Limerick, Ireland
Wang Ruobing, Eat Me, 2010, installation, 926 library books, 180 x 40 x 28 cm

Wang Ruobing

b. 1975, China

‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, ‘and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!’

— from Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1865)

The title Eat Me is a unique phrase adopted from Alice in Wonderland. When Alice found a very small cake, on which the words ‘Eat Me’ were written in currants, she decided to eat it so that she could get into the garden. No currants in this installation, but the temptation to ‘Eat Me’ is contained implicitly in the space between words and between different sources of information.

I am interested in what it means to live in your environment. Knowledge of the material world is not formed exclusively by one source of information. Rather, in all societies, it is closely associated with other widely held values about how human beings understand the world and their place within it.

Eat Me is a cultural, site-specific series, previously shown in Oxford and Singapore, where about a thousand books were borrowed from university and public libraries. For e v+ a, the books were borrowed from the public library in Limerick. The books cover a wide range of topics from gardening, biology and environmental study, to art, politics and economy. I deliberately chose locally used books to present collective information, which had been widely circulated by the public.

(Text: e v+ a – matters catalogue, 2010)

Back to Artists