Sacred texts

Books hold a privileged place in our society as keepers of knowledge, spiritual truth and cultural heritage. Melinda Rankin examines the role of books in artistic practice and the robust relationship that exists between artist and book via a willingness to challenge some of the apparent conventions of structure and content. Simryn Gill, Ken Orchard, Alex Selenitsch and Gerard Genette are artists whose practice is deeply entrenched in the seemingly offensive act of fiddling with these sacred texts. For these artists, the slicing, tearing and unpicking of books is not an act of violence or irreverence. In subverting the original narrative to their own purpose, they reconsecrate the text into artworks creating contemporary objects of veneration and desire.

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