For Micropages, curator Abigail Thomas made a selection of artists’ books and digitised them into microfilm for a touring exhibition. The selected books all related to the history of artists’ books, archives and libraries, or else challenged established preconceptions on preservation and display. They included examples by Kerri Cushman, Hanne Matthiesen, Sarah Bodman and Lucy Harrison. Abigail explains:
“As a book artist and having worked in a library for almost three years, I wanted to explore issues that affect libraries and archives as well as the book art world. Books have it in their nature to be handled; they are intimate objects whose feeling, texture, weight and smell are part of their artistic aura. Glass cases remove the experience of the work, and you are unable to see it in its entirety; however, having books out also has its disadvantages. Should we treat artists’ books as archival material? This is the point that the project starts from.”
Micropages was hosted in our Archives and Collections Study Roon in February 2010, during which time visitors could view the microfilmed books through the Archives microfilm reader. A symposium was also organised, with Abigail exploring some of the themes and processes of the exhibition, and a supporting talk on GSA Library’s extensive Artists’ Books Collection.