Artist book, 2014

Mars is the title of the book which features in the documentary Toute la mémoire du monde made by Alain Resnais in 1956, about the workings of la Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. It is a book that does not really exist. Resnais invented the book purely as illustration of how this book, as an apparently real physical object, makes its journey through the stages of acquisition and cataloguing before being made available to the public in its final resting place on a shelf in the archive. Mars, the made up book, is used to playfully supply not only a focal character for the documentary but also visual evidence of the mundane practicalities of archival process for the viewer to follow.

In 2014 Mars is finally completed, a realisation of Resnais’ dummy book. This Mars is a text about war, particularly about the 21st century conceptualisation of war. After the revelation that a fake dossier was used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mars interrogates the status of the archival artefact with an understanding that the use of the archival as evidence requires a new and vital form of scrutiny.