Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In this installation at Pittsburgh's Mattress Factory, Jonathan Callan uses books to replicate, what at first glance, looks like a cross-section of a felled tree. Viewers find Callan has erected his entire installation out of coverless books that are drilled together to create an organic structure which beings to approach a painting or drawing. There's talk of how the work encourages viewers to consider how we now address traditional modes of relaying knowledge such as through the use of textbooks, encyclopedias and atlases but I can't help think about the way he's taken the book off its pedestal and has us focus on its essential materiality. He moves us away from the cerebral to the sensual, from spirit to soul. He is literally shaping the way we define, use, and think about everyday objects. Tasty stuff.