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Page spread from Rob Kovitz's According to Plan.

OPENING + BOOK LAUNCH: According to Plan

February 2, 2015 — 


(First Fridays in the Exhange)
540 – 70 Arthur Street (Silpit Bldg.)

Exhibition dates: Feb. 6 to 28

Curated by Cliff Eyland


The Universe is built on a plan  the profound symmetry of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect. – Paul Valéry, Man and the Sea Shell

Rob Kovitz's new bookwork, According to Plan.

Rob Kovitz’s latest bookwork, According to Plan. Image credit. Wilhelm Braune and C. Schmiedel, Topographisch-anatomischer Atlas (Leipzig: Verlag von Veit & Comp., 1872).

In the titular spirit of its bibliocentric name, Library Gallery presents According to Plan (a novel), an installation and publication launch of Rob Kovitz’s latest montage bookwork, According to Plan. Instructor of environmental design in the Faculty of Architecture Rob Kovitz is the creator of Treyf Books, artist book projects cooked up using texts and images compiled from widely varied sources, usually obsessively related to one or more themes, and then recombined through a process of editing, ordering and juxtaposition to form montage novels that are both polyphonic and surprisingly cohesive and has authored several books, including the eight-volume novel, Ice Fishing in Gimli.

Kovitz’s latest super-cut bookwork, According to Plan, begins with an immoderate interest in the word “plan,” and every text selection includes the word “plan.” The result is a funny, disquieting, and thought-provoking exploration of the human obsession with making plans.

“In the development of these inquiries into the subject of Architectural Composition, the greatest amount of space has been given to the study of the plan. This method has been employed because it is believed to be in accord with the opinion of the foremost teachers of Architecture who place the study of the plan at the head of instruction both in theory and practice. In respect to this point of view the reader will note that my study of the subject has led me to a position considerably different from that which has been generally followed by other English and American writers who, while they have not neglected the plan, have at least relegated it to a comparatively subordinate position.”

– Nathaniel Curtis, Architectural Composition


Kovitz’s own plan might sound like a harrowingly narrow premise for a 664-page book, but this wonderfully odd and obsessive textual assemblage expands outward to encompass just about everything, from Hegelian world spirit to complicated cinematic bank heists to our own (mostly) futile attempts to arrange our lives …

According to Plan ends up having its own suckerpunch power. Kovitz’s bookwork might read at first like a clever collating exercise, but it soon becomes something bigger, stronger and stranger, something Quixotic (Cervantes’ masterwork turns out to be one of the planny-est works in the Western canon) and just a bit crazy.

And as Kovitz himself quotes, sometimes a plan “is so crazy it just might work.” This one does.

– Alison Gillmor, The Winnipeg Review



 Treyf Books: According to Plan

About the Library Gallery: Library Gallery is a public, experimental art space in Winnipeg that is adjacent to artist and School of Art prof Cliff Eyland’s studio

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