Angela Grauerholz: The Inexhaustible Image
Martha Hanna, Marnie Fleming and Olivier Asselin, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2010, 240 p., bilingual
A quote from the book that caught my attention, from an essay by Marnie Fleming describing Grauerholz's piece, "Églogue ou Filling the Landscape," (p. 81):
"If we were to take a close look at the structure of the museum, we would see that it follows the paradigm of the archive - the parcelling of objects into rigid categories according to medium, in which artworks are examined for style, attributions, dating, authenticity, and meaning. Artworks are divided into various historic periods or by media. These divisions and classifications reveal the modern epistemology of art, where more often than not it is made to appear autonomous, or something that is apart; referring only to its own internal history and workings. The effective removal of art from its direct engagement in social life and its placement in an autonomous realm prevailed, and continues to prevail, within the museum."
I kept walking past this book on the shelf, and it's bright bookcloth spine called at me. I relented and slipped it off the shelf because the binding was interesting (and pretty!). I had never heard of Angela Grauerholz, and am glad to know about her work. I'm a photographer using historical references and processes to address contemporary issues of our experiences with time and space. Grauerholz's work with archive models is elegant and comprehensive. I'm especially drawn to her investigations into how we navigate space, and how we use photography to mediate that experience.
The quote I selected describes an interesting geometry, where assorted timelines of the museum/archive run parallel to the external world and rarely intersect ordinary reality.
Here is my second lesson learned, as I am also moving into the book arts: an interesting spine will lure the distractible.