You know what I’m really good at? Buying books about bookbinding. I bought my first catalog of a bookbinding exhibit in April of 2000 (I still have the receipt). This is where my money goes, instead of feeding my family. Fortunately, since I’m good at it, I didn’t pay much for most of these. The Tarlau book is a notable exception in more than one way. I paid a lot for it and it’s a novel. My excuse? It’s a very thinly disguised autobiography. I can’t speak for the very personal details, but it’s about her experiences within the bookbinding community in France. Names have been changed, but even I can identify many of the characters. It’s an education.
It seems like ages ago, but I’m still thinking about my fine art bindings orgy on September 10th. In my last post, I didn’t comment on the La Couleur du vent exhibit, sponsored by ARA Canada and École Estienne, at NBSS. It would have made the post way too long.
Seeing La Couleur du vent (that’s the title of the set book) in person made me think about the three ways we can experience a binding exhibit: an online exhibit; a print catalog; and a live viewing. This was the first time I was able to experience a single exhibit in all three ways. I was struck by the advantages and disadvantages of each method. I also thought of ways each experience could be enhanced.
Several weeks ago I showed this:
This three-month long exhibit in Nîmes, on display for only two more weeks, shows 255 recent bindings by members of Les Amis de la Reliure d’Art. It is not surprising that France is overwhelmingly represented. ARA was founded in France in 1982. There are active branches in Belgium, Canada, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, but binders from many other countries participated. Clearly, a binder does not have to be a resident or citizen of one of the countries with an active branch to be a member. Presumably, a binder living in the United States, Central, or South America could join. I wish more binders in the Americas were members so they could submit bindings. This is the XIth Forum International de la Reliure d’Art (FIRA). It’s a biennial event, in a different city each time. It’s a great forum for showing work to a European audience.