Sorted Books
Nina Katchadourian, Sorted Books
Posted by Michael Evans
As learned in grade school, you can’t judge a book by looking just at its cover. However, apparently you can get a lot more mileage out of its title than previously imagined.


Hence the premise of Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books,the opening “On Sight” exhibition of TBA 10. In execution, this exhibit at the Philip Feldman Gallery at PNCA seems pretty simple. Rummaging about libraries large and small, noteworthy and not much so, Katchadourian selects tomes so the arrangement of the titles reveals something insightful. Or silly. Or whatever. The basic idea is that one can learn a lot about the collector and/or collection by how their books stack up. Sort of like the reading of literary tea leaves.
For word junkies mad for William Burroughs’ style cut-and-paste pastiches this poetic exercise in the art of randomness has irresistible appeal. Featuring pics from past sortings , Katchadourian also presents site specific stacks she coordinated with a local family and its personal collection. As with haiku and the comedic genius of Rodney Dangerfield, brevity is king–those pieces utilizing 2-3 titles leave the most lasting impressions.
If as Burroughs pointed out, language is indeed a virus, then “Sorted Books” makes for an entertaining mutation. It’s unlikely the strain will become the linguistic equivalent of the ever enduring common cold, but it should turn out more robust than that overhyped H1N1 flu virus in the long run.
For additional details visit PICA.ORG.