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Alex Selenitsch, Across the Imagination, 1991

Catalogue Title: Exhibition of Books and Boats
Artists: Jay Arthur, Alexander Hamilton, Petr Herel, Paul Uhlmann.
Essay Title: Across the Imagination
Author: Alex Selenitsch
Date: June 1991.
Venue/Publication: State Library of Victoria, 13 July – 25 August 1991
All rights reserved by the author.

The modern book is as elusive as air: all around us but invisible and considered as itself only when it blows too strongly. When we read a modern book we have to ignore it so as to grasp the ideas carried by the words. Yet when we are confronted by books made of bamboo slats or folds of rice paper, with indecipherable patterns on them, our awareness of their physicality is heightened and this gives us pleasure. Is it because we don’t understand the ‘writing’ on them? If so, why do we need to separate the ‘writing’ from the ‘book’? Why can’t we have both? Read more

Les Petersen: The River Styx (Sticks), 1994

Catalogue Title: The River Styx (Sticks)
Catalogue Essay: Prelude to a Journey (Director’s Report)
Author: Les Petersen
Date: 1994
Publication details: Canberra, ACT, Raft Press Inc
© all rights reserved by the author

The artists on the River Styx (sticks) project were asked to work on a theme; to create a book using one of the possible interpretations of ‘The River Styx (sticks)’, and to consider the use of modern equipment and materials to produce the work. The brief was simple: the theme allowed for a wide range of artistic flavour and emotional response; the materials and equipment were available and easily used, and most of the artists had dealt with the idea of the Artist’s Book before. The Books created by them for this project should be experienced by what one knows and also by what one suspects. Read more

Thierry Bouchard: Consonance (a postface), 1994

Catalogue title: Fragile Objects: Graphic Investigation Workshop, Catalogue Raisonne, volume 2.
Catalogue Essay Title: Consonance (a postface)
Author: Thierry Bouchard; translated from the French by James Grieve
Date: 1994
Publication details: Canberra, ACT: Canberra School of Art Graphic Investigations Workshop
© all rights reserved by the author’s estate

With books of a certain type, a particular view of publishing them, the spiritual conception and material fabrication of them, going back to the late nineteenth century and prevailing with remarkable continuity to this day, there is bound to be a problem of terminology, reminiscent of the battles fought over taxonomy in the natural sciences (zoology and botany) at the same period. Read more