In the third exhibition of the SUPER ESTATE PROJECTS, British artist, Kathryn Faulkner, extends her body of work on reading to produce a series of photographs that highlight the role of books in Golden Lane Estate. The estate is comprised of nine residential blocks, each with a dynamic demographic of people. Many have lived there since the estate opened alongside more recent residents, including those who work in the creative industries as designers, architects, artists, writers and academics - all attracted by the unique and varied characteristics of the estate.
During her residency at EXHIBIT, Faulkner has visited numerous residents and observed how they live with books. Drawn to the intimate scale of the living spaces, she has engaged in conversations about individual experiences with books. Faulkner captures moments that represent personal relationships with reading and with the book as object. Whilst the flats are all architecturally similar, the occupants have customized each interior, focusing on their individuality through book collection and display. On one hand, Bibliology at Golden Lane Estate distills the diversity of approaches; and on the other, emphasizes the idiosyncratic ways in which residents furnish their homes.
Concentrating on the book as object, the still lives draw attention to the collecting impulse that is evident in many homes. Whether a stack of favorite books, or books yet to be read, they speak of serious intent and a desire for self-improvement and new experience. The larger views of storage systems bookcases, staircases show how often books can furnish a home and reveal the owner's history, interests and bias. A series of colour pinhole photographs of residents reading in their favorite spot are projected in the enclosed space downstairs and allude to the absorbing nature of reading; the ephemeral presence of the reader in their space, and the inevitable passing of time.
Shot on medium format film and traditionally hand printed full frame, Faulkner consciously chose a methodology in keeping with Modernism's âtruth to materials' ethos. Reading is a democratic and universal activity, be it for knowledge and pleasure or work, and this snapshot of literary life on Golden Lane Estate proves that despite the rise of electronic publishing, the book still holds its place in the affections of the people who live there.
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