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Oil Painting and Artist's Book
Project Libricide has been created together with the artist Damian Bagiński for Southampton City Art Gallery in 2022. The title is a neologism and comes from the Greek word genocide (which is also a neologism coined in 1944 after WWII) and Latin liber. The project is not only about burning, but also about drowning books. It consists of a framed oil painting (105 cm x 95 cm) and a handmade A5 art book in a limited edition of five copies. The inspiration for the painting was Caravaggio's Narcissus painting depicting a young boy looking at and admiring himself in the water. In our painting, there is an elderly man who, symbolically, instead of water, stares at burning books. However, there is also the theme of water in the destruction of books by water in Shakespeare's Tempest; one of the main characters, Prospero, drowns his books instead of burning them. The same is true of Peter Greenaway's theatrical film Prospero Books. The artist's book explains the relationship between water and fire in the destruction of books. It is also about book burning as we know it throughout the history of the written word and is inseparable from the Libricide painting.