Liam Gillick

"Your definition of art—which is, if I say it’s art, then it’s art—is kind of the basic definition of modern art, right? But something that I thought fairly early on was, Okay, what if I say this is a book, but I still want it judged and valued within the terms of art? In fact, when I did a book, I wanted it to be understood as a book—not as an artwork as a book, or as a book as an artwork, but as a book. I had this problem in a group show at the -Lisson -Gallery in London in ’95. I’d just published Erasmus Is Late, and I didn’t want it to be stolen, so I designed an enormous table and put the book in the middle so that people couldn’t reach it. For me, this was just a perfect example of my mentality. The table exists because it’s a way of stopping people from stealing the book, so it’s a pragmatic thing because it’s a well-designed table. I haven’t turned a table into a work of art, but if you want to buy the book and signify it as an artwork, then it goes very well with this enormous table, which stops your bourgeois friends from getting their grubby fingers on it. I remember Adrian Searle [the British art critic from The Guardian]walked into the opening and said, “Oh, I understand . . . So I have to read the book to understand the table.” And I said to him, “Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to read a book to understand a table.”"

taken from here.