Luis Camnitzer, (Uruguayan, b. 1937), Timelanguage, 2016, Xerox toner on laid paper, 48 x 114 in., Museum purchase from the G.H. Smith Watch Key acquisitions Fund, 2017.8 © Luis Camnitzer/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
May 30, 2024 - January 5, 2025

Critical Reading:

Book Arts in Dialogue with the Collection

Arte Y Café Con La Curadora: 25 de junio, 6:00 P.M.

Exhibition Tour: June 28, 11:00 A.M.

This exhibition explores the ways in which text—whether literally or metaphorically—functions as image and vice versa. These works challenge our preconceptions about the act of reading by pushing experimental methods of communication and comprehension, asking viewers to take an active role in making sense of a text, even those that are designed to provoke and confound. Including works by contemporary artists in various media, Critical Reading proposes an alternative approach to objects that address social, political and cultural issues, memory, and storytelling. Works by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Fred Tomaselli examine how the representation of language is layered with multiple interpretive possibilities; pieces by William Kentridge and Richard Baker consider the book as object while conveying the multivalent stories contained within them. Artists' books from the Rollins Book Arts Collection as well as by members of CBAA (The Association for Book Art Education) activate dialogues across media with works from the museum’s collection, providing opportunities to engage in critical reading from diverse perspectives. The synergy between this array of objects--paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures and artists’ books--underscores the power of language in its multiple forms to challenge expectations about representation and content. As such, these art objects utilize our shared experiences with reading—both for pleasure and knowledge—and our understanding of books as vessels for sharing expertise in an infinite array of topics. These works are uniquely positioned to interrogate cultural assumptions about books, and by extension—our experiences with reading & knowledge—through a critical lens. 

Critical Reading is co-curated by Gisela Carbonell, Ph.D., Curator at the Rollins Museum of Art and Prof. Rachel Simmons, Art and Art History Department at Rollins College. 

William Kentridge, (South African, b. 1955), Second-Hand Reading, 2013, Single channel HD video, 7 min., The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Rollins Museum of Art. Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond, 2013.34.142. Image courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

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