Libri May 19 - July 7, 2018
In Libri, Wester shows two bodies of works - Imago Temporis and Libido Libri. Imago Temporis (currently) consists of five unique artist books, that the artist compiled of pages from old World Press Photo catalogues. By disassembling the sections and pages of these books, and carefully reassembling them in a new order, these sometimes famous photographs can be seen in a new light. In some cases, the photo was originally divided over two pages. In Wester’s books, two halves form a new whole – indeed new images are created.
In the proces of reassembling, Wester looks for formal similarities. Thus images are taken out of their context, and re-contextualized on aesthetic qualities. This may cause friction – big and shocking historical events juxtaposed with forgotten moments – but it seems just right this way. The quality of a good (press) photo is that it captures a story in one image. The quality of Wester's books is that he places these stories within the greater drama of human existence. Imago Temporis forms a kaleidoscopic view of the world and recent history. Wester examines how we assign meaning to an image, and makes us aware of the significance of context in this proces, but there is also us, the looking actors. In his second body of work in this exhibition, Libido Libri, Wester combines modern art with vintage pornographic/erotic photography of naked women. Again, the process is led by looking for formal semblances. For Libido Libri: Willem de Kooning used old catalogues of this Rotterdam-born painter. In Libido Libri: The Abstracts we see numerous modern abstract paintings juxtaposed with images of female sexuality. Although looking at art and looking at erotica as two vastly different ways of looking, Wester books cause a short circuit in our brains, a pleasant confusion.
Artist books in cassette, hand-bound