18.5 × 13.4 × 0.4 in
University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs
This is a series of 12 unique volumes, one for each of the 12 individual chapters in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Ultimately, each of the chapters will be housed in a separate library, creating a global abstract Alice in Wonderland network.
This exuberant series of books is an obvious and inevitable departure point from the numerous, typical, and often mundane or passionless illustrated interpretations of the story.
The artists, Anna Hellsgård and Christian Gfeller, follow Carol’s instructions and Alice’s adventures honestly and without compromise; the books literally and visually do what no other interpretation before have dared to do, they jump into the rabbit hole with no looking back and no apologies. Their singular and uncompromising visual interpretation of the text both obliterates and remains steadfastly true to the original text and the author’s (and perhaps Alice’s) motivations and experiences.
The conceptual integrity of only allowing one chapter per institution ensures that the “book” as a whole will exist on a global scale, and the artists challenge the institutions to bring the chapters together in a traveling exhibition that would visit each library. The plan is to sell the rest of the books to libraries in other countries.
The book is a mise-en-abyme of media and techniques. The raw materials go through several medial iterations and transpositions until the final result is achieved—a unique series of book chapters that makes it hard to pinpoint one specific technique, instead highlighting the edgy yet harmonious mood of the original book. Each book in the series becomes a witness to its own genesis as well as an art object in itself.
The first ten chapters are in the following libraries:
I. Stanford University Libraries
II. Library of Congress
III. Emory University
IV. University of Southern California
V. Lafayette College
VI. University of Connecticut, Storrs
VII. The Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, CA
VIII. University of Delaware, Newark
IX. The British Library
X. The National Library of Luxembourg