RiTUAL Reading Room

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

My Winter Coat, Barbara Henry, NJ and A Summer Morning’s Ritual, Pia De Girolamo

RiTUAL, Reading Room110 Church Gallery, 110 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106, 267 871 9375, HOURS: Thursday 1:30 – 6:30 pm, Friday 1:30 – 6:30 pm (except First Fridays, 5 – 8 pm) Saturday Noon – 4:00 pm, other times by appointment. 

ARTIST RECEPTION: 
Saturday, December 14, 2013, 
3:00 – 6:00 pm

110 Church Gallery invites you to retreat from the cold into our gallery, transformed into a reading room. Be surrounded by stories, engulfed by pages, dazzled by over two hundred books. Books on shelves. Books on tables. Books hanging. Walls covered with books on display. Take books down, curl up and read. Fall in love with a book, buy it, and take it home.

Each of these books has been constructed from a single-sheet surface that is no larger than 11 x 17 inches. Over one hundred artists submitted books, addressing the theme: ritual.

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

RiTUAL, Reading Room110 Church Gallery

RiTUAL Reading Room is a meme based in Social Practice. To get the idea out into the Philadelphia art scene and have participation, the message had to be simple, easy to explain and memorably fun. By adding terms and conditions the curators established a concept that artists could share with each other, all you had to do was follow simple instructions. Making books in the Age of Digital Reproduction is a challenge to artists desiring to express themselves on paper. RiTUALS let’s the artist write whatever kind of book they like and then share the wall space with other artists, their work pixelated into the matrix of the meme, each book like a nerve connecting to the central nervous system of the art show. It really makes you think.

The design is simple and elegant with each book, loaded with information, waits to be unpacked by a viewer. Action is required to view the books displayed artfully in clear bags, concise tagging and information design creates a clever design experience. At the First Friday opening people ‘reading’ the books in random order mostly said, ‘Cool!’ There’s no better word.

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

110 Church GalleryRiTUAL, Reading Room

RiTUAL as a social practice experience is intellectually satisfying from the ad campaign with the sample instruction books to the on-line campaign to the virtual display, the idea is to express a concept within constraints. The books nearest the door are hung from display pins so the wind won’t blow them over, object-like books such as the tea-bag book are on pedestals and tables and the rest are displayed on slim racks with taut string keeping them in place.

The origami-like fold of the paper creates a four page book, with 8 sides and the opposite side of the paper can be a poster. There are books of prints, poems, recipes, photos, patterns, drawings, paintings, embroidery and sculpture. And there are stories told in eight pages that will make you laugh or cry. The tactility of handing the books and sharing the discoveries with others opened up communications so that people interacted instead of the anonymity of the library.

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

110 Church GalleryRiTUAL, Reading Room

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

110 Church GalleryRiTUAL, Reading Room

RiTUAL creates an environment saturated with information, ideas and design. The cable knit sweater book by Kate Flake is an expression of the information technology of sewing  communicated as memetic code. A meme of cozy comfort is translated into the book in a language different from words; a thread of thought creates a story in an un-named tongue that is easily understood and re-interpretted into words.

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

110 Church GalleryRiTUAL, Reading Room

Pia DeGirolamo’s books are delightfully informative and rich with style and taste. And by taste I mean food. Tomato Sauce Ritual teaches how to be resourceful and make yourself some decent Italian food; you live in Philly you should know how to make sauce. The illustrations, text and paper all add to the narrative in ways that are visually tasty.

RiTUAL Reading Room, 110 Church Gallery

110 Church GalleryRiTUAL, Reading Room

Thank you to Stella and Margaret from 110 Church Gallery for taking up this idea that involves depending on a lot of artists to create something new and making the exhibition a reality. The show has hundreds of books, there is an on-line catalog with pages about the artists and their books. RiTUAL is a lot of information that required deep thought and attention to detail to make happen.

110 Church Gallery consistently presents art that is thought provoking and unique, with RiTUAL the curators have communicated with the arts community in a way that they responded to with exciting and beautiful concepts of their own. Creating a spirit of community is the essence of the art show and if you spend time reading the books in the gallery you will learn about the people of our community and their rituals.

RiTUAL online catalog

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

Like 110 Church Gallery on facebook

Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook

Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com

Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58

DoNArTNeWS on Tumblr

DoN Brewer on Pinterest

@donniebeat on Instagram

Affiliate Marketing [disclosure page] Shop on-line and help support DoNArTNeWs

Donate via safe and secure PayPal in the sidebar.

If you enjoyed this article, Get email updates (It’s Free)