Visual Editions

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Beautiful Trash at Artissima

As you know, I was asked to curate the literary section of the cultural programme for the 17th Artissima Art Fair in Turin. My section was called “All the Rest is Literature” and it included a programme of talks and conversations, and two book shows: one was curated
by myself, the other by Maria Fusco. As a novelist, I tried to focus my show on the elements, or genes, in the history of the novel that
seemed to represent attempts at evading the purely textual, linear form “novels” tend to be bound to.

There can be much more, to the novel, than that: visual, poetic, structural modifications that would seem to bring it closer to the domain of visual arts than that of literature; but it is literature nonetheless, and at its best. My final exhibition checklist included both titles out as of now by Visual Editions (Laurence Sterne and
Jonathan Safran Foer), as well as books by Daniel Spoerri, Raymond Queneau, Marc Saporta, Nanni Balestrini, John Barth and Leanne Shapton. Everyone loved your books.

If it hadn’t it been your strapline, I could have used it
myself as the title for my exhibition: Great looking stories. Instead, I chose “Whims with an Army”. On my website you can read the short exhibition text. Here are
some pictures, too. As you will see, the cultural programme took place in a structure built wholly out of beautiful trash – and yes, it’s broken fridges the books are displayed on.

I hope you like it half as much as I like your work.