Skip to main content
Menu Close

22 July 1997 —
21 August 1997


Unbound, 1997 (installation view).
Unbound, 1997 (installation view).
Unbound, 1997 (installation view).
Carole Shepheard, Genealogy Part One - Discovery, 1997 (installation view). Constructed and found book objects.
John Barnett & Lesley Kaiser, 3 Books, 1997 (detail).
Judy Darragh, There Is No Substitute For Quality, 1990 (installation view).
Richard Killeen, Woodbook, 1992 (installation view).


The book has long been considered the ultimate authority. It is thought of as the place where one goes to confirm things and prove truth or untruths. In European cultures the book figures as law and the book of god, the container of reason, intellect, truth, beauty and art.

The books in Unbound represent some of the permutations of the artists book, including those which fall outside formal definitions of what represents a book. Unbound explores a selection of New Zealand artists who continue to ease the parameters in which new definitions may connect and interact with existing ones. The works fall into a zone where the definition of ‘book’ influences the artwork but not its direct outcome. Therefore the notion of the book is reinterpreted using media that is not in book form; painting, sculpture and film.

There has been a movement away from the book as a closed finite object. The codex enclosed in two covers has this form; an end and beginning, an inside and outside, a first page and last page. Conclusions are built into the fabric of these books; after all, the text must end somewhere. These binary oppositions undermine and even deny the transitions which take place between these two points. These transitions are even more accentuated when considering contemporary technology. For example, computer texts can constantly be revised and added to - there may never be a definite end.

The codex form of the book also defines how meaning is created, how information is ingested and consequently how thinking is structured, therefore having implications on how we order our world. Artist’s books can deny the structure of the codex as something which can be known or read about in totality. This leaves knowledge open for interpretation and reinvention.


Unbound, 1997, exhibition card

Te Tuhi is open as usual during the Eastern Busway construction. 21 William Roberts Road, Pakuranga, is the best address to enter into navigation apps to guide you to the free parking at our door. Please call us on (09) 577 0138 if you have any questions.