Edmund de Waal, The origins of silent reading, 2011
67 porcelain vessels in white glazes inside a pair of black lacquer cabinets
146.5 x 75 x 15 cm each
Reading, like any human activity, has a history. Modern reading is a silent and solitary activity. Ancient reading was usually oral, aloud in groups, or individually in a muffled voice. The text format in which thought has been presented to readers has undergone many changes in order to reach the form that the modern Western readers now view as immutable and nearly universal. The title of this piece is drawn from the book ‘Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading’ and visually explores the introduction of word separation which led to the development of silent reading.