SHARDS is a unique and separate project connected to George Peck and Hugo Perez’ previous work: BOOKBURN/Library of Books Burned.
Last year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) reported 275 challenges to books, meaning community members filled out formal complaints to remove books from library shelves. This is only a portion of banning attempts recorded across the nation, as many challenges go unpublicized and unreported. Without a library’s resistance to censorship, many patrons would find their access to information greatly restricted.
While librarians know first-hand that school and public libraries are targets of censorship, the public may not know the dangers of book censorship attempts and that it still happens today.
Artist George Peck partners with OIF to present SHARDS, a series of interactive sculptures that will be distributed to a number of libraries to educate patrons on book censorship and the library’s role as a community cornerstone for free expression.
The exhibit is a part of the national Banned Books Week initiative, a week in late September that celebrates readers’ rights and spotlights the harms of censorship. The SHARDS project is designed to reach patrons of rural libraries – those who are impacted the most when a book is removed from circulation.
SHARDS is a series of sculptures that explore the act of book burning; it’s impact on communities and the necessity to end this destructive practice. By placing these sculptures within libraries, Peck hopes to provide viewers with an audiovisual experience that will encourage them to explore the larger historical and cultural context of book burning and its social ramifications.