Transforming books into art

Mere Trickery

Doug Beube rebels against one of the 20th century’s strongest taboos by sawing and slicing books into pieces, an act of destruction and transformation, turning literary relics into works of art.

Students and faculty gathered in the multimedia room of the DiMenna-Nyselius at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27 to see the world-famous sculptor speak about his body of work, in a talk titled, “Biblioclast: Breaking the Codex.” “Everybody loves babies, puppies and books,” said Beube, a casual lecturer, the audience responding with muffled laughter.

“I view the codex with the span of its body and its spine as a metaphor for the human form with its story as a metaphor for human expression,” said Beube.

Beube’s work revolves around adapting the nearly obsolete object, the book, in the digital age. He cuts, twists and ultimately transforms books into stunning, often architectural landscapes, using the text as an abstract form.

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