Structures for Reading at Columbia College

Yesterday, I finally got out to see Structures for Reading at the Center for Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College. I love books and I love art and I thought this show was great :)

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While the whole show revolved around books or reading, the pieces were not necessarily as straight forward as that. Among other things, there was an animation of a book’s pages being turned by the wind, images of rooms described in literature, literal structures built for reading and photographs comparing reading from a book to reading life and nature.
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I knew a bit about some of the pieces included and I found this one by Silvio Lurusso and Sebastian Schmieg particularly interesting (although not executed in the best way, if you ask me…which no one did, but there’s my opinion anyway!). It was a small book of photographs of broken kindle screens. When I read about it, I really was not impressed with the concept, but when I saw it, I really ended up enjoying it. The screens are beautiful and destroyed in the photographs and there is an odd ‘is technology destroying reading’ undertone or perhaps just a reflection of what a kindle version of an old, worn and torn book would look like. Or I just read too much into it. Either way I liked it.

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And I can’t not mention the work of Matthew Girson, a professor that has helped me a lot over the years. He had two groups of works, one of delicate barely discernible and light drawings of individuals reading and a group of very dark, barely discernible paintings of books. I’ve seen both groups of works before, but seeing them side by side put them in a new perspective. I loved seeing his work in the show. If you’re interested, the show will be up until April 6th, I highly recommend it!

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