Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blood on Paper

Blood on Paper at the V&A sees contemporary artists looking at book forms in a truly diverse range of mediums.
Anselm Kiefer's huge work The Secret Life of Plants stands proudly in the entrance to the exhibition. Its solidity and solemnity mark it out as a serious piece of sculpture yet being in the form of a traditional book with turnable pages it has a familiarity that refuses to be ignored.
Projected onto the walls is a new commission by Charles Sandison, Carmina Figurata which places the viewer at the centre of a dynamic universe of swirling words, signs and characters.
Anish Kapoor has a series of pieces entitled Wound which evoke uncomfortable images of incisions in flesh, the layers of paper being like the layers of the skin. The precision of the laser cutting also reflects the precision and skill of the surgeons knife.
In the shop are books by Chisato Tamabayashi which are as precise as the work by Kapoor but come from a diametrically opposed production method. 18th and 19th century European lace patterns are explored in the delicate and time consuming process of hand cutting. The action of cutting turns the page into a story for Tamabayashi and is a meditative process.

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