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Ex Libris

Barbara Balfour
self published
10.4 × 17.8 cm

“Ex Libris” is an accordion-style multiple whose structure mimics that of a bookshelf. Initially bemused by interior decorators who reassemble clients’ libraries into ‘mountain’ and ‘valley’ configurations, Balfour set out to create meaningful and no less attractive concatenations of books. Acknowledging books as objects of beauty as well as substance, possessions people often refuse to get rid of even though they will never again be read, Balfour reflects on what they mean to their owner.

Drawing from her idiosyncratic approach to shelving, Balfour groups and orders her books in certain arrangements staged for this project. The titles visible on the books’ spines act as curious placeholders that are enigmatic or evocative, depending on one’s knowledge of the book in question. Beginning with Yellow Shelf and culminating in Death Shelf, the work ends on a positive note with mention of the afterlife. Overall, Ex Libris is an admittedly slow read.

Edition of 1000.

  1. Ex Libris

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