Nomas* Projects / Art, Dundee

May, 2017


Artist's Statement


"When we open it, when the book surrenders itself to its reader, the aesthetic event occurs." (J.L. Borges)

The limit of our understanding dwells in the limits of our thoughts expression, that is our speech and writing. By depriving its possibilities of expression, a human risks being reduced to a creature made up of contradictory ideas and unrealized impulses. Our instincts for communication and creation are some of few primordial instincts, as in general a version of their realization. This impulsive primordialism is most obvious in the object of a book. Most of the items mankind has produced are extensions of its body, arms, sight, hearing, skin, but the book is an extension of memory and imagination. A book is a symbol containing multiple meanings, not an isolated entity or just a series of verbal structures: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.

Nobody steps twice in the same river (the waters constantly change), but we are not less fluid as beings. If we read again the same book, it is a different experience, the connotation of words is changed; we act like children who, as it was their first time, create the story and meaning of letters in their own way. It seems we are reading and processing the entire time gap back to its original creation.

The books I use date from different periods (from 19th Century to today) and by their topics are incomprehensible to children. Nevertheless, if I act as a child, a wunderkind not in the sense of ingenuity but playfulness, I become an artist who revivify every single book with a different materialistic approach. By destructive palimpsesting a book as an object, a new symbol is established, reorganized as in the case of a ready made, rejuvenated, rebranded.

Stefano Katunar (Croatia)

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