Fact and friction

By CHRIS THOMPSON  |  August 1, 2007

“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
Because of the seriousness of his practice and the humor of his work, we should consider not believing Stephan’s own account of the outcome of his practice. “I pored over these books,” he writes, “measured, weighed, sorted, cut, sanded, glued, and nailed them. ... This process has destroyed my reverence for the book while forcing me to confront the sheer mass of human thought they contain.”

This show is a rapt, delirious, and also systematic homage to the book in all its materiality, to the peculiar power of the stacks — their monumental seriality and also the knowledge they stir in us that they are overrich with a content that in a whole lifetime one could only begin to examine — and to the love that anything human cannot help but feel for the texture of quality paper and the lush black lines left by printers’ plates and the touch of letterpress.

Quotes in italics are from Ludwig Wittgenstein. Chris Thompson can be reached at xxtopher@hotmail.com.

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