There is Nothing Wrong in This Whole Wide World

Installation artist Chris Cobb’s There is Nothing Wrong in This Whole Wide World involved re-classifying the books at San Francisco’s Mission District’s Adobe Books by colour. Together with a team of 16 volunteers he spent an entire night re-arranging all the 20000 books to create a continuous spectrum. that the artist has neither added nor taken away anything in the bookstore, but merely re-arranged what was already there.

During the years Adobe had become a launching pad for many young, up-and-coming artists and musicians and Cobb’s piece was meant to pay a tribute to the store’s history. The installation was on for 2 months. In this time it was noted that blue-coloured books sold the most, brown books were most often stolen and red books tended to remain on the shelves. There were more white books in the store than any other colour, whereas very few books were coloured yellow.

To mind comes Walther Benjamins text Unpacking My Library in which he writes ‘The books are not yet on the shelves, not yet touched by the mild boredom of order. (…) Instead I must ask you to join me in the disorder of crates that have been wrenched open, the air saturated with the dust of wood, the floor covered with torn paper, to join me among piles of volumes that are seeing daylight again after two years of darkness, …” (1999:61)

Benjamin, Walther; Illuminations; Pimlico, 1999

13/12/2009 at 11:32 am