Project “International Artist’s Book-Object Workshop 2014”



Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser and Prof. Hanne Matthiesen


Time: 4-29 December 2014
Location: Graphic Department, Vilnius Academy of Arts

From 1st to 4th of December of 2014 for the first time in Lithuania, in Graphic Department, Vilnius Academy of Arts, was held an international project “International Artist’s Book-Object Workshop 2014”. Creative workshops was led by world-known artists: Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser from The Netherlands and Prof. Hanne Matthiesen from Denmark. The workshop was attended by 15 students of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, which had developed over 20 unique artist books-objects.

“The Artist’s book-object” is a conceptual book, object of art which is designed by the artist from the beginning to the end. It contains an idea as a book: a store of information. “The Artist’s book-object” maintains form and structure of the book. “The Artist’s book-objects” are unique books in various shapes and sizes, from miniature sculptures to books or book installations. They are created from a variety of materials: handmade paper, plastic, metal, cement or finding from a “cultural garbage”. The key idea in this art is the artist’s ability to freely interpret his creativity, making an art object to artist’s book-object.


On the 1st of December the international project started in Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Gothic hall with the overall performance “On the job” made by prof. Joseph Johannes Visser and prof. Hanne Matthiesen. During performance a “hot” discussion about the artist and the art was held between Joseph J. Visser and Hanne Matthiesen. Joseph Johannes Visser was playing piano his own musical works and Hanne Matthiesen was converting his written texts into sounds with the help of a music box. In the background were shown photos of the daily life of artists, their works and the recreation. Performance had received great attention of students and the lecturers of Academy. Upon performance’s completion, long personal discussions were held with prof. Joseph J. Visser and prof. Hanne Matthiesen.


Prof. Hanne Matthiesen & Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser during the public lecture

On 2nd to 4th of December in a Printing house of Vilnius Academy of Arts, department of Graphics a workshop was held, during which the foreign professors Joseph Johannes Visser and Hanne Matthiesen shared their experiences of the artist’s book-object creation. As stated by Hanne Matthiesen, in the beginning there were difficulties in understanding each other with students because of high impact of academic subjects on their thinking, narrow outlook and bashfulness. Therefore the first day was devoted to “break the ice” in thinking of students, to get rid of all the “taboo” and take a fresh look at what is the artist’s book-object.

On the second day of the workshop active artist’s book-object creation and discussions were held. Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser gratified students on catching highly raised artistic requirements and therefore developing themselves from their “chains”, improvising freely, experimenting with non-traditional materials and creating artist’s books-objects.

The third day of “Artist’s book-object” workshop, students led by foreign professors were completing their works, further debating and discussing the results. An exhibition was made. Artist’s book-objects made by students were exhibited on the old lithographic printing machine in Graphics department. Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser and prof. Hanne Matthiesen were glad about active participation of students, the creation of artist’s books-objects which were very different among themselves in forms and structures of the materials, in the diversity of the manifestation of the individual student thinking and approach.

After the “Artist’s book-object” exhibition opening, a short letter-project was written with the names of all participants their signatures and dissemination of the project references. Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser had put the “letter” in a bottle of wine. Near Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, by the river of Vilnelė, Joseph J. Visser and Hanne Matthiesen together with the workshop students have made a performance called “Send a message to the world”  by letting to a river a letter in a bottle, hoping that it will be discovered by art lovers.


Prof. Hanne Matthiesen & Prof. Joseph Johannes Visser with the students after artist’s book performance in Vilnius

The project “International Artist’s Book-Object Workshop 2014” is one of the most unique and innovative international projects, organized by the Circle “Bokartas” and Graphic Department and broadens students’ knowledge in the field, familiarize them with the interdisciplinary arts and stimulate their creativity and love for the book. It is an educational art project involving international and world-known artists, sharing their experiences with our students and helping them to integrate into the international community of artists. The project “International Artist’s Book-Object Workshop 2014” was funded by Lithuanian Cultural Council.

More photos from the Artist’s Book Workshop

Prof. Kęstutis Vasiliūnas
Coordinator of the Project

© Artist’s Book Creators 2014