Two hundred and seventy-three exhibitors, almost twenty thousand visitors, panels, conferences, food trucks, happenings, free, oh, did I mention books, this year’s LA Art Book Fair was a vibrant and lively place to be. This weekend, the Los Angeles art book scene was in full cry at the MOCA/Geffen. Printed Matter, New York City’s nonprofit nerve center for all things related to artists’ books took over the space for a Thursday evening opening and a three day celebration of the other. Books, prints and stickers of every kind were everywhere to be looked at and available for purchase. Environmentalists cheek by jowl with fetishists, dollar fanzines and rare books in cases, the explosion of possibility made possible by computers, digital cameras and cheap printing was on display in all its beautiful cheesy anarchist kaleidoscopic glory. Photographic books abounded of course, beautiful, searching and caring. But photography as communication is now so much a part of every dialog that books of every kind were filled with images as adjunct and testimony to text. The pamphleteers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are surely smiling from heaven as their children print on and on.
One more thought, the strength of printing, the desire to make a physical representation and a tactile object remains strong, even in a screen filled world – good, yes?
LA Art Book Fair