and distributors in the 70s (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and Art Metropole, respectively) Canada has a rich history of producing art designed to infiltrate book and record stores.

Michael Snow’s The Last LP is a classic artist’s audio work, and his Cover to Cover is possibly the most renowned artist book ever printed - a rare case where a Canadian work defines the genre.

Snow’s works bookend this exhibition, which otherwise draws on artists who explore the structure, content and possibilities of books via published works, photographs, handcrafted facsimile and trompe l’oeil. The works examine our relationship to these objects and to each other, while questioning the authority of the codex.

The records selected here share a relationship to books. Davis’s charred vinyl refers to book burning and The Last LP is about the form of the vinyl record, as a printed package. It features extensive liner notes that both set up and eventually give away the trompe l'oeil.

Dave Dyment is a Toronto-based curator, artist and writer. From 2004 to 2008, he was director of programming at Mercer Union. Prior to that he was at Art Metropole for five years, where he curated numerous exhibitions. Other projects include Nuit Blanche 2008 and a forthcoming volume on Artists’ Multiples for YYZ Books. He is co-founder of Nothing Else Press, which has published projects by Jonathan Monk, David Shrigley, Paul Butler and others.