Exhibit: Bibliothecaphilia MASS MoCA (9/29/15 – 1/1/16)

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Readers in New England may be interested in this announcement about MASS MoCA’s exhibit “Bibliothecaphilia” reposted from Book History at Harvard.  Anyone who has seen this exhibit and wishes to report back is invited to do so.  “Bibliothecaphilia’s” exhibit page can be found hereThe Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA, is always worth a visit.

For centuries, libraries have exerted a quiet sort of gravity, pulling us in with the promise that for a while, in the hushed, book-filled corridors, we can exceed ourselves. But, in this age of eBooks and library apps, does the physical and philosophical space of the library remain relevant? And what qualities define a library? Can libraries exist digitally, or be constituted of things other than books? The six artists in Bibliothecaphilia, explore the medium and ethos of libraries: institutions straddling the public and private spheres, the escapism that libraries offer, libraries’ status as storehouses for physical books — and thus for experiences and knowledge — and the way that these objects circulate and are re-used. Participating artists include Clayton Cubitt, Jonathan Gitelson, Susan Hefuna, Meg Hitchcock, Dan Peterman, and Jena Priebe.

The exhibition coincides with a year-long initiative at Williams College (including the Williams College Museum of Art and Clark Art Institute) dedicated to books, libraries, and information. It focuses on exploring the diverse ways in which people preserve and convey ideas, creative works, data, and other forms of information. The project features a wide array of public presentations, performances, courses, and exhibitions (including at the Williams College Museum of Art and Clark Art Institute) that imagine the theme from many perspectives.

This exhibition is made possible by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

Bibliothecaphilia is curated by Allie Foradas.

Date:
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – 09:00 to Friday, January 1, 2016 – 17:00
Location:

MASS MoCA

1040 MASS MoCA Way

01247 North Adams, MA

United States
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One Response to “Exhibit: Bibliothecaphilia MASS MoCA (9/29/15 – 1/1/16)”

  1. Anna Battigelli Says:

    Saw this small exhibit today. It consists of three installations and a film aimed at exploring the tension between the private space of reading and the public space of the museum. The exhibit has some interesting pieces. A table covered with handwritten inscriptions found in books suggests the intensity of emotion that handwritten notes–and perhaps book transmission–produce. Next to this, shelves of books full of marginal comments are available for visitors to pick up and thumb through to see marginal comments. A fantastical representation captures an exploding book hurling leaves into the air and might have provoked some kind of commentary on the receding place of the material book in our lives today.

    Unfortunately, however, the exhibit’s conceptual failure to acknowledge the library’s complex intertwining of public and private experience diminishes it to more of a conversation piece than a serious meditation on either reading or libraries.

    Like

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