Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.
Charles E. Jefferson
the matter of words
this is not a wall of books
stacked almost to the museum ceiling
is is a square box consisting of books...enormous
"This piece of art is made for the exhibition, for the gallery space, and it exists only for this, and it won't ever exist after this, it will be destroyed," Bateman said. "It relates to the architecture of this particular space ... moving it elsewhere would undermine some of the meaning that the work actually has."
With the help of museum assistants, building the 14-foot tall, 83,000-pound sculpture took about 600 hours. The books were carefully stacked and are held by gravity only; something Bateman said is only possible through following strict parameters of stacking and using plenty of experimentation and faith.
"This piece is about the idea of language and the relationship language has to objects," Bateman said. "I think, typically, people are attracted to books because people have a familiarity with books, and they are predisposed to like books. And I think when they see this many books together it transforms the way they think about books, and that's something people enjoy."
If You Go
The Matter of Words: Adam Bateman, Harrell Fletcher, and John Fraser
When: Through Nov. 26, visit the museum's website for hours
Where: The Brigham Young University Museum of Art, in the Marian Adelaide Morris Cannon Gallery on the main level of the museum, North Campus Drive
Tickets: Admission is free, free docent-led tours can be scheduled with at least one week's notice by calling (801) 422-1140