I haven’t been able to find much on Spain-based artist Alice Martín or her impressive book installations, other than a few blog posts with the same images. Here’s her page on the gallery that represents her, though it’s in Spanish.
Here’s a quotation from a 2009 Art Forum on Martín’s work that I found on Bookbuffet:
Alicia Martin belongs to the generation of Spanish artists that began exhibiting in the early ’90s. Initially, this generation was known for a metaphorical use of objects and materials, and for the importance of subjectivity in their work. Even sometimes in relation to seemingly neutral themes, these artists often made themselves into the substance of their art. That was a long time ago, however, and those early years were difficult; the economic crisis of the time meant that many galleries and collectors were resistant to anything that seemed new. Yet the absolute freedom with which these artists worked as well as the novel character of their proposals gave rise to powerful and fresh art.
I like this take on the books as a mundane raw material used to create compelling forms. However, for me it’s also important that they’re made of books rather than another material; the sculptures make me think of a stream of information, of books as commodities and/or waste, of how books are being marginalized in our culture (especially in the piece above) and other ideas that are directly related uniquely to books as a building block. The books may start out mundane, but through repetition and the strucutre of Martín’s sculptures, they take on new meaning.