CODEX

Exhibition @ the Times Club, Iowa City
June 11 2013

Essay by Micah BloomOn June 22, 2011, the Souris River ravaged Minot, North Dakota. Forcing its way through homes, it seized thousands of precious items; then, like a greedy burglar grabbing more than it could carry, was required to jettison its plunder in retreat.  Snatched away, thousands of objects drifted to a new resting place, displayed in public as a sad and surreal pastiche of the American material existence.

Foremost amongst these displaced items was a library of hundreds, possibly thousands, of books.  Strewn in trees, across roadways, along railroad tracks . . . these books were unwillingly pilfered from their owners and were forcefully exposed to the natural elements. These vessels - surrogates of human soul, these shelters - housing our heritage, were now driven over by commuters, parked upon by rodeo fans, and shredded along the railroad by tankers heading to the Bakken oil fields. The wisdom of the sages: Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Augustine, the prophets, poets, and theologians of the Holy Bible, Hawthorne, Camus  - along with comics, pulp fiction, primary readers, nuclear physics textbooks, self-help guides, hymnals, and trade books - were bulldozed into piles or trodden under foot in general disregard.  It was in this desperate condition the books were discovered.



Micah Bloom earned an MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Iowa in 2010.  He currently lives in North Dakota and teaches art at Minot State University.  He has been selected for numerous artist–in–residence fellowships and has published work in several literary and art journals.  He shows work nationally and internationally, and has shown in private galleries in China, as well as the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art.