Remaining a medium of a language particularly reach in cultural codes, the art-book does not limit itself to the traditional form of a book but opens an area of multi and inter-media (using D.Higgins's term)activities. Yet regardless of the form the book assumes, its essence is based on the episodic character both of its time and of its space.

In her famous text "On Photography" Susan Sonntag recalls Malarme's words: "Everything in the world exists only to find its end in a book".This end however, is a very special one. It results from our fear of disappearing, of the state of distraction, weightlesness, inertia. It is a consequence of our constant need to order, link together things, matters, people, ourselves. Thus this end is a never ending sequel of openings which activate time and space, motif and context, introduce animation and methamorphosis.

Experiencing a book (both on mental and sensual levels) is not separated from a biographical time, and as such leaves traces both in the viewer and the object created only to stimulate his imagination and sensitivity. In most of my books, their content transforms or vanishes. It is not however a "destructive power of time" but rather filling some area of time with presence - an active form of being. In my book "here and now" a double pyramid, made of computer-printed words "and" , whilst opened reveals the light-sensitive inside. It contains spirals composed by handwritten words "here" - "now" mirroring each other. The more illegible words become, the more visible become fingerprints of readers. A similiar situation appears in the series of music scores titled "Music for inert repetitions", based on a graphic record of one heartbeat scanned into a stave. Each book-music score composes one of many possible modules of narration. Here the light sensitivness of material makes the notation changing, disappearing, "living" just as the sound to which it refers.

In many art-books, their physicality constitutes an important part of their content. A book is an object that occupies the place in space and simultaneously becomes a metaphor for places we seek for and carry in ourselves. Two compasses, inbuilt in my "Brick-case", influencing each other suggest the beginning and the end of this wandering.

"How little time we have to fulfil ourselves, how little ourselves we have to fill up time". This text inscribed in one of my dated books expresses the anxiety which accompanies many of us. The present we are living through constantly disperses itself and directs us to other, not-utterly-recognised presents. Hence, according to some, "there are no books but only one Book", according to others "there is no one Book , there are only books". These opinions meet in the consciousness that each of us has an access only to a little fragment, in each case different of the reality, which he shapes and share with. Sometimes using the medium of a book.


Joanna Hoffmann, 2000