Elena Damiani, Reading Complex Act IV – Sans Titre, Government Art Collection, London

19 March 2012 - 05 April 2012

Curated by: Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Catherine Serrano

In the wake of the digital turn, in this era of iPads and Kindles, the book is becoming a sensual luxury artifact, a precious and extravagant superfluity and an aesthetic emblem, subject to new levels of fetishization and bibliomaniacal fancy. With the recent advent of digital reading devices capable of reducing the physical space needed to house thousands of books to the size of a single copy, we are made aware of the possibility that no more bound narratives will cross our domestic thresholds.

Reading Complex Act IV − Sans Titre is an exhibition of artworks, objects and structures that address the physical form of the book in light of its current digital turn and changing modes of readership. Advanced by current art practices and through the re-contextualization of historical works from the Government Art Collection, this exhibition engages with the changing role and function of the library, the thoroughly materialistic quality of the book, the act of annotation, the book’s transition from analogue to digital formats and the consequent shifts in the distribution of texts and the conditions of (co)producing knowledge.

Reading Complex Library
For this phase of the project we, in shifting from an ongoing dialogue, compiled a selection of our growing body of resources into the Reading Complex Library: bringing together objects of reflection and interaction for an audience. The Reading Complex Library contains the books placed in relation to the fragments explored through the Reading Complex programme. This body of knowledge offers a space for dialogue, between ideas and words, things and art-objects.

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