WOUNDED BOOKS

The ‘Wounded Books’ on-going sculptural series, conceived by Christina Mitrentse in 2006 and executed initially as a response, amongst others, to the car bombing at Al-Mutanabbi street in Baghdad’s cultural centre. Books shot with Winchester 4.8 Caliber, under licensed conditions. Selected publications from the Wiener Archive & Library, refer to the catastrophes of humanity, collectible books Penguin & Pelican, Titles on Ideology , Greek political texts from PATAKI publications, linguistics, art and history logs. This “performative act” is “absolutely not vandalism”, rather a “homage”, “explor[ing] the possibilities opened up by conceptualist approaches to writing and performative approaches to reading within contemporary society and the subjection to the advanced capitalism in which it exists. The injured hard and paperbacks have the solemn air of bibliographic relics, books that have been laid to rest, codexes whose yellowing pages support content that has become almost epistemologically outmoded and fossilised. Here a bullet hole is as telling as an ISBN or shelfmark. Their ‘deaths’ also indicate that the book be it fact or fiction, is a foot soldier in the never ending war of ideas, by means of which humanity evolves.  

Selected pieces can be found in special collections, including the V&A National Library, MOCA London, Book Arts at UWE, London College of Communication Library Special Collections (UAL), Library Special Collections Chelsea College of Art & Design, the Library of Philosophy University of Barcelona, Women’s Art Library (MAKE) Goldsmiths University, Book Art Centre NY, the National Library in Baghdad, Senate House Library -Birkbeck University London, The Jewish Museum of Greece and in private collections in Europe and UK.

Wounded Books have been featured in the recent publication: THE WORD IS ART published by Thames & Hudson, written by Michael Petry of MOCA London 2018. Article at Art Corpus: The Wounded Books series as a metaphor for Re-Incarnation | Anna McNay, Arts Writer, London 2013 | Article/Interview at InterArtive: Reading Between the Lines | Dr. Christina Grammatikopoulou, Art Theorist, Spain 2012 | Article/Exhibition Review by Vassilios Doupas on The Art News Paper, Athens October 2019

WOUNDED BOOKS, installation view solo exhibition 2019 ©mitrentse all rights reserved , courtesy the artist and a.antonopoulou.art 

Wounded_book_mitrentseWounded Book XIII , Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book VIII, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book IX, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book X, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book XI, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book XII, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book IV, Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book XIII , Bullet Holes through vintage publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

Wounded Books series,bullet holes on vintage book collection, mitrentse©2012 

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Wounded Books on-going sculptural series, installation view,©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Books, installation view courtesy Nadine Feront Gallery Brussels 
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Wounded Book XIV, Bullet Holes through Penguin publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved courtesy UAL library Special Collections

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 Wounded Book  XX, ‘The Trial of German War Criminals ‘ Bullet Holes through vintage publication from Wiener Archive/Library ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book  XVI,  Bullet Holes through vintage publication ©mitrentse all rights reserved courtesy BookArtBookshop/London

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Wounded Book  XV I, ‘ Bullet Holes through vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved courtesy Chelsea College of Art Library Special Collections

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Wounded Book  XVII, ‘Bullet Holes through vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved  courtesy Private Collection Sweden 

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Wounded Book  XI X,  Bullet Holes through vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved courtesy UAL Library collection

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Wounded Book  XVIII,  Bullet Holes through vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book  XX IV,  Bullet Holes through vintage publication from Wiener Archive/Library ©mitrentse all rights reserved, courtesy private collection Athens

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 Wounded Book  XX II, Bullet Holes through vintage publication from Wiener Archive/Library ©mitrentse all rights reserved, courtesy The Jewish Museum of Greece collection

”I am there in the bright room of the library alone, amongst hundreds of book selves. My whole adult life is intertwined with the books, which are treated with respect and awe. The paper is a valuable material to me. Especially in this library I feel something stronger than the usual. I look to choose books for a new project, and yet apart from the joy of creation I feel a deep, sharp pain. I am looking for something in this place of the Library where the memory has been accumulated. As I return to the scene of the crime, I want to carve the wounds, to remember, to make others remember too. I choose the books very carefully: his life, his work, and the genocide, which he caused. I make them a heap, as he did, but I will not burn them to extinguish the bad.  I will only hurt them with a bullet. I will hurt them, like myself and millions of others have been hurt. Not only those who lived through these terrible moments, but those who read them. And there in quiet contemplation a bullet passes through. An invasion, a modification of the material substance. One moment, the moment a certain change. It is painful as a sore in the body and soul after many years. While my hands touch their backs, i feel that my own wounds joined the wounds of the world.”  Christina Mitrentse 2014

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©mitrentse  all rights reserved. This project and its content are copyrighted. Reproduction of the project, concept, images or articles in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the author and copyright holders.

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