In 2012, Ann Arbor based artist Math Monahan, designed and created Between, an installation consisting in two collections of braided books arranged in a circular form, placed in separate parts of the University of Michigan library. The arrangement holds together only by its circular form, allowing the pages to unfold in time back into ordinary books.
Between is an installation that explores the stillness in the space between places, powers and context. Using a system of braided books, I am attempting to create a structure that possesses its power and agency only when it exist between academic book and art object. By allowing the tension of the circle arrangement to hold the object together, without adhesives or restraint, the pages slowly unbraid themselves over time giving the installation the opportunity to become books, again, in their original form. The set of books used is split into two circles, one installed in the Penny Stamps Graduate Studio and the other in the Hatcher Graduate library of the University of Michigan. Together the installations form a whole existing between the two spaces.
Math works in several media including photography, book art sculptures and installation. He earned his BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (Milwaukee, WI) as a Drawing major, minoring in Integrated Studio Arts.
With this work I am asking the viewer to hold themselves in the same spaceBetween inhabits. When achieved, the viewer becomes still and fully present. They are no longer residing in the past or future, in the same way the installation is neither academic text or art object. The experience becomes spiritual. In this moment the object’s power is both acknowledged and rendered irrelevant until the experience is abandoned.
(images via Math Monahan)