The library is pleased to share with you a project that artist, Michelle Cieloszczyk installed in the library last year. Michelle is a student of Toronto’s OCAD University, she studied at GSA as part of an exchange program in autumn 2016. Michelle purchased 6 books from the GSA library during term 1 in the 2016/2017 academic year. She laser cut phrases into them, and had them reintroduced in the collection where students can now access them. If you haven’t yet stumbled across one of her books here are some words and images from the artist:
The intervention was based on notions of value and use. The books were outdated, relinquished, and I caught them before they faded into obscurity. Each book manifests a locale – with its own context and discourse. Through an act of inscription I reawakened the objects, and altered their form and meaning. The phrases that I cut into the books – settle me, remember me, surveil me, etc – are based on the idea of a body, social or physical, that succumbs to the forces around it.
An inspiration for this project was Hilka Nordhausen, whose work I viewed on a visit to Mumok in Vienna. Nordhausen, an artist from Hamburg, made book artworks in the 60s and 70s. She over-painted weekly periodicals, which were so thickly encrusted with paint, that they became nearly illegible. Her works have a strong relationship to performative or destructive actions. Likewise, John Latham who chewed up Clement Greenburg’s, Art and Culture, and returned the pickled remains of the book to a library.
As the physical landscape of culture is shifting dramatically, we are moving towards a referential existence. I acted in opposition of loss, not nostalgically, but with the intention of embracing each book’s ‘thingness’ (as defined by Bill Brown). I intervened with the cycle of life for these objects. The transformed books have now been reintegrated into daily life.
Anyone interested in viewing these books may search ‘Michelle Cieloszczyk’ in the GSA library catalogue, or follow the URL: https://goo.gl/xKye7s