John Marshall, Chair of Photography, was mentioned in the blogs Neatorama and Recyclart recently. His 1 Meter Sphere may be viewed on the 2nd floor of the Open Book Center located at 1011 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis.
Here is what he has to say about the piece. “I have been making these stacked book pieces for over ten years now. I use second hand hardback books intercepted on their way to being recycled. It is important to me that these books have a history in the world. Some were undoubtedly cherished by their former owners, some discarded unread. Some are from the libraries of the deceased, many are from school and municipal libraries, and some were abandoned and dumped in donation boxes. The unknown histories of these volumes adds tremendous resonance to them as art materials.”
“The embedding of each book in the sculptural object eliminates access to its text, the hidden cover, and spine take away its name and the resulting associations. The available information about each book is reduced to a few minimal clues, its thickness, the weight of its boards, perhaps a hint of the color of the binding at the spine, and some sense of the density of the paper. The gray of the text block is revealed but nothing of what it said.”
“Each piece is a collection of truncated bodies of discarded analog information, irretrievable, and fused into permanent layered strata like sedimentary rock. They are mute. They speak to me of all the books in the world that exist or ever have existed. They remind me of the limits of my own knowledge and of all that cannot be known, that is beyond language, beyond conceptualization, beyond perception.”
1 Meter Sphere