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View of “Ruth Buchanan,” 2013. Left and right: An Image of a Solid (detail), 2012. Center: No Solitary Beat (detail), 2012.

Ruth Buchanan

Hopkinson Mossman

View of “Ruth Buchanan,” 2013. Left and right: An Image of a Solid (detail), 2012. Center: No Solitary Beat (detail), 2012.

In almost all of her recent work, Ruth Buchanan has examined the physical spaces of language: books and the buildings that house them. In her book The weather, a building, 2012, for example, she traced the movement of Berlin’s Staatsbibliothek—from its original location on Unter den Linden; through wartime Germany, when its most valuable items were dispersed through the Reich; and to its final resting place on Potsdamer Straße in 1978. Buchanan used the library, and hence the book as such, as a cipher for the shunting of ideas and values through a city scarred by its complex relationship with books and the competing ideologies they contain.

The interrelated works that made up her recent exhibition “On or within a scenario” represented a major shifting of her practice, away from language’s concrete architectures to its sculptural—albeit unseen—mass: its capacity not

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