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Stacks

Artist: Tom Joyce (American, born 1956)
Date: 1994-1995
Medium: iron and found books
Dimensions:
23 1/4 x 23 1/2 x 4 in. (59.1 x 59.7 x 10.2 cm)
Each Block: 7 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 4 in. (19.7 x 19.7 x 10.2 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of the Adolf and Virginia Dehn Foundation, 2005
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2005.5.1a-i
Description
Tom Joyce's choice of materials is unexpected, as is our range of reactions to it. Books, charred on one side, are fitted into iron frames. They are nearly unrecognizable on the charred side as books, and stripped of their titles on the exposed spines they remain indistinguishable as individual works. There is a beauty to the charring, and yet we are perhaps horrified at the idea of finding beauty in a burned book (all too often a symbol of narrow-mindedness). Yet the charring also suggests the natural elements of books and their ultimate fragility. The piece was made long before the popularity of the e-book, yet its simple juxtaposition of the handmade (iron frames) and the mass-produced (books) speaks of the ultimately temporary quality of most of the objects in our lives.
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