Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Invisible Library shimmers into view

What do you call an Invisible Library whose books begin to appear in the real world? The answer, it seems, is art: the INK Illustration collective is mounting an exhibition at the Tenderpixel Gallery in London based on the Invisible Library that Ed Park and I have been compiling over the past year.

INK's press release explains how they've approached their task of bringing these nonexistent books to life:
INK has chosen forty imaginary book titles from the Invisible Library Blogspot and illustrated their covers. Working with some of Real Fits best selling writers and novelists, as well as high profile cultural and musical figures, the opening or closing pages of these forty empty books with illustrated covers, will be penned in advance of the exhibition. The collaboration continues throughout the exhibition as gallery attendees and workshop participants are invited to temporarily 'sign out' these library books and carry on writing the developing narratives within. Thus by the close of the exhibition, the once blank pages of each book will be enlivened with imaginative poly-vocal stories.
Iain Sinclair is also involved, which seems fitting, for in his introduction to London: City of Disappearances (2006), a strange and wonderful collection he edited, he wrote:
For the bookish, London is a book. . . . There must be a library somewhere . . . where all the missing books of London are assembled, three-deep on the shelf, welded together by subterranean ooze: a single volume, the great compendium of disappearances.
Given his love of the lost and obscure, what will he make of his chance to lift the wispy volumes of our Invisible Library out of their ghostly shadow lives?

The exhibit is up through July 12th. If any readers are in London and get a chance to visit the exhibit, I'd be extremely grateful for a report.

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