WOUNDED BOOKS

This is the official page for the ‘Wounded Books’ on-going sculptural series, conceived by Christina Mitrentse in 2007 and executed initially as a response, amongst others, to the car bombing at Al-Mutanabbi street in Baghdad’s cultural centre. These books have been shot with Winchester 4.8 Caliber Rifle, under licensed conditions. They are displayed, sealed in plastic, with both their front (with a neat site of penetration) and back (with a larger, rippled, raised and ruptured exit site) cover visible. The Wounded Book series selected from the Wiener Archive/Library Collection London, and from Penguin vintage & Pelican Books, reflect on the damage to humanity, the genocide and the loss of material knowledge. Selected books referring to Political Ideologies, the history of the labour movement, Linguistics, book excerpts from great historical trials, art books, history logs. 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 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, stitched or hot glued is a foot soldier in the never ending war of ideas, by means of which humanity evolves.  ”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.” Selected pieces can be found in special collections, including the Book Arts at UWE, London College of Communication Library Special Collections (UAL)the Library of Philosophy University of Barcelona, Women’s Art Library (MAKE)Goldsmiths University, Book Art Centre NY, the National Library in Baghdad and The Jewish Museum Greece. Courtesy The Artist, Nadine Feront Gallery Brussels and Depo Darm gallery Athens. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wounded Book XIII , Bullet Holes on 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 on Penguin publication, ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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

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

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Wounded Book  XV I, ‘ Bullet Holes on vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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Wounded Book  XVII, ‘Bullet Holes on vintage publication  ©mitrentse all rights reserved

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

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

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

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

”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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