Alas, an Installation
Discarded and abandoned books were once structured and coherent vehicles for the transmission of knowledge. Now broken and torn, their ideas and words are disrupted, even destroyed. Yet these fragments evoke feelings and suggest stories.
For this installation I am forming letters from the detached covers to make four letter words (because book is a four letter word). I wanted to use the book covers unaltered. So the words had to be ones that could be made while retaining the basic rectilinear shape of each. Ironically, that meant I could not use the word “book” because the diagonal lines on the letter K would have required cutting into the covers.
The covers are adaptable and can be arranged in many ways. Their tactility, their colors, and sometimes words or phrases on them, encourage engagement and attention.
For words displayed on the floor, there is a tension around our traditional respect for books and the fact that these covers were torn asunder from their texts and for the potential transgressiveness of walking on them.
Nearby are a few stacks of book covers yearning to become words. I invite viewers to arrange and combine these covers into additional four letter words.
© Pat Swanson