In the stacks

Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo, aMAZEme, installation in Royal Festival Hall, 2012

If someone had asked me to imagine what 250,000 books looked like, I’m not sure I’d have had a clue. A quarter of a million anything is a lot, that much I do know. But I was always rubbish at guessing the number of smarties in the jar at fêtes, and those numbers were always in the hundreds which is much more manageable somehow. Anyway, in case you happen to be wondering what 250,000 books looks like, there they are, made into a maze resembling the fingerprint of writer and educator Jorge Luis Borges by Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall. As with almost everything else in London this summer, it’s part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

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Book art and other structures

Liu Wei, Untitled, 2011Untitled, 2011

The idea of books as art is hardly new. The concept of the artist’s book is a familiar one; indeed, there are artists’ book fairs all over the place. It’s just that when books become art is usually in the form of a book work: a book by an artist that functions as a work in its own right rather than as documentation. In Liu Wei’s exhibition at White Cube, Bermondsey at the moment, books have become sculpture and taken on the form of a city seemingly teetering on a rock with skyscrapers leaning at alarming angles.

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