Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Parallel encyclopedia

This has a lot to do with "searching and finding". Sometimes I wonder why I make photographs when so many pictures have been made already. A search through existing "picture space" might dredge up fascinating materials. But searching and finding takes more energy than just adding to the pile. That's why I'm thankful for the few people that take up this task.

I saw this book first at Witte de With gallery in Rotterdam. It's one of those books that you walk around a long time and eventually you buy them. Even though they're expensive they are worth the money.

It is difficult to describe the appeal of this book. For me it has all the mystery of the Codex Seraphinianus and The Islanders. But all these pictures are real. And together they create a mysterious and sur-real atmosphere that opens your eyes for the wonders of this world.

There is just limited information about the pictures and no context. There is no storyline but pictures are grouped together by both appearance and subject. The book overpowers you with the huge variety of pictures and subjects it covers - and that you could have noticed if you had looked in the right way.

I remember that the pictures were culled from the book collections of friends of Batia Suter. In the interview the artist says that she started making a private collection of books and pictures to analyze the interestingness of pictures. Later she found that other people found her collection fascinating too. "It is ordered roughly by subject but it has a kind of internal dream logic."

A voluminous book containing a precise composition of images from other books.
ISBN: 978-90-77459-21-8, Year: 2007, Number of pages: 592, Size: 21 x 28 cm

Batia Suter - Parallel Encyclopedia
VPRO interview with Batia Suter - in dutch
ROMA publications - to order

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