SUMMARY by Swiss artist Manuel Burgener is a companion piece to his 2018 Manor Prize show at the Kunsthaus Pasquart in Biel, Switzerland. The idea behind this artist’s book is to undertake a fundamental examination of the purpose of an exhibition catalogue. It asks whether an artwork, especially a sculpture, can be documented at all in the form of a readable depiction.
Burgener claims that photographic documentation fails to encompass the ambient space of an exhibition, showing merely the purely formal photographic aspect of that space. Instead of representing the experience of moving through a show, the setting of the camera lens alters the perspective, making it harder to identify an object or an installation.
Burgener takes an artistic stance in forgoing conventional documentation of his exhibition and instead giving it an autonomous form of its own within a book. In an attempt to render the very essence of his work rather than showing its placement in space, the four- color offset print is almost entirely covered with a white UV print. In the improvised printing process, the artist added flaws to the white coating to emphasize the overlaid print and to give it a haptic texture. What is highly experimental about this book is that the color shining through the interstices affords us fleeting glimpses of the exhibition itself, even as we simultaneously experience the metaphor of its illegibility.