Essence of Innumerable Biographies. By the Artist Known as the Little Professor. 6'7" x 4'9" x 1'6" (var.). Approx. 600 books on a hardwood floor.
In this multidimensional work, the artist problematizes certain hegemonic assumptions of early twenty-first century bourgeois phallocentric academic historiography. To begin with, she re-energizes the linguistic and aesthetic constructs underlying history's discursive practices by transforming the historian's product (the book) into an object offering further creative potential. The book-as-art-object thus becomes the site of numerous and playful alternative socioideological concepts, ranging from the library as simulacrum to the book itself as a self-deconstructing fiction. Note how the arrangement of the texts undermines Western chronological systems by substituting alphabetization for the assumed priority of temporal order; the artist further unsettles the viewer's assumptions by utilizing the three-dimensional stack, a tactic which brings such figures as William Pitt the Younger and Emmeline Pankhurst into surprising proximity. As a result, the viewer is invited to perceive historical time as a nexus of previously-unacknowledged interconnections, many of them suppressed by the canons of received historiographical practices (i.e., evidence, fact-checking, archival research, etc.). Thus, what at first looks like an assortment of biographies stacked on the floor reveals itself as a canny act of generic subversion.
(Er, the real explanation: I'm stripping wallpaper from one of my back rooms, which necessitated that I temporarily relocate all the books into my main library. Still, I couldn't help imagining my stacks as found conceptual art... :) )