Empty books full of meaning

This presentation is in line with the residence, at the end of 2021, of Didier Decoux, artist and founder of the Establishments. Decoux (Belgium).

For several years, Ets. Decoux pays special attention to empty books. They have a number of them. Didier Decoux, fascinated by the subject, started looking everywhere for these books and discovered that the CDLA had a large number of them. He asked the center to consult and study them. But what is an empty or white book?

Didier Decoux investigated the matter. “When I got interested in empty books, I thought there weren’t many. So I started collecting them. But I realized that there were a large number of them and of different types. You have to open the notion of emptiness and look at the book in a different way. An empty book is not really empty, because its author has sought to convey a message”, Didier Decoux developed. The latter found one of the oldest, a Scottish political pamphlet from the 19th century. Y century. For several decades, the production of empty books seems to have ceased. It was revived in the 1950s and 1960s, with collections of poetry and especially artist’s books, including wit-white by Herman de Vries, whose pages are almost all blank. In the showcases of the exhibition hall on the ground floor of the center, there are books belonging to Ets. Decoux, books from the private collection of Didier Decoux and books from the CDLA collection.

The visitor can discover a wide variety of empty books, with flat pages, black or color pages without text, pages made of special materials that produce sounds, pages with partially erased text or with spaces to fill in, etc. one of the books, Spinning wheel by Childe Roland (Peter Meilleur), appears empty while a golden thread runs through all the pages of white paper.

space poem

The exhibition also includes three productions made by Didier Decoux during his three-week residency: excerpts from three reviews published by Ets. Decoupage; a cardboard folder and three booklets, constituting a card game and the flag created at the request of the CDLA, as for each resident, which floated over the center building. The latter, almost entirely white with a black frame and figures, represents a map of the westerly winds. Echoing this, the artist published a letter, preserved at the CDLA, from Ghérasim Luca to Mieko Shiomi, in response to one of his poems on the winds, “Space Poem No. 8”.

Practice. The exhibition “A Strict Discretion” is open to the public until April 29, from Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free admission. Information at or info@cdla. information More information: www. cdla. info or on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cdla.saintyrieixlaperche


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