June 13 - November 15 2015
About: The Blank Pages is an installation consisting of almost 200 different books. The first 97 are published by Taschen in their series Basic Art, the following hundred are printed by Ejlerskov and Lindahl and are mimicing the look of Taschens books.
They all look similar on the outside but the ones not published by Taschen are filled with blank pages. The project is questioning the selection of artist in the original series which led to the unjust result of 5 women and 92 men and is correcting this fact by publishing the missing women.
The artists EvaMarie Lindahl and Ditte Ejlerskov are in this project investigating the specific format and process of selection concerning the art encyclopedia. The framework for the project is the Taschen Basic Art Series, but it might as well have been any other mainstream publishing house. Lindahl and Ejlerskov entered the project by asking the following question: Can you name one woman artist published by Taschen Basic Art?
This e-mail was sent to Taschen publishing house and Petra Lamers-Schütze on the first opening of the exhibition:
FROM: Ditte Ejlerskov, EvaMarie Lindahl
TO: Petra Lamers-Schütze, Taschen
SUBJECT: About: The Blank Pages
Dear Dr. Petra Lamers-Schütze, or whom it may concern involved with Taschen’s Basic Art Series,
In March 2010 we had a conversation over the phone about Taschen’s unequal selection of artists for the Basic Art Series. You asked if we were able to mention any female artists that we thought were missing. We mentioned a few that you did not acknowledge as potential candidates for Taschen’s version of art history. We hereby hand over our entire compilation of the nearly 100 missing female artists that we consider qualify for the Basic Art Series alongside the 92 men and 5 women, already published.
It took us almost four years to complete your request, since we wanted to make sure that the facts provided are adequate and useful to you. Our purpose is to highlight the relevance of equality at all levels of art history. We are willing to argue that “misspellings”, wherever they appear, are important to pay attention to and correct.
You claim that you lack women in art history to pick from. However, you have to admit that Cindy Sherman, Agnes Martin, Louise Bourgeois and Artemisia Gentileschi are not exactly obscure artists. These are of course added to our list. To illustrate our work we decided to introduce all the missing book covers in an installation, where all artists are displayed with a glossy front cover, both the published and the unpublished, both the men and the women, some unpublished and therefore not yet written. We are now waiting for your expertise to fill the blank pages with content.
In close communication with artists, scholars, art historians, art critics and librarians, the Basic Art Series is now checked for errors and we hereby send the edited list back to you for correction.
With hope of a future collaboration.
Sincerely, Ditte Ejlerskov & EvaMarie Lindahl