Ex Libris is both an accordion-style multiple and a series of seven digital prints. Initially bemused by interior decorators who reassemble clients' libraries into ‘mountain' and ‘valley' configurations, I set out to create meaningful and no less attractive concatenations of books. Acknowledging books as objects of beauty as well as substance, possessions people often refuse to get rid of even though they will never again be read, I reflect on what they might mean to their owner.
This book is a project inspired by Norman Bethune’s personalized bookplate, which reads: “This Book Belongs to Norman Bethune and Friends”. Bethune, the Canadian doctor eulogized by Mao Zedong, turned the proprietary notion of the bookplate upside down by this simple gesture. With a collectivist spirit, these bookplates read “This Book belongs to _______ and Friends”.
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