Since I remember I have been living among books. Nevertheless I have never been in a book, I have never entered the space between two pages, I have never lost my way in the maze of signs and letters. Yes, I could write metaphorically that I am a small comma in the huge book of world, however a metaphor can't replace reality. Nor I can transform myself into a tiny bug. The only thing I can do is to make a book many times bigger than I am (because all books I have made so far are many times smaller that I am). But it's not a whim – it's an attempt to realize a tormenting dream. It's also (or maybe first of all) an attempt to indicate new territories, zones and areas vast and wonderful, poorly known, not civilised, which are hidden in the object seemingly so well known: a blank page => a letter => a word => a phrase => a paragraph => a page => a cover => a book => a library => ..... an attempt to show that a book is not necessarily an unimportant and meaningless wrapping of a text. Above literature there is something more – liberature.
This text appeared in the exhibition catalogue. The catalogue was a miniature of the exhibition, while the exhibition was a maxiture of the book. Of course, on ten pages of the treatise-exhibition I could write only carefully chosen excerpts from the treatise-book.
This idea came to my mind when I was coming back from Ireland, from Wexford, where in 1997 I was taking part in Wexford Book Art Festival. I imagined a huge book where more or less normal books would be letters or at least initials....
I carried out this idea five years later. Did I carry it out well? No. I could do it better. Not because it always can be better. Simply because I began to be aware of some problems just when I was building the book; so, what can be seen in the pictures can be taken as a real size mock-up – making the most of this experience next big book could be really good.
Nevertheless many people found the big book quite interesting – some found it interesting enough to spend in it one or two hours reading everything what could be read and looking at everything what could be looked at, even making notes. Probably such careful penetration was able due to sufficiently clear arrangement of the exhibition: each page and works presented on it referred to one element of a book. Surprisingly, the idea of a tiny reading room in the big book's back also worked not badly....
And that's all. The fair ended. The big book was dismantled. It disappeared. I was thinking of making such a huge book (of course better, more sophisticated version of it) in a big library, as a kind of permanent exhibition, but very soon I stopped to think of it. Now I'm thinking of something else: how can I enter a word, how can I get into a notion....
The Authors whose works were in the big book:
Anna Bauer / Andrzej Bednarczyk / Andrzej Bartczak / Katarzyna Bazarnik / Zenon Fajfer / Marek Gajewski / Joanna Gwis / Dariusz Kaca / Ewa Latkowska / Radosław Nowakowski / Krystiana Robb-Narbutt / Justyna Rychlewska / Joanna Stokowska / Anna Śliwińska-Kukla / Paweł Tryzno / Jadwiga Tryzno / Janusz Tryzno / Jolanta Wagner / Beata Wehr / Alicja Werbachowska