Retro 5: Lithuanian Artist’s Book Exhibition in Leipzig 1997


Retro 5: Lithuanian Artist’s Book Exhibition in Leipzig


Theme: “Lithuanian Artist’s Book Exhibition in Leipzig”
Time: 20-23 March 1997
Location: IAKH, Leipzig Book Fair, Germany

We continue our series of articles about artist’s book exhibitions, organized by Circle “Bokartas”.

To illustrate the Exhibition in Leipzig I use my diary, made during the journey.

To the Leipzig Book Fair we were going by bus. The trip took almost 26 hours… All night people in the bus were drinking and singing. One professor was playing with harmonica. We stopped at the German border. Outside was snowing. Due to the strike of customs officers we had to turn the other way, through the fields, to the next border crossing point. Why through the fields? I don’t know. It was the Spring of 1997.

During my time in Leipzig, I was living in the monastery. I think, I had no money for hotel. So monks took care of my stay. I had beautiful room (monk’s Cell), with a lot of old furniture and books in it. So it was normal to eat each breakfast and to pray before the work day with “my monks”. The last day of the Fair was Sunday – Palm Sunday.

In this time the Leipzig Book Fair was held in an old building fairs in the centre of Leipzig. It was a 5-storey building, and in the upper floor were exhibited artist’s books, prints, most beautiful books. Just to view all books, galleries and publishing houses needs a lot of time. It was something wonderful.

It was the first time, when Lithuanian artist’s books were exhibited in abroad. I had to present our collection to the public. We showed most interesting artist’s books made by Lithuanian artists, created after 1988. We have had a lot of attention, and we have made new contacts for our future collaboration.

Kestutis Vasiliunas


© Circle “Bokartas”, Kestutis Vasiliunas