Sunday, January 8, 2012

Charles Dickens Over Rice


Happy New Year! With a food, art and film-filled NYC staycation under my belt, this hostess is back in action, dedicated to bringing you more food, more culture, more art, more design, more everything into your life this year.

During one of my loll-around-and-look-at-pretty-things-on-the-Internet days, I came across "Library," a project by NYC-based artist and curator Trong G. Nguyen. Started in 2007 and currently ongoing, Nguyen paints entire texts of authors like Roland Barthes and Charles Dickens onto individual kernels of rice.

Roland Barthes: La chambre clair (Camera Lucida)

Once I got past imagining how labor-intensive this process might be, I realized the stark and minimal presentation is super pleasing to look at. It's a compact, distilled way of combining both order and chaos: inside the bags, words are jumbled around in a nonsensical mess, but outside the bags are things we recognize, understand and can categorize. Charles Dickens. The Wizard of Oz. Library date stamps.

This book is overdue.

We can take it a step further when we start to think about rice being a food, and how we consume books, or even more generally, stories. We take them in by reading, or hearing, so then something that existed independently on its own outside of you, now exists inside in a different form. Which is really just eating with your eyes, don't you think?

Brain Food

Maybe not the best way to re-read The Wizard of Oz, but thought provoking, when you start to think about the many different forms that stories, can take in today's ever-changing culture and technology.

Books on rice are neither books, nor rice. Discuss.

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