February 2023
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Bibliotherapy meets Robinson Crusoe

Rémy Markowitsch has consistently employed books as the point of departure for an art practice that analyses the language of the publishing process (mechanical reproduction) in order to make artworks that give an account of the complexities of reading and looking. Bibliotherapy is the vehicle he uses to construct a strategy that enables him to express ideas about literature and its logical and natural connection with visual art. Bibliotherapy is an evolving work. It existed before Liverpool Biennial in a different form and will continue to develop and change in the future. In the International 2002 it has three parts. The first is the reading of Robinson Crusoe. Markowitsch selected Daniel Defoe’s novel for Liverpool because ‘it is deeply rooted in English culture and society. It is not only a timeless adventure story, but also one of the most significant representations of Utopia in world literature’. Markowitsch presents Robinson Crusoe in Liverpool as a series of readings. Shot on video, the complete reading lasts for about fourteen hours during which the entire length of the book is read in short snippets by many different people from across the UK to reflect the diversity of contemporary British society. Standing on Michael Lin’s painted floor is the second element of Bibliotherapy: BonsaiPotato. This illuminated monumental sculpture, which borrows the form of a European standard potato, is a ‘humorous, pseudo-scientific, quasi-therapeutic experiment, in which ideas of light, energy and nutrition meet, interlock and undergo revision’. It stands upon a table at which visitors may sit to read, illuminated by its light. This ‘food’ illuminates the spiritual food of the books on the table. Its bonsai nature – i.e. its potential as a source of reflection – conjoins with Lin’s floor (the third element) to create a pastiche of orientalism and the exoticising of domestic interiors. In the theatre of social exchange that Markowitsch and Lin work together to create, everything is a copy. David Thorp

Project Credits Courtesy Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne and Galerie EIGEN+ART, Berlin Commissioned by Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects and produced in association with Villa Merkel, Galerien der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar With support from: Pro Helvetica - Arts Council of Switzerland. Presented in association with Visiting Arts. Remy Markowitsch would like to warmly thank all of the readers for their time, effort and commitment in reading Robinson Crusoe. Thanks also to: Arts Council of Switzerland; Cultural Foundation Landis & Gyr, Zug; Galerie EIGEN+ART, Leipzig/Berlin; Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne; Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects; Villa Merkel, Meseum of Art Lucerne. Special thanks to: Hanspeter Bertschy; Sharon Bird, Alder Hey Hospital; Yousuf Choudhury; Rodney Clark; Clementine Deliss; Hjordis Dreschel; Maggie and Richard Evans; Mersey Heritage with the great ship Zebu, Liverpool; Sarah Glennie; Hackney City Farm, London; Lisa Mok, Project Manager, Wai Yin Chinese Woman Society, Manchester; Gillian Morbey, Sense-Scotland; Pepperpot Club Notting Hill, London; Marlene S. Rasmussen; Stuart N. White; Deborah Hanley; Suzi and Peter Curtis; Michael Ming Hong Lin. Production: Technical and Post Production Assistant, London: R. Nick Evans; Maya Roos; Project Assistant, Berlin: Antje Weitzel.


14 September – 24 November 2002


Pleasant Street