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

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Burning books - why???!!!

I do not burn them because I have a problem with books and written word. I do not burn them as a political statement.

I reduce books to the fragility of an empty crab shell, not only because it is a book, but especially because of it's indexality (Charles Sanders Peirce). Those books that I fire are very much representative of their times. Not only for the truths they contain. The books also hold ink, dust, fingerprints, pigments, coffee stains, pencil marks and other residue from that specific moment. So I cremate them, purge them of the memories and thoughts. I reduce their materiality and their content to such fragility, that they may disintegrate in hands, just like the memory of the times that they represent. The beauty of death.

Firing books comes from my research into memory, identity, language and aesthetics. My firing practice is not there only to speak about books. It is also there to raise questions about memory, identity, historical truth, our links with past and the fragility of those links.

This is why I burn books.

Well - this is what I think. I am sure Freud would have a more exciting explanation.