500 Books | Abdul-Rahman Abdullah | 2018
carved wood, oil paint, aluminium leaf
95 x 110 x 115cm.
Courtesy of the artist and Moore Contemporary.
Photograph - Sam Roberst photography
“In the summer of 1988 I was eleven years old. One morning I wandered into the garage and found what I thought was a large box covered in an old bed sheet. Being a curious kid, I pulled back the sheet to reveal a neat stack of 500 identical books. Dad had rescued the last remaining copies of a Sufi text first printed in 1977 from being pulped after the publishers had struggled to cover the cost of re-printing. I was an avid reader but I’d never considered a book as one of many, a unit of information that could be distributed, contained or destroyed. This stack was every copy of the book in existence, an idea so large yet small enough to be stored under a bed sheet in a suburban garage in Perth. I’ve kept a copy since then, waiting until I was ready to read it.”