Muntadas

On Translation: The Bookstore

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Description

Numbered and signed copy

The Bookstore is part of Muntadas’ most important series On Translation. It is a series of 32 photographs, edited and kept in a box, which on exhibition are arranged in a sequence, pattern or grid in rows and columns. The series alternates pictures taken in bookshops in London and New York, forming a virtual map of a ‘generic bookstore’, articulated by a series of categories that try to define and to systematize with a huge objectivity the matters it alludes.

The layout is clearly marked by the signs and the names of the separate areas, with stock (books and similar wares) grouped into canonical subgenres, major disciplines and tacit hierarchies. These categories, nevertheless, end as a subjective order in which the themes, the disciplines and the contents are “translations” according to the particular criterion of the one who has organized them. The metaphoric sense of this proposal tries to put in doubt the supposed universality pointed by the qualifying devices, as well as its capacity to establish stereotyped hierarchies and topologies. 

2001 
32 prints 
33 x 30 cm each 
Cibachrome 
Limited edition of 9 copies and 3 artist's proofs 
Certificate numbered and signed by the artist