A MAP OF HOLLOW SPACES
Hollowed book, paper
As a part of the Intersite Visual Arts Festival, five hollow books were placed among the shelves of the Calgary Memorial Park Library for the three days of the festival's duration. All of which were left empty, save for a map (in the form of a list of call numbers) of where to find the other hollow books around the library.
When we place something into a hollow book, an act of creating value takes place: its is an act of spatial categorization of either an object or the experience of that object. Libraries, similarly, are a categorizing of objects within a specific space, according to their potential use and value of the surrounding community.
But what if nothing is placed inside the hollow of these books? What if instead we imply a value to the very quality of hollowness itself - or to the concept of its architectural being? The cultural and phenomenological architecture of a “hollow” space is unique: it is understood and defined by its lack of something, or its preparedness for something else. The library and the hollow book both invite a transference; the library is our opportunity to take in the world, and the hollow book is perhaps an opportunity to put a small part of ourselves away into it.
The space of a hollow book, much like that of a library, offers an interior that is both purposeful as well as full of intellectual, imaginative, and anonymous possibility. The rooms, the shelves, and the quiet of a library (along with the very nature of reading) are all resources for an individualized and introverted experience. A Map of Hollow Spaces contrasts the book’s small nothing-spaces with the larger library that is, after years of being lived in and used, anything but hollow.