‘The Book Artist As Explorer’

Curated by David Faithfull

If the distinction between a traveller and a tourist, as one not knowing where they’re going and the other who can’t remember where they’ve been, then how appropriate, particularly in terms of Artists Books, is the adage then of the explorer, as one who doesn’t know where they are?

Artists Books have historically been an enigmatic medium. This is both in relation to the definition of what exactly constitutes an Artists Book and how best to present, exhibit and distribute them. They are produced in small editions, often difficult to interpret, invariably fragile and of disparate monetary value. This has consistently posed a problem for the artist, the gallery, the viewer and the collector.

With today’s opportunities for online publishing and digital creation, let alone distribution and the more conventional printed forms of production available, are the boundaries and unchartered territories for the Book Artist to explore akin to a creative Gold rush? Or does this cornucopia of possibilities just create further confusion in defining and engaging within this complex genre?

For ‘The Book Artists As Explorer’ within Impact 8, the curator David Faithfull extended this debate with a series of exhibitions and interventions, reflecting current approaches within printmaking and Artists’ colophons. These included an open submission, the integration of specific work from the Centre for Artists Books at the VRC in Dundee and the commissioning of Artists Books from six different artists, especially for the conference;

This curated exhibition coincided with both the Open Book session and the individual Artist Book presentations at Impact 8.

The curator would especially like to thank the artists who generously donated their work to Impact 8 and the CAB collection.