John Roach

King Saint Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár Hungary
International Book Arts Exhibition
May 2006

Title: Hungarian & American pageturners

A performance developed for the International Book Arts Exhibition at the King St. Stephen Museum in Székesfehérvár. the exhibition is curated every five years and focuses on the world of artist books. With more than 300 artists participating, it has become the largest event of its kind in Central Europe. John Roach and the artist Gyula Várnai opened the exhibition with a performance devised by Roach called "Hungarian and American Page Turners." Positioned in the exhibition space were two devices created to automatically and rapidly turn the pages of books. The artists attempted to read the contents of the books (one in Hungarian and one in English) from video projections as the pages flip quickly back and forth. The effect was one of automatic poetry, a succession of sounds, stutters and non-sequiturs, which translated the contents of the books into a brand new language.

Special thanks to the Newschool Funding Committee and the American Embassy in Budapest for their support.


The exnibition catalogue (cover/inside)


The performance


Gyula Varnai (left) John Roach (right)backview

pageturner with camera closeup

after the performance aftertheperformance