Archives in Artbooks

A library exhibition curated by Anabelle Chassé and Jessica Hébert in collaboration with Volume 5 MTL

September 28 - October 7, 2022 @ Artexte's reading room

Since the 1960s and the emergence of movements such as Fluxus and Conceptual Art, the artists’ book has gradually established itself as an artistic medium in the visual arts. Rather than maintaining its status as a container to showcase art, artists have transformed their approach. The book has become a work of art in itself, while also being the vehicle of its dissemination.

Running parallel to the development of this contemporary practice located at the crossroads of creation and conceptualization, recent decades have shown a growing interest by artists to question and infiltrate the archive, with documents becoming both materials for creation and artistic approach.  Artists question the authority of knowledge around the institution, its documents and the historical narratives that are part of the institutional, family and personal archive, and even fictional archives.

The library exhibition Archives in Artbooks explores these various approaches which use archival documents as a medium for artistic creation, through the artists’ books held in Artexte’s collection.

– Anabelle Chassé and Jessica Hébert, curators


This exhibition is part of the programming of Volume MTL fifth edition.

Take a look at our complete program of activities Artexte X Volume MTL



Anabelle Chassé holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History with a specialization in Museology, and a master’s degree in Museology from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). In addition to her academic research on the hybridity of the fanzine as an institutionalized object, her professional roles at Artexte, and Galerie de l’UQAM as a Cultural Mediation Assistant (2019-2021) focus on the development of social networks and digitals programs as educational and sharing tools on contemporary visual arts.


Jessica Hébert has been working as a librarian at Artexte since 2015 and is currently responsible for collections and user experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Concordia University (2012) and a master’s degree in Information Science (MLIS) from McGill University (2014). Since 2013, she has been an active member of the Art Libraries Society of North America and was president of the Montréal-Ottawa-Québec chapter in 2017. Currently pursuing a master’s in art history at UQAM, her research looks at issues around archiving and the reactivation of printed documents through contemporary art practices. She has been publishing zines under the micro press Stellar Zinery since 2017.