This brick of a book - 750-pages, 8 inches high and 10 inches across - is a truly magnificent offering, and it comes in two versions. Of the 1000 copies printed, fifty are signed, numbered and presented in a special cherry-coloured wooden coffret lined with green felt, which also has a compartment containing a tiny treasure: an original, one-of-a-kind bronze sculpture. It represents a colossus minus the arms, and in Moore's words, "is intended as a little bit of irony about such a little colossus. It resembles somewhat a sculpture by Matisse as much as whatever we imagine about the Colossus of Rhodes."
This exceptional collector's item is not cheap at $1,200, but is worth every penny. The fifty sculptures were all made by hand (not from a mold) and are therefore slightly different, ergo unique. The coffret is Moore's comment on Duchamp's idea of an exhibition in a box - the words Colosse en Valise are engraved on the outside of the box - and it also refers to one of Moore's installations, Inspection d'un Site par un Colosse (1987), exhibited that same year at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art in a show titled Lest Temps Chaud.
The book itself sports a blue velvet cover and weighs as much as the bronze sculptures. "The blue is intense, very Mediterranean, very soft and velvety," Moore explains. "Before opening it one is tempted to flatter it like the fur of a cat."
Once opened, it reveals a treasure in text and images that weave a tale of creativity, and the collective unconscious that connect us all to art, and to each other. It has an abundance of text by art critics, poets, and Moore himself. At the launch of this massive and daunting project, the Dublin-born artist spoke of the "sheer difficulty of the hands-on experience of making from scratch, as well as the abandonment of aims and iconography to let the work evolve without intellectual preconceptions during the process of creation." As for the reasons for making the book at this time, Moore confided, "how difficult it is to persevere because knowledge in depth concerning art, as well as commitment to a deep tradition, is shrinking in the face of an onslaught from the Internet." At the core of his lyrical and eternally hopeful spirit lies the need to slow time, through sculpture, and to inspire everyone "to keep looking and asking questions as every work is an act of freedom. Nobody asks us to do it. Nobody says what to do. It's constant shooting in the dark with only your own baggage of experience, intuition and knowledge to help give a direction."

David Moore, Installations 1976-2013, 752 pages, printed in Canada by Friesen Press, 2016, ISBN 978-0-9949762-0-8, $85.
Book is available at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts bookstore.

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