Motive & Motion - Portfolio & Projects of Christopher Hagen

Printing and instructing in Brisbane, Aus.

  1. Latent Library (2015)

    "Stacks" View

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      "Stacks" View

    • 2

      Detail View of volumes in collection with bookends.

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      Detail View of volumes in collection.

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      Detail View of volumes in collection.

    • 5

      Detail View of volumes in collection.

    • 6

      Detail View of Fore-Edges

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      Alternate Display

    Variable Installation - min 8in x 20in x 4in / 20cm x 50cm x 10cm
    Embossed Hand-Bound Books, Pigments/Spices (Hematite, Beet Powder, Nutmeg, Cocoa, Matcha, Turmeric), Shelf, Hand-Cleaning Towels

    Libraries, especially those based on lending models, are valued for their accessibility, unlike museums which must favor preservation for long-term display at the expense of hands-on experience. The more worn a book is, the more likely that it has been visited by many readers — its pages passing through their hands so that its contents pass through their minds. It could be said that the more worn, the more successful it has been in spreading ideas. The holdings of Latent Library are composed of paper embossed with varying textures, edged with pigments and spices of varying colors. As the books are handled by visitors, color is rubbed into the textures and the blank pages fill in. Though reading is largely a private act, the works in a library form a communal resource, whose frequent use enriches both individual and community. Visitors to the Latent Library are akin to bees — picking up pollen from each book, crossing it with that of another, and ultimately carrying it away. The travel of colors from book to book suggests to me the mixing of ideas as we venture from text to text. Just as a store of knowledge is made useful through access by individuals, the subtle content of these books is only made apparent by the visitors’ handling.

    This ongoing project was first presented in the 2015 solo exhibition "We Could Linger".

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