Unfortunately the last updates kept failing, and I lost quite a few posts. That’s why the “I am doing an update” post sat here for such a long time.
Today we gave our big encyclopaedia to Ruhr-Universität Bochum. They are holding a Borges colloquium and an aspect of it will be; an exhibition of artist books, which pick up the Borges theme. Some years ago Barbara Fahrner had the idea to artistically discover the mysterious lost encyclopaedia from Borges’ story, ‘Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius’. Much planning went into her project. Eventually she invited a number of artists to take part in this, what was to become, a five year project. Initially she thought a small series of grey slim booklets would be great to house the encyclopaedia. But after much thought we considered the “simple” book form to be too restrictive if not a suffocation of the artistic intent of the project and too limiting for such an ambitious undertaking. We wanted to set out in the spirit of Borges and not produce illustrated or a merely fine printed edition.
Capturing the the essence of the Borges story was not for everyone. The project literally demanded a flexible frame. We chose a set of five folders which contain a multitude of different books and individual sheets. In the folder one can discover hand written books, letter press, offset printed books. Ink drawn pages, computer print. Many, many different forms of artistic expressions. Equally important was that our encyclopaedia was not the endless reprint of popular literary texts but contained mainly literary pieces written purposely for the encyclopaedia.
Our encyclopaedia was very well received and acquired by places like the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel.
I am particularly happy when the books, pages and other objects get into the hands of people who really enjoy reading and dive into the depth of this work; which is so much more than a book series, it is a diversely spiralling literary work of great magnitude.