The definitions of "book" and "book arts" have changed drastically in the last 30 or 40 years. No longer is the art form limited to ornately constructed tomes made of leather and gold leaf. Modern books destined for museums demand the viewer to, pardon the pun, read between the lines. In fact, book arts have morphed so much since the late 1960s that what qualifies as book arts today often includes works that were never meant to function anything like a typical book. "Text/Messaging," a collection of the Walker's unique and most unusual books, explores this radical change in detail. The exhibit displays conceptual books such as David Hammons's 2002 oddity, The Holy Bible: The Old Testament. The cover declares the volume to be the first half of the Good Book, but the pages actually contain the complete works of French artist Marcel Duchamp. Also making an appearance are works of books-as-objects including Cuban artist Kcho's boat made entirely out of books he owned. If books are really your thing, check out the Walker's website for a complete list of events related to this show, including bookmaking workshops and a discussion by Walker librarian Rosemary Furtak, who curated "Text/Messaging."
Dec. 18-April 19, 2008