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AHRC Project Update: What will be the canon for the artist's book in the 21st Century?
Thanks to all our survey respondents so far. We have received some very interesting responses, and some beautiful ABTREE diagrams already which will be used for the exhibition wall in the New Wave artists' books show in September 2009. The survey and the discussion group are online for another year, and we look forward to hearing more views.

We spent an intensive week in Poland for the project at the end of June 2008, interviewing artists, gallerists, press and museum curators. We have written up the interviews, and edited videos for you to view or download, and have provided more information on the people we talked to on the following page links below:

Radosław Nowakowski - Liberatorium

Janusz Pawel Tryzno, Jadwiga Tryzno and Pawel Tryzno - Book Art Museum Lódz

Alicja Slowikowska / Joanna Stokowska – Book Arts Warsaw

Tomasz Wilmanski / Joanna Adamczewska - Galeria AT (AT Gallery)

Our journey through Poland started in Kraków, moved to Kielce and Bodzentyn where we interviewed the writer and artist
Radosław Nowakowski about his own books and the development of artists' books over the last 20 years in Poland. The interview took place in Nowakowski's home in the hamlet of Dabrowa Dolna near Kielce, where many of his books are based.

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We then moved on to Lódz, with
Radosław Nowakowski kindly accompanying us as our translator, to interview the wonderful Janusz Pawel Tryzno and Jadwiga Tryzno, founders of the Book Art Museum, with their son Pawel. Between them the Tryzno's combine the practice of traditional and modern methods of production for artists' books, curate exhibitions, promote and teach book arts to a wide audience and maintain the museum collection. After Lódz we travelled by train to Warsawa from Kielce to interview Alicja Slowikowska (curator of numerous artists' books exhibitions and founder of http://bookart.pl/ and Joanna Stokowska (paper artist) who kindly translated our conversations, at the Biblioteka Narodowa (National Library) where Slowikowska has her office.

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We then moved on to Poznan to meet with
Tomasz Wilmanski and Joanna Adamczewska. Wilmanski is the founder of Galeria AT, in Poznan, which concentrates on text-based work, concrete poetry, experimental books, sound books and performance. Wilmanski has curated and shown these works there since 1982, and in 1990 started a series of exhibitions called 'Book and What Next', containing artists' books, concrete and visual poetry. To date there have been seven of these shows including artists such as Emmett Williams, Malgorzata Gryglicka, Joanna Adamczewska, Joanna Hoffmann, Adam Witkowski and Bernard Heidsieck.

Joanna Adamczewska is an artist who mainly works with experimental books; concerned with how music, sound and vision can come together within the artist's book. Since the late 1980's Adamczewska has been working on 'Acoustic Books', a series of unique books produced to create different sounds as they are opened and performed in front of an audience. Adamczewska kindly showed us a film of the performance and talked us through each of these inspirational books.

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We are very grateful to all the participants in our interviews in Poland - for their hospitality, generosity of information, willingness to share their history and ideas and the wonderful welcome we received at each venue.

Some further reading on artists' books in Poland:
ALPHABET: An exhibition of visual and sound poetry, Book and What Next 5, Galeria At, Poznan, 2004, ISBN 83-988947-14-1
Book and What Next, Galeria At, Poznan, 2000, ISBN 83-911371-7-1
Galeria At 1982-2002, 20th Anniversary catalogue, Galeria At, Poznan, 2002, ISBN 83-988947-14-1
Liberature, Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, Krakow, 2005, ISBN 83-920115-2-X, www.liberatura.art.pl
8th International Book Arts Festival TIME touring exhibition catalogue, published 2006, ISBN 83-88735-56-X
Correspondence des Arts – Polish Artists Books from Lodz, an exhibition at the National Library in Singapore, published 2005, ISBN 83-912352-4-6
Polish Contemporary Book Art Exhibition catalogue publication 2000, accompanying the 45th International Book Fair in Warsaw, published 2000, ISBN 83-86-784-43-1
Contemporary Polish Book Art Exhibition catalogue publication1997, accompanying the 42nd International Book Fair in Warsaw, published 1997, ISBN 83-86-784-46-6
Contemporary Book Art Exhibition catalogue publication1994-1998, Galeria DAP, Warsawa, published 1998, ISBN 83-86-784-42-2

Some links for more information:

Radosław Nowakowski - Liberatorium

Janusz Pawel Tryzno, Jadwiga Tryzno and Pawel Tryzno
Book Art Museum Lódz

Alicja Slowikowska / Joanna Stokowska

Tomasz Wilmanski / Galeria AT (AT Gallery)

Joanna Adamczewska