Exhibition: Books/Bodies

Pati Scobey, [Torso detail], A Printer's Exquisite Corpse (1992). Image copyright Pati Scobey. Used with permission.
January 8, 2018

Though damaged and incomplete, the marble figure in Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Archaic Torso of Apollo” still commands a powerful presence “from all the borders of itself” (trans. Stephen Mitchell). With such anthropomorphic anatomy as spines, heads, fronts, and backs, books are conceptualized as bodies. Their covers are discrete surface boundaries, giving books the properties of interiority and exteriority. Both books and bodies become entities by which we structure and understand our world and ourselves.

This exhibition presents a small selection of the many books held in the Haas Arts Library Special Collections on the subject of bodies. On display are a series of books in which bodies are measured, dissected, abstracted, politicized, and aestheticized. By representing the body in book form, artists can question and reinterpret the nature and contrivances of such concepts as opening/closing, time/transformation, and materiality/immateriality.

All Arts Library exhibitions are free and open to the public. During the academic year, the library is open to the public Monday through Thursday 8:30am–7:00pm and Friday 8:30am–5:00pm. After 7:00pm on weekdays and all day on weekends, a Yale ID card is required to enter the building. To access exhibits and collections after public hours, please contact art.library@yale.edu to schedule an appointment. 

This exhibition will be open from January 8 to March 31, 2018.

Image copyright Pati Scobey. Used with permission.

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