The Back of Books

Danny Aldred

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"The book is not in the world but the world is in the book"
—Edmond Jabès

Working systematically through the shelves of libraries, I have been photographing the backs of books. I deploy an archaeological process by examining traces of the past left on their covers; I find this an exhilarating process because of the unpredictability of finding each book. A stasis is achieved by photographing the books objectively away from the library leaving the original book to further deteriorate. The back cover could represent an end of a journey, with the physical book and its contents now absent. The finality of this ending stands in contrast to an invitation to the viewer to embark on a voyage of imagination and memory of the book. With this project I am interested in the book as a symbolic object and how it communicates to us beyond the written word. The images of the books are mounted onto aluminum and they measure 152 cm x 120 cm.

My recent work explores the perception of the book and its transformation in the twenty-first century. I am interested in the book as a platform for discovery, adventure, and play. My work uses existing books; I then explore my own concepts and ideas from this starting point. I am interested in the sense of journey within my work, both real and imagined. Other themes I am interested in include the mundane, decomposition, memory, and time.