July Project (offsite): BOOKISH II

1 July – 5 August 2015, Fisher Library at the University of Sydney, as part 0f Ex Libris Fisherarium, a project curated by Michael Goldberg. See more here. In 2013 Marrickville Garage hosted a project BOOKISH in which artists, not necessarily photographers, produced photo books.

BOOKISH II is an extension of that original concept, wherein three artists have used the book as a starting point for three different approaches to working with books as inspiration, as concept, as object and as source.

Sarah Newall for “Wild Food Project” has researched the documentation of Australian Aboriginal “bush tucker” and this includes the European botanical drawings of Sydney Parkinson who was on the Endeavour in 1770 with Captain Cook, through to modern publications. This is an extension of her ongoing interest in flora and its representation within the domestic sphere. Recently this has expanded into gardening projects and sustainable materials and practices.

Anne Kay’s “Learning to draw from books”, is a series of photo-montages, which developed out of an enjoyment of 18th and 19th century novels, a corner of literature that is now a little dusty and arcane. Initially, the attraction was to the literary forms of the period, and the opportunity the narratives offered to peek into earlier, somewhat foreign societal customs. After accumulating an eclectic assortment of paperback reprints, the attraction extended to the cover illustrations, which hinted at the stylistic variation over the decades in illustration and book cover design. In this series of artworks, the cover illustrations are the subjects for learning to draw.

Jane Polkinghorne has organised “A Brief Scatological Survey” of books and objects scatological in nature. “A Brief Scatological Survey” brings together the works of Trevor Fry, Sally Clarke, and Margaret Mayhew, as well as objects from Polkinghorne’s collection of scatological objects alongside various publications on the scatological. Dominique Laporte’s 1978 book Histoire de la merde (Prologue) published by MIT in 2000 as History of Shit, is used for this project as a foundation text. Laporte’s analysis of shit links the development of Paris to control of the French language, and can be more broadly read as a critique of the increasing control governments wield over every aspect of our lives, literally controlling us from the toilet to the grave.

‘Ex Libris Fisherarium’ is assisted by The University of Sydney, Chancellor’s Fund.

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