Unbound and Bound

7 August - 7 September

Curators (Unbound): Rhonda Davis and John Potts
Curators (Bound): Kate Hargraves and Sara Smyth King in collaboration with the University Librarians

Artists: Robert Adamson, Effy Alexakis, Suzanne Archer, Mireille Astore, Julie Barratt, Julie Bartholomew, Vanessa Berry, Stephen Birch, Chris Bond, Anne Brennan, Iain Brew, Meredith Brice, Christian Capurro, Caitlin Casey, Angela Cavalieri and Peter Lyssiotis, Stephen Copland, Fiona Davies, Urszula Dawkins and Peter Lyssiotis, Jayne Dyer, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Joachim Froese, Nathalie Hartog-Gautier, Helen Geier, Juno Gemes, Inga Hanover, Robert Jacks, Jonathan Jones, Michael Karris and Peter Lyssiotis, Yvonne Kendall, Bruno Leti, Ruark Lewis, Richard Long, Euan Macleod with Lloyd Jones and Ron McBurnie, Bea Maddock, Chris Mansell, Rocket Mattler, James McGrath, Allan Mitelman, Nell, Monica Oppen, Ken Orchard, Mike Parr, Ed Ruscha, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Alex Selenitsch, Sandra Selig, Kylie Stillman, Richard Tipping, Angela Welyczko and Anne Zahalka.

The question of 'when is a book a book?' is seriously considered in the two visually stunning and intellectually enthralling partner exhibitions developed by Macquarie University Art Gallery revealed in Unbound at the University Art Gallery and Bound at the University Library.

The intrinsic qualities of the book have allowed artists a medium in which to explore ideas, processes, accumulations and narratives in an open-ended way. Invested with the delineations of the everyday to the remarkable, the book together with the library is emblematic of the realities, myths, interactions and exchanges that inhabit our daily lives. The materiality of the book as a portable and accessible medium has enabled the artist to reach a much broader audience bearing witness to the socio-political and cultural reflections of contemporary life in a unique fashion. Experience the book as a space in which the artist has explored current issues exacting the immediate affects, responses and stories attached to each condition. Unbound resonates with the affiliations we have come to know about the book in anticipation of what it is and about to become − continually re-invented, re-interpreted and transformed by the artists hand - the book lives on.

Both exhibitions offer visitors windows into the relentless changes of how we now consider, view, relate and experience books and libraries within the context of both public and private reading. The written, visual, textual, monochrome, polychrome and imaginative world of the book is brought to life.

Bound (Satellite exhibition: Macquarie University Library Exhibition Space)

University Libraries hold remarkable collections of rare books that often don't see the light of day due to the fragility of the material. With the arrival of the digital book, rare books are becoming even rarer. So the book once collected, held, revered and read has undergone significant transformation over the last five years. Though a sense of ambivalence remains where uses are caught between the portability of the eBook and the notion of originality and materiality imbued within the paper-based book. The style and aesthetics of the book in its bound volumes, its dust jacket cover, and the discovery of the original work within the leaves of the limited edition provides a window into the past where books were highly collectable. But has the status of the book changed that dramatically, the asset of public and private associations more than often withstand the book's disposal.

The library itself has also been revolutionised in the quest for seeking new ways of learning and storing knowledge. Library spaces are no longer silenced entities but are permeated with the sounds of voices, eating, drinking and with the constant tap of the keyboard in the absence of a touch screen, the reverberations can be relentless. How the digital age affects the thoughts and processes of users in terms of aesthetics and impacts upon the architectural spaces of the modern library are some of the questions the exhibition poses.