Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Books & Squatting, & Shit

You are invited to a new exhibition...

WHAT: A Book for No Good Reason
(First exhibition of the year at Don't Look Gallery)

WHEN: Opening Wednesday January 17, 6pm
Thurs Jan 18 - Sat Jan 27 (Thur-Sat 11-5)

WHERE: DON'T LOOK Experimental New Media Gallery
419 New Canterbury Rd (Near Marrickville Rd), Dulwich Hill

WHO: Pickafight Books (a williams with special guests Jordan Woods and

CONTACT: Greg Shapley - Ph: 0401 152 434

To say that a williams makes books is like saying that an actor merely
reads lines. a williams is a maker of artist's books. He stiches and
binds, but he does much more than that. a williams 'performs' books -
the narrative, or content is focused around the performance of making
the book.

Thus his books are much more than just words on a page (in fact, they
aren't 'words on a page' at all), they are sculptural objects. For
instance, in his upcoming exhibition at Don't Look Gallery, we see a
video of the artist at work.

In creating 'IncendDIARY', a williams (and co-collaborator Jordan
Woods) fill the insides of books with sparklers, then blow the living
daylights out of them. This destructive, but spectacular, act evokes
the destruction of knowledge through the glorification of war, perhaps
illustrating the old adage that, 'the first casualty of war is truth'.
The charred remains of these books are exhibited like evidence at a
murder trial.

Most of his books don't meet such violent ends, however, but all of
them have 'lived' - they have all survived performance, and as a
result, can be read as texts (despite having no printed words).

The 'Information Bomb' is the result of a performance of a character.
This character believes that if he or she combines a book (a container
for information) with some ink (the revealer of information), an
aerial (the transmitter of information) and a switch (to make the
thing work), that they will be able to make a successful book -
perhaps a book that is more technologically advanced than others.

He describes this work as a 'prototype that never got through the
patent office, made by an inbred savant who grew up in a caravan park
on the Gold Coast' (a description that a williams thinks is a little
too close to his own for comfort).

Another work, entitled 'Preservation', is comprised of a book that has
been preserved in alcohol in the hope the book will 'last for future
generations' - yet ironically it has been ruined in the process. The
way it has been preserved denies access to that which it is trying to
preserve. The object itself has been confused with the knowledge it
contains and the book has been preserved at the cost of that which it

To a williams it is the lived experience of a book that matters. In
the words of the artist; "It's not what's in a book, who wrote it or
what it's about; but what you DO TO IT that really counts..."

a williams wishes to thank the Haswell and Macleay Museums at the
University of Sydney, Marrickville Council and Southern Cross
University for their assistance and support of this project.


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