Did she do it or – or not? One of the 2008 American presidential campaign’s central controversies concerned a dubious list of forbidden books. John McCain’s vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was supposed to have compiled the list in her capacity as former mayor of the small Alaskan city of Wassila. The aim of the compilation was allegedly to remove the listed titles from the local public library. Palin resolutely denied these accusations on several occasions. Her opponents, however, were not convinced. If the accusations were true, it would have been a clear case of censorship. If they weren’t true, then at least the existence of the hit list circulating the Web evidences a canon of disagreeable yet popular books – one that the conservative, evangelical American Right would love to have banished from public libraries.
Exactly this explosive constellation is the starting point for the procedural installation “Book Exchange,” which the artist Warren Neidich – born in 1958 in New York, now working and living in Berlin and Los Angeles – showed last summer at the Horowitz Gallery in East Hampton, on Long Island. East Hampton is not just a prime desti- nation for recreation-seeking New Yorkers; ever since Jackson Pollock settled there, in the 1940s, it has been the artists’ and art-collectors’ colony on Long Island par excellence. Not a bad place to observe “Book Exchange” in real conditions.
Excerpt posted only.