This is the question that the Klingspor museum is striving to answer by exhibiting numerous notebooks, diaries and bullet journals starting this Friday in Offenbach, Germany (near Frankfurt). Since my story-guided-introspection-notebook will be one of the interactive exhibits, I thought I'd share their press release below. In it you will see some of the quotes from people who shared their notebooks, as well as the names of more famous people whose notebooks will be exhibited.
Attention: contains life. Notebook, Bullet Journal, Diary
Exhibition from 15 July - 29 October 2023
Opening: Friday, 14 July 2023, 7 p.m.
In cooperation with nuuna by brandbook
My diary pages are always mood pictures. Sometimes I just have to get something out when I'm angry. Sometimes I don't know how I feel, often I only see what's going on with me in the picture. (Bettina F.)
I think that without writing and painting my life would be a lot sadder and quieter and I would probably be much less in balance with myself. (Thusjanthan M.)
Many encounters, much wonder, many touches, much horror that make my life richer, I would certainly have forgotten without these pictorial daily records and that would be a loss. (Ingrid H.)
From mid-July, an exhibition at the Klingspor Museum will trace the relationship between man and the book to be filled. Why do so many people still keep diaries in our digital world? Is there a difference between a handwritten and a typed note? What functions can the diary orbullet journal have in life? And when does a notebook become a work of art?
For the exhibition, numerous people followed an open call, submitted their notebooks and diaries and allowed insight into their lives in interviews. They have explained their motivesand approaches and share very personal stories.
What all the stories have in common is that they begin with an empty book!
Or actually, they begin with the decision for an empty book. A certain feel, the format, a beautiful cover or thepaper quality are decisive criteria here. In the production of notebooks, materiality and workmanship accordingly play a major role, and a look at the manufacturing processes of a notebook reveals a lot about the relationship between books and people. In cooperation with the Frankfurt-based notebook manufacturer brandbook and its label nuuna, the exhibition therefore begins with the empty book, its materials and design, and then turns to the stories of the people who have filled their books: Attention, contains life!
Often individual works of art are created in the process, especially when artists keep diaries. In addition to the submitted works, the exhibition shows impressive examples from the collection of the Klingspor Museum. The spectrum ranges from works by the conceptual artist Dieter Roth to Barbara Fahrner's record from New York during the Islamic terrorist attack in September 2001 to the contemporary zine "Lockdown Diary" by Malte Spindler. A special treasure are the"Sketchbooks" by Paul Stein, a mixture of diary, sketchbook and literary notes, of which the Klingspor Museum owns 90.
An extensive accompanying programme shows glimpses behind the scenes or invites visitors to express their own creativity.