Booknesses: Artist’s Books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection
The exhibition Booknesses: Artists’ Books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection formed part of the larger Booknesses enterprise. The exhibition, consisting of 229 international and 29 local artists’ books and an extensive catalogue, was one of the largest and most ambitious exhibitions of its kind globally. Curated by David Paton, with the assistance of Rosalind Cleaver and Jack Ginsberg, the exhibition was opened on 25 March 2017 by Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Fine Print Research (CFPR), University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK. This exhibition celebrates the 21st anniversary of the first exhibition of artists’ books in South Africa, held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1996.
Starting from Sonia Delaunay and Blaise Cendrars’s ground-breaking 1913 exemplar of simultaneity in book form, Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petit Jehanne de France, the exhibition is curated around a number of themes suggested by this work. These are Visual-verbal Dynamics & Colour; Journeys, Maps and Structures & Landscapes & Places; Fantasy & the Fantastic; War, Death, Fear & Apocalyptic Imagery; and Sex, Love & the Body. Supporting Prose, we chose a number of canonical book-works which Riva Castleman showed on the 1994/5 Exhibition titled A Century of Artists Books held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, and which are held in the Ginsberg Collection here in Johannesburg.