An exhibit of artist’s books and fine press books in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library galleries at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries complements the fall book symposium “Appropriation in the Age of Global Shakespeare.”
The symposium is sponsored by the UGA Libraries, the English department, Theatre and Film Studies, and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. It brings to the UGA campus four of the leading scholars of Shakespeare around the world to discuss how TV shows, films, novels, poems, operas, music and stage plays from different countries and cultures adapt Shakespeare and make these 400-year-old plays and poems their own.
The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 23.
The Hargrett’s collection of artist’s books and fine press books are books designed, bound and printed by artists; texts illustrated with print from an individual artist; limited letterpress editions; and books made of and from literary or artistic texts. Several in the UGA Libraries collection are based on Shakespeare’s works and comment on the stories, language and imagery of the text.
Part of the exhibit uses volumes which use both traditional and non-traditional book-forms, and extremes of scale, to reveal new aspects of Shakespeare’s language and imagery. Some book artists respond to Shakespeare by creating books that engage more distantly with the Bard’s work or life. Langston Hughes’s Shakespeare in Harlem is a volume of self-described “light verse,” illustrated with etchings. Hughes’s volume revisits Shakespearean lyrics as African-American call-and-response. It collaborates with Shakespeare in order to deliberately and wittily take on the “low” or parodic elements of pop culture to claim for the Harlem Renaissance the linguistic and cultural authority of the earlier Renaissance.
The symposium is part of the Spotlight on the Arts festival, a 10-day event highlighting UGA units and facilities, from visual arts and creative writing to music, dramatic arts, dance and more to foster an awareness and appreciation of the arts and an environment conducive to artistic innovation.