In Library, Arienti has transformed the gallery into an interactive architectural landscape. The site, flanked by rows of stacked feed bags, is composed of 400 bushels of wheat seed and ninety-nine manipulated books buried within. Arienti encourages participants to sift through the grain, as if browsing the stacks of a local library. The constant unearthing and replanting of the books merges the natural environment and the intellectual sphere.
The mounds of grain spread over the gallery floor combine tactile experience with scholarship. Arienti considers the conflicting metaphorical history of wheat seed–a symbol of fertility that has been used as a sign of life and death, the civilized and the rural–to reveal the complexity of even the most basic elements.
The books, gathered from San Antonio’s bookstores and library sales, address a multitude of subjects, ranging from science to art to philosophy. Arienti has selectively drilled holes into the books, outlining titles, tracing around illustrations, and piercing through the heavy tomes. The perforated volumes merge with the wheat, expressing a connection between organic sustenance and quantified knowledge.
The feed sacks, marked with the company’s bold logo, further broadcast the exhibition’s investigation of information via signs and symbols. Arienti makes us hyperaware of our associative nature, requiring that we reassess commonly held perceptions and consider alternate conclusions.