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November 22nd to December 12th, 2017

Bilkent University Library Art Gallery

Opening reception: Wednesday November 22nd at 17.30

“Artists’ books” is a term coined by Diane Vanderlip to describe the pieces gathered in an exhibition that she curated at Moore College of Art in 1973. But the concept itself arguably dates back much earlier. Defying description and evading definition, artists’ books have generally come to denote works of art crafted as or from actual books. They emphasize physical qualities over literary ones and necessitate unconventional relationships with their “readers,” demanding interactions that are radically distinct from those of traditional books. The difficulty intrinsic to such interactions speaks to the nature of artists’ books as ergodic texts, texts that Espen J. Aarseth maintains require a nontrivial, extra-noematic effort to traverse. Despite, or perhaps because of, their elusiveness and complexity, such books challenge the presumed parameters of the textual and the visual. In doing so, they raise and respond to urgent questions regarding art, literature, and readership. “Ars Libris: Artists’ Books as Ergodic Texts” is a collaborative venture of Bilkent University’s Program in Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas, Department of Communication and Design, Faculty of Art, Design, and Architecture, and Library. It includes the work of twenty-four artists from seven different countries.