The last exhibition in the Idioms series involved over 400 cover designs by 56 designers from 14 countries. An open call was made via a specially created website soliciting entries to the exhibition. In addition I targeted specific designers whose work I was familiar with, together with another two specially invited designers – David Pearson and Jon Grey.
The main problem about any book exhibition is deciding how to show them so that they can be seen close up but remain protected. I wanted to avoid putting them behind glass, mostly because doing so tends to transform them into museum pieces, but also because it was important for the audience to get as close as possible to them in order to perceive the subtleties of the paper and print.
Theft is always a worry when dealing with small objects such as books but I decided anyway to display them uncovered. Many of them were screwed onto the display units through their back covers – which felt like a sacrilegious act at the time – but better I thought, than the exhibition slowly disappearing. In the end not a single book went missing.
The design for the entrance consisted of huge replicas of books that were sculpted from a dense foam board with the exhibition title painted over the covers.
Date June 2008
Client Fundação de Serralves /
Silo-Espaço Cultural, NorteShopping