memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Monday 4 October 2010

Yohei Nishimura: fired books

I have been to the National Arts Library at V&A recently. I have got this essay to write and V&A offers access to the most fantastic collection. For free. AND your are allowed to photograph.

So - I was sitting there, getting slowly depressed for I was finding nothing relevant to my work. This is when I came across Yohei Nishimura. V&A has one of his fired books in their collection.

''The open & closed book: contemporary book arts'
Yohei Nishimura
Published by Yohei Nishimura
Tokyo, Japan, 1993
Height 17 cm x width 11 cm x depth 5 cm

This work by Yohei Nishimura is one of a series of bookworks that are the result of the artist's experiments of working on various objects by firing them in a kiln, 'At a certain point, I tried to fire books coated with clay as I believed that was the only way to keep forms of paper without turning them to ashes. Then I found a curious fact that not only a part of the book coated with clay, but also a part without, still conserves a form'. In this case the artist has fired a copy of a catalogue of an exhibition held at the V&A entitled 'The open & closed book' (1979). The original work is shrunk, the wrappers are a stark white and the pages are fused together.

Well. I thought it was the most beautiful piece of bookworks. Fragile. Tactile. Simple. The book is gone. Infomation is wiped out. Just the shape remains. Somehow it resembles the air of Rachel Whitread work. The ghost of a book.

Yohei Nishimura has given me onto some ideas for the future. Let's hope I get access to the ceramics studio!