Monday, 19 April 2010

Liber Mundi

Back at work, back to wandering the campus at lunchtime.

The image from the window of the British Legion in Presteigne in the previous post sparked a desire in me today to look for "illuminated books" emerging, or trying to emerge, from the background noise. It's the sort of thing that can provide a useful focus when wandering about with a camera: even if it doesn't survive as a theme that generates its own series, it can provide a new angle on over-familiar surroundings.

Ideas such as the mediaeval "world as a book" or the "book of the world" (liber mundi) and, visually, the lead books of Anselm Kiefer are clearly lurking in the background here. Although when it comes to making actual books I'm pretty conservative, the idea of images of book-like forms lying in wait out there in the world, full of illegible wisdom, does appeal to me.

Photographs of books (real books, that is) have to try quite hard to avoid being merely inferior reproductions of the real thing. Although I suppose you might say that is true about any photograph, it seems more the case where books are concerned. Two photographers who have pulled this off are Abelardo Morell and Doug Keyes. I recommend their books "A Book of Books" and "Collective Memory".

No comments: