Shop > Artists' Books


VENT: Photographs 1977 - 2017

Paul Collins
Care Not Care, Paris
Artists' Books
22 × 21 × 1 cm
52 pgs

The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar’, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.
Victor Shklovsky
“Art as Device”

Drifting through the city as an art student on the constant look-out for meaning and motifs, I one day noticed an air vent of painted wood, fitted into the walI of a building on Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto. It felt not as though I had simply “noticed” it, but as though the vent itself had come looming, glowing out of the noise of the city and of my experience. The form and fabrication of that slatted object seemed to embody so many of the elements and complexities that, I was discovering, were necessary for the construction of a work of art – essentials of surface and depth, composition, aura, and most especially the gridded x and y axes intrinsic to much art, be it the the written word, notated music, the painted, printed or projected image.

Much, if not most of my work since then has flowed and flown out of this object and this form. But the air vent is not a mere metaphor. That it is and was an air vent is not important. It could have been a tree, a mountain, a glass of water, a face, a word or a square. Its ‘is ness’, that thing that makes a stone stony and an air vent an event is what matters. Russian writer and critic, Victor Shklovsky (1893 –1984) identifies this process as “Ostranenie,” or defamiliarization – the rendering or imbuing of something with strangeness. VENT: Photographs 1977 – 2017 documents 40 years of fascination with a form.

Limited edition of 100. Signed and numbered.

Hardcover, perfect-bound, black and white.

  1. VENT

Related Items

  1. Paul Collins and J.J. Phalix: 7 Scories
  2. Paul Collins and JJ Palix: Collins & Palix: Wipe Out!
  3. Paul Collins: [1962 / 1981 / 2002 / 2013]
  4. Protocol Warum: Care Not Care
  6. P_LAB Times Square Webcam 3
  7. Smoke Room 4
  8. Smoke Room 3
  9. Jesus Days
  10. Guantanamo.
  11. Maia Ruth Lee: The Center for Growth
  12. Eric Doeringer: Autobiography (after Sol LeWitt)
  13. Andreas Laszlo Konrath : Anthony No Name at Gmail Dot Com
  14. Katrin Koffman: Ensembles Assembled: In Full Color
  15. Miklós Klaus Rózsa
  16. Adél Koleszár: New Routes Of Faith
  17. Mira Mexico
  18. Eddie O’Keefe: Young Ideas
  19. Tim Lee: 162 People
  20. Un Ano de Basura (One Year of Garbage)
  21. Steve Kado: Previas
  22. Nein, Onkel
  23. A Sudden Drop
  24. A Sudden Drop Collector’s Edition
  25. Portraits by Waiters
  26. Wheels and Trophies
  27. Stephen Gill: Hackney Wick
  28. Thomas Mailaender: The Night Climbers of Cambridge
  29. Stephen Gill: Coming Up For Air
  30. John Stezaker: Crossing Over
  31. Justin Yong: gentle
  32. Nicholas Gottlund and Suzanna Zak: The Copier
  33. Robin Nishio: Wailed
  34. Common
  35. Jack Pierson: Tomorrow’s Man 3
  36. David Horovitz: Mood Disorder
  37. Michel Mazzoni: Gravity