How do you exhibit it [a book]? Exploring the use of the book as the exhibited material, in the ‘public’ space, rather than in a more private sphere, implies a shift, a transformation of its content. If books are being exhibited as objects, then, necessarily, one must wonder about their first purpose: to be read. How do you show and experience them within that particular context?
This diagram and text are from the Open Books project. Initiated by Charlotte Cheetham and Sophie Demay in 2011, composed of a series of exhibitions, held at the Royal College of Art, London and at the Cneai (National Art Center for Publishing and Image), Paris and a publication. Open Books first volumes were printed as support media of the first exhibition; the following volumes document the first exhibition and its events, redefining the publication as a catalogue; the last volumes, added in 2015, give shape to a trace of the second exhibition and open up the research in a final chapter.
Writer Jennifers wrote on this exhibition on www.wordsinspace.net
In short: there is an exhibition wall of books (all of which have books as their subject matter). Visitors to the exhibit were asked to browse any book on the wall and mark one page and then return the book to the wall. All the pages that were marked in a day were photocopied and then bound into a new book which was then also placed on the exhibit wall. In essence, a new book with content aggregated from all that day’s visitors was created and added to the exhibit each day.
Full information on this project can be found at http://open-books.tumblr.com/