Book and What Next

Language ossifying in the buildings of Academia seeks refuge in children and “mad” poets (Raoul Hausmann).
The above provocative statement by the German artist Raoul Hausmann, one of the leading figures of early twentieth century avant­­-garde, sets the tone for an innovative approach to the matter of letter, word and book, an inspiration for ever new artists, starting with the first experiments with the new recording of text used by the Futurists (“words at large”) and the Dadaists (simultaneous poetry, opto phonetic poetry), through the creative experiments of the Lettristes, concrete poets and sonore poets, Fluxus, artists of the artbooks and liberature, until present-day works connected with cyber poetry and hypertext, based on cutting-edge computer technology.

These are but some of the art phenomena with a marked impact on how we think about the book or arrangements of letters, a source of inspiration of and starting point for artistic creation. The art book gained a special status in art in 1977, when a separate section was dedicated to it at the prestigious international exhibition Documenta 6 in Kassel. As Ulises Carrión wrote in The New Art of Making Books: “A book may be the accidental container of a text, the structure of which is irrelevant to the book. A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books.” The book understood in this way loses its traditional sense and begins to operate as a new being within the realm of art. It is often made/manufactured by an artist by hand, from beginning to end, and is thus a unique work of art.

The exhibition’s title BOOK AND WHAT NEXT was taken from a series of exhibitions organized since 1990 by the AT Gallery, established at the University of Arts in Poznan. In this series the Gallery presents a diverse range of artistic expression referring directly or indirectly to the visual and acoustic values ​​of writing and books, an intellectual functioning in a layer on the border of the visual arts and literature and poetry. Most artists invited to this exhibition are associated with the AT Gallery and have previously presented their work in this series of presentations. The BOOK AND WHAT NEXT exhibition presents works of artists from different generations, dealing with the art book (Adamczewska, Bogusz, Jurek, Klemba, Wilmański, Wronecka), visual poetry (Bromboszcz, Noël), animation lettering (Wilmański), book objects (Kozłowski), or the exercise books on principles of acoustic performance (Adamczewska). The main goal of the exhibition is to show the diversity of artistic approaches to the book in its wider meaning, integrally linked to the text, word and letter. Many of the works presented in this exhibition come from the Collection of the Studio of Art Books.
Curator of the exhibition: Tomasz Wilmański

Artists bio:

Joanna Adamczewska (b. 1959); in the years 1980-85 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (currently UAP). Active primarily in art books and visual poetry.

Katarzyna Bogusz (b. 1990); a student at the University of Arts in Poznan.

Roman Bromboszcz (b. 1976); he studied art history and philosophy at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Active in the art of intermedia and computer reinterpretation of various avant-garde poetry and science, including philosophy and cybernetics.

Aleksandra Jurek; studied at the University of Arts in Poznan (graduated 2015). Active primarily in graphic design and art books.

Evgeniia Klemba (Russia); a student at the University of Arts in Poznan.

Jarosław Kozłowski (b. 1945); in the years 1963-69 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (currently UAP). A professor at the University of Arts in Poznan. Active, among others, in installations, art books and books objects.

Ann Noël (b. 1944, England); in the years 1964-68 she studied at Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, England. Active primarily in visual poetry, printmaking and art books.

Weronika Wronecka; a student at the University of Arts in Poznan.

Tomasz Wilmański (b. 1956); in the years 1977-82 he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (currently UAP). In 1982 he founded the AT Gallery, which has operated under his leadership to date. He conducts classes with students at the Studio of Art Book in UAP. Active primarily in art books and visual poetry.