The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


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Winners of the Wiener Library 2014 International Book Art Competition Announced

Last night the Wiener Library held a special reception to award the winners of the Library’s first ever international book art competition. The idea for the competition came from Senior Librarian and judge Kat Hubschmann, who says: It has been an incredibly stimulating project. It was very interesting to see the different interpretations on our theme. The competition attracted over 80 entries from 13 different countries, a selection of which will be displayed in the Wolfson Reading Room until 17 April 2014. 

The other judges were:

Guy Begbie, an established book artist and designer who has been teaching in UK universities since 1995. As a multi-disciplinary artist he makes works that extend parameters regarding concept and production approaches to the book form. He has run book arts courses nationally and internationally. 

Monica Bohm-Duchen, an independent writer, lecturer, and curator. Her many books include After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art. She teaches a course on art and war at Birkbeck, University of London, and at New York University in London.

Yolanda Cruz-Suarez is the Manager of Store Street Gallery, a contemporary London art gallery situated in the heart of Bloomsbury. The gallery covers a broad range of contemporary art from figurative to abstract in both painting and sculpture and including paper-based and book 

Barbara Greisman, an independent artist and counsellor. In 2010 she was an artist-in-residence at the Wiener Library, spending hours scouring through documents, diaries and German Primers for images and written fragments to create a video installation:  The 14th Room.

The winners are:

“Uprooted”, the winning altered book entry by Julia Mason is a haunting depiction of refugees rising out of a partially burnt book. Depicting men, women and children, some with luggage, greyish with flakes from the burnt pages the piece clearly illustrates the eternal link between violence and refugee movements.

“12”, the winning artist book entry by is a collaboration between Simona Noli and Toby Martinez de las Rivas.  The main themes of the book are absence, loss, violence and the importance of commemoration. A complex piece, bound with rusty iron sheets to evoke the remains of camps can be seen on YouTube

The two commended entries are:

“The White Maiden Male” by Jeff Morin, one of two commended entries, weaves together a German folk tale and the story of Rudolf Brazda, a gay camp survivor. In beautifully poetic language the book narrates how Nazi repression of homosexuality and his subsequent deportation to Buchenwald in 1942 impacted on his life.

“The Purple Velvet Bag” by Judy Tova Wilkenfeld, one of two commended entries, was made in memory of her father. A perspex box with four compartments holds a book telling the story of his flight across Europe, Tefillin and a Tallit, and Siddur texts. Not only were Jewish people displaced but, so too, the religious items that were for so many, fundamental to their day-to-day living.  

21 select works, including the winning and commended entries will be on display, with free entry, in our Reading Room until 17 April. Also showing is a film Barbara Greisman kindly put together, of one or two images per artist, to illustrate the strong competition and variety of entries. 

Explore a selection of the entries on our brand new Pinterest page.

Photograph left to right: Clive Phillpott, Julia Mason, Simona Noli and Katharina Hubschmann.

Added: Thursday 6th March, 2014