Katherine Wong/Contributing Writer
The exhibits of the new collection at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum don’t resemble conventional books, but that’s how they started.
“Spheres of Meaning” sets out to challenge what truly constitutes a book. These books are made from different mediums, ranging from a rendition of the border wall made of recycled newspaper to music stands and an interactive installation.
On the far left side of the exhibition hall sits eight historic texts repaired with gold leaf, similar to that of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, or the art of repairing artifacts with gold leaf to bring back life to the piece. The texts belong to Carlos Maciá, the only artist to incorporate an actual book in his art. Titled “The Spheres”, this lent inspiration to the title of the show.
“Having the title simply be ‘a collection of artist books’ seemed too boring,” said Amy Galpin, curator of the exhibit. “Rather, we wanted something that would give an exciting name to the exhibit, so I borrowed Maciá’s work, and adapted it to become ‘spheres of meaning’.”
As the name of the exhibition uses “spheres,” an art form that grants flexibility, this allowed the artists to explore different channels and materials—a key theme in the exhibition.
Upon turning left of the entrance to the exhibition, a large, origami reminiscent sculpture engulfs the wall. With future inspection, hidden words composed of tiny holes from pinpricks are revealed. Rosemarie Chiarlone’s piece challenges the act of being a “book” by creating tension between what is stable and what is unstable, with its many folds unfurled on the wall.
It was Chiarlone who inspired Amy Galpin to curate an exhibition based solely on artist books. All artists are currently living in Miami, or have worked in Miami at some point in their career.
“By doing this, we can connect artists to the local community,” Galpin explains. “While these artists can most definitely be showcased in larger museums, and have been showcased in larger museums, the idea of connecting the community to local artists was very important to us.”
Spheres Of Meaning is open until Aug. 25, 2019. Admission to FIU’s Frost Art Museum is free and is accessible to all students.