Œuvre d'art public

The Book

Ilan Sandler,The Book, 2006
Ilan Sandler,The Book, 2006
Ilan Sandler,The Book, 2006
Autoroute 401, Toronto, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Sandler, Ilan
Text author(s): 
Sandler, Ilan
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Côté nord de l'autoroute 401 entre la route Renforth et Dixie.


The Book est une sculpture en acier avec deux pages arrachées. Le livre est penché, ses couvertures sont ouvertes se qui donne l'effet que les pages partent au vent.

Text of the artwork: 

[texte incomplet]


Artwork theme: 
Évolution de l’écriture, linguistique (origines du latin, langage, symboles, codes, alphabets)

Exposition «Artstage», Toronto, ON, 28 septembre 2006-.

Because the scale of the book is enlarged, the sculpture becomes anthropomorphized and appears to be performing a choreographed dance with the escaping page. The rigid steel plates look animated because of the pages' articulation as rolling forms suggesting a drama between pages and books, readers and words, languages and alphabets, as well as writers and ideas. From the vantage point of the highway, one can see the sculpture as a representation of a literary struggle: despite the attempt to bind ideas together, a page of thoughts escapes. «Although most books tend to be read from front to back, The Book's gesture can be absorbed by viewers in an instant as they drive by the installation. However, viewers who have an opportunity to get closer to the site will recognize that the holes in the steel pages form clusters of words. The clustered texts link the letters of the Latin alphabet to its predecessors, which include the Phoenician alphabet that emerged from Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Phoenician letters that developed from Egyptian hieroglyphs were used to represent syllabic sounds of Semitic languages dating to approximately 2000 B.C. Carvings of a twenty-two character Phoenician alphabet from 1000 B.C. have been linked to earlier carvings from approximately 1750 B.C. (known as the Wadi el-Hol script) that have been inspired by particular Egyptian hieroglyphs. «Each cluster of letters on the page ripping out of the book are symbols that were developed from architectural and technological innovations. The letters on the freed page were derived from parts of the human body. As light passes through the outlines of the characters in the book their projections continue to change and the letters and symbols shift into forms that are less familiar. The future imprints of text on a page are dependent on their ancestral roots as well as the symbolic languages, codes, and alphabets that are evolving out of our contemporary society. The steel book is a monument poised between eras in the evolution of thought. «Ilan Sandler 2006 «Notes on the Origins of the Latin alphabet «It is surmised that members of a Semitic tribe, possibly working as mercenaries or scribes within the Egyptian army, developed a notation for purely utilitarian purposes: in order for the mercenaries to communicate amongst themselves and keep track of the names and other information pertaining to captured troops, they developed a kind of shorthand notation that was syllabic in structure. Since the hieroglyphic system contained over three thousand characters and was therefore difficult for outsiders to learn, the idea of simplifying the writing system into a syllabic system allowed language to be more simply expressed phonetically. An example of the evolution of a letter can be seen in the Latin letter B. In order to make it easy for someone to remember that a certain symbol represented a ìBî sound, a shape was used that originated from a hieroglyph that began with ìBî. In ancient Hebrew for example the word BAYT means house, and thus from an Egyptian hieroglyph of a floor plan of a reed shelter a symbol was derived that over a thousand years came to look like a Phoenician character of a triangular domicile with a pillar attached to it. The modern day form of the letter B evolved through a number of civilizations that included Greek and Etruscan writing systems.»


Source: Ian Sandler (2008). Projects. The Book



Projects. The Book

Sandler, Ian (2006).  Projects. The Book. <http://www.ilansandler.com/projects.html#self> : Ilan Sandler webpage

Ian Sandler

Artstage (2006).  Ian Sandler. <http://www.artstage.ca/> : ARTSTAGE