Biografias

Somebody posted a picture of this on Facebook and asked me (well, they asked everybody) what I thought of it. I think it looks like a stream of vomit, and that would seem to indicate that the artist doesn’t like biographies much. However, kinder critics have compared it to water coming out of a hose, and a tornado.
But, it’s not the only place in the world books have been piled or shaped as works of art. The tower of books at the entrance to Prague’s main library springs to mind. A floor to ceiling hollow tower of books, with a little space to poke your head in, and there are mirrors on the floor and ceiling so you get a view of infinity, which is a nice statement, because books contain other worlds, an infinity of knowledge and fantasy.
But, I think there’s another reason you see books used as an art material, and let me illustrate it by deviating from it a bit. I have seen a lot of cafes in Prague, this probably has happened other places as well, and it’s not quite as common as it used to be, but it’s still a thing. Lots of cafes decorated with old stuff that nobody uses any more. Typewriters, sewing machines, old farm equipment, stuff like that, heavy on the wood and rusted metal.
My theory is that when communism ended, a lot of people said “Hey, I think I’ll open up a cafe, but then comes the question of how to decorate it. Well, a lot of those people had a lot of old junk sitting around in the attic, and if you clean it up and space it out a bit you can call it art, and it’s not at all unpleasant.
That’s why I think you’re seeing books used as an element in art. Nobody reads books any more, at least the number has significantly dropped, and there are a hell of a lot of books out there with no function.
So, they are turned into objets d’art. Could be worse. At least it’s constructive.

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