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In the Art Gallery:
Banned And Recovered


Washed Books, by Nigel Poor, referencing Carrie, by Stephen King


Building Madame Bovary by Charles Hobson, referencing Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert



Double Portrait of William Burroughs by Enrique Chagoya, referencing Burroughs's Naked Lunch



Brave New World, Brian Dettmer, referencing Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


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The San Francisco Center for the Book and The African American Museum and Library At Oakland have teamed up for an exhibit of more than 60 artists' responses to censorship. The exhibit—on view through November 26 in San Francisco and December 31 in Oakland—was timed to coincided with Banned Book Week, Sept. 27-Oct. 4, a celebration of the freedom to read that has taken place in the since 1982. Curator Hanna Regev calls the show "a powerful testament to the irrepressible creative spirit."

For her Washed Books series at left, Nigel Poor selected nine banned books with titles featuring women's names—from the children's novel Julie of the Wolves to Vladimir Nobokov's Lolita—washed and dried them, and formed panels from the lint.

"My idea was to use books that were considered, for one reason or another, 'dirty' or somehow 'improper.' The range of books on my list clearly supports the absurdity and apparent randomness with which books are found to be unfit for public consumption," Poor writes in a statement about her contribution to the project.

Brian Dettmer's Brave New World comprises a sculptured stack of 14 copies of the novel, drawn from nine different editions.

"They are split in two hemispheres, suggesting a split globe or the two hemispheres of a brain. Each side is treated in the same manner and each book contains the same text, but every fragment of text is unique," he writes. "The books are carved into and nothing is moved or added to the text, just removed or edited."

"Narratives become ideas, ideas become memories, and memories become fragments, isolated from the specific and lingering to relate to their new surroundings."

VerbSap thanks Steve Woodall, artistic director of the San Francisco Center for the Book, for generously sharing his time and the exhibit .


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