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September 10, 2020 – October 30, 2020

"To read that which has never been written"

Books from Marjorie S. Coffey Artists' Book Collection, part of the Special and Area Studies Rare Book Collections at The University of Florida

This selection of artists’ books was based on Giorgio Agamben’s idea of the signaturas. Thus, our criteria to select the books in the exhibition reflects this historically upsetting relationship, this difficulty to see what came first, if it was the image or the text. The artists’ books deal with the relationship between image and text in a way that both transform each other, blurring the limits between them.

…[signatura is] not just not about signs, it’s not about anything that has ever been written. Rather, it would seem that, in Hofmannsthal’s deep image, men in heaven learned, perhaps for the first time, to «read that which has never been written». But this means that the signature is the place where the gesture of reading and the gesture of writing invert their relationship and enter a zone of undecidability. Reading here becomes writing and writing is dissolved entirely in reading…

              - Giorgio Agamben, The signature of all things: on method

There are twenty-two books in exhibition by the widely recognized artists such as Ronald King, Amelia R. Bird, Damara Kaminecki, Romano Hänni, Jaime Shafer, Sarah Bryant, Barbara Tetenbaum, Julie Chen, Elizabeth Pendergrass & John Hastings, Jessica White, Joanna Ruocco, Philip Zimmermann, Stephanie Wolff, Radha Pandey, Ellen Knudson and Emily Martin, among others.

This exhibition was organized in collaboration with Elle Knudson, Associate in Book Arts at The University of Florida where she holds a joint position between the Special and Area Studies Collections Libraries and the School of Art and Art History. Grad Assistant Brie Rosenbloom has coordinated this exhibit. UG is grateful to Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler, Exhibits Director at the George A. Smathers Libraries of the University of Florida, for her support in the organization of this exhibition.

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