An exhibition of works from renowned international artists questioning the book as it is represented in art.

Event Details


Wattis Institute at the California College of the Arts
360 Kansas Street, San Francisco, California United States


January 24, 2014 6:30 pm - March 30, 2014 7:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

Images of the book are a recurring motif throughout the history of western and contemporary art. But why, in the digital age, do we continue to imitate the traditional book?

The Codex (book or block of wood in Latin) exhibition was conceived by Pierre Leguillon during his 2011 residency with Kadist Foundation in San Francisco. As an artist and book collector, he often found himself within the stacks of the Prelinger Archives, where he arrived at the premise for Codex: the library has been ‘flattened’ due to digitalization.

Codex is therefore organized around works from renowned international artists—a virtual library—that all take the book into the picture plane. Their presentation sets up relationships and tensions that together question the status of the exhibited book. Visit for details and related events.

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The original Codex exhibition was organized with teachers and students from the Fine Arts Department of Haute Ecole D’art et de Design (HEAD) in Geneva, Switzerland, in their exhibition space Live in Your Head, in 2011. The reimagined exhibition at the Wattis Institute includes works from the original presentation, along with new works selected by Pierre, the Wattis, and students at HEAD and the California College of the Arts.

Participating Artists
Anonymous, Dove Allouche, Matthew Bakkom, John Baldessari, Laetitia Benat, Lisa Bonard, Alexandrine Boyer, Marcel Broodthaers, Heman Chong, Claude Closky, Robert Crumb, Moyra Davey, Marina Faust, Philip Guston, Aaron Krach, Vincent Labaume, Louise Lawler, Pierre Leguillon, Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Barry McGee, Jerry McMillan, Aurelien Mole, Jean-Luc Moulène, Damián Navarro, Dennis Oppenheim, Raymond Pettibon, Veronique Portal, Conny Purtill, Dider Rittener, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, David Scher, Esther Shalev Gerz, Cindy Sherman, Yann Serandour, Rafael Serrano, Alec Soth, Saul Steinberg, Jean-Luc Verna, William Wegman.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

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