The Books We Haven’t Read

LHQ Gallery, Cork City. Ireland
11 January – 16 February 2024

The Books We Haven’t Read is a solo exhibition by Elize de Beer where she has examined her personal library through a series of screenprints, a large-scale paper tapestry, and artist’s book. Inspired by the essays written by Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière, the exhibition delves into the concept that there is more power to the books we have not yet read than the ones we have. We collect and add books to our bedside tables and shelves with the intention of filling gaps in our knowledge and expanding our imagination. When adding books to our reading list, access can become the next hurdle.

By transforming book covers into collagraph prints, the paper tapestry and artist’s book are explorations into a book’s objectivity. The artworks become abstract representations of a “library” and the subtle power they hold. The Books We Haven’t Read is created through the lens of de Beer’s personal library yet hints at the vital importance of the public library space. Access to information becomes key and public libraries can help medicate those hurdles. Looking at recent stories both locally and abroad books remain powerful and often contentious objects. Book banning and the censorship of knowledge is not a new concept for readers or librarians. Even though it seems that all information can still be accessed digitally, the physical book and library space still plays an important role in creating safe spaces that encourage the exchange of knowledge.

But we are living in difficult, uncertain times, and the priority for each of us must be to encourage exchanges of knowledge, experience, perspective, hopes and actions. And to note compare each with each.

This is Not the End of the Book. 2009.Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière. Page 308.

This exhibition was funded by Cork County Council through the Artist Bursary Award.

Exhibition Response Written by Sarah Long, The Paper. Read the Review Here:

The Books We Haven’t Read Will Set Us Free: Elize de Beer and Our Desire To Be Touched

Installation Images by Dara McGrath