One of the most interesting projects of contemporary art is creating a certifiable, stop you-in-you-tracks spectacle. Now I’m not talking about a pee-on-a-crucifix kind of spectacle, which I think really just revels in shock value, but some kind of visual stimulation that truly causes the viewer to be disoriented, and to evaluate the world around him again in light of new, improbable circumstances. I’d love to spend my time creating art that speaks in this way, but am lacking something critical to achieve this goal—a great idea.
Matej Kren created a giant, cylindrical tower of thousands of books, which is currently on display at the Israel Museum. They are organized by tone and color so intricately, that seeing the photographs of so many of them stacked together is totally overwhelming. This grandeur of scale is a good first step in creating a spectacle, but I am really intrigued by the use of books in such a context as makes them utterly impossible to read. They still ‘read’ visually as books, but are useless as books. They are now blocks of color, pieces of foundation, towers to the ceiling. It is gratifying and disorienting to see them giving knowledge through an interaction so different from their intended purpose.