Thursday, April 28, 2016

Seest, Thomas (ed), Leporello #1 - 11, Lamgbortistan: Copenhagen, Denmark, 2005 [slipcase by Lina Bjorn]

This interesting project brought together 11 artists drawn from the Danish literary and artistic scenes who created a similar number of these small accordion books. 

The artists who collaborated on this project are: Thomas Seest, Jan Danebod, Mats Eriksson, Lina Bjorn, Jakob Wegener, David Bellingham, Janne Hoem, Ebbe Stub, Cecilie Gravesen, Emil Salto and Miriam Nielsen. 

As can be expected there is a huge variety in how each artist approached the unique space of an accordion. It is precisely this variety that gives this 'value pack accordion box' its appeal!

Individual book: 10 pages at 4" x 3", fully extended 3ft.

David Bellingham, Leporello #5,
Sections (through apertures in branches and leaves).

Cecilie Nusselein Gravesen, Leporello #8, Sailors Piano

Jakob Wegener, Leporello #7, side 1
Jakob Wegener, Leporello #7, side 2

Janne Hoem, Leporello #10, side 1
Janne Hoem, Leporello #10, side 2

Lina Bjorn, Leporello #1

Goddog and Sanair, Or Noir, Avignon, France, 2015. [edition 50]

The two street artists Goddog and Sanair collaborated on this book with each contributing one side and their abstracted styles mesh beautifully, and coupled with the lavish and sparkly gold ink used in the printing and you have a very compelling object. As regards how the book got its name, its simple Or (gold) and Noir (black). For further information check out the print studio Sanair runs with Goddog and Rinst in Avignon: La Generale Minerale

4 pages at 9" x 12.5" and extended 4ft 1.5".

Back of book.

Bill Burns, Amazing Curators, Collectors and Museums of the World,, 2015

A smart accordion that mimicks the vacation booklets with their strips of souvenir postcards. Here the conceptual artist, Bill Burke uses this format to draw attention to something that he's really got his knickers-in-a-twist about and that's the incredible power and influence certain curators and collectors wield in the art world. He has even gone so far as to make little dolls of famous curators, and to name museums after famous curators and collectors. So, this arty adulation could be a savvy career move, but as to whether it achieves any results — well, this probably is better left to the art historians. On the other hand it could make him some enemies and that's a strategy that could also be useful to him as well. But first and foremost this work is a kind of conceptual joke and as with all conceptual jokes you never quite know whether you should take it seriously or just ignore it completely.

7 pages at 6.25" x 4", fully extended 2ft 4".

Laura El-Tantawy, Post-Script, RRB Publishing: Bristol, UK, 2016. [edition 750]

"My Mother was hysterical.
'There are snipers on rooftops killing people.
They are targeting photographers. Don't come!'"

Fortunately for us Laura El-Tantawy did not take her mother's advice, and after a number of years living abroad working as a journalist and photographer, she felt compelled to go back 'home' to Egypt, to witness the revolution, to be there and participate in this incredible moment. On the books' inside covers she includes a very compelling text in which she details the journey home, what she saw and experienced in the streets, the brutality and the beauty, and what she found was profoundly moving and this publication is imbued with that charge. 

I too, know something of the incredible excitement that the revolution generated in the beginning, as myself and my Egyptian-born wife sat glued to the TV for weeks following each twist and turn as the revolution played itself out — truly remarkable and memorable days! 

El-Tantawy's expressionist photographic style works well with her writing style and the two blend perfectly in this little accordion that packs on oversized punch. However, I want the artist to have the final say about what she was felt she was doing in going out there, "I was working on my own, not representing any publication and without any influence outside my belief their story had to be told. "Who will hear our story? Who will get our dead children's rights back?" 

Double-sided, 16 pages at 6" x 4.25", extended 4ft 3". This book and others by El-Tantawy available here: LAURA EL-TANTAWY

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marion Deuchars, British Art Timeline, Tate Publishing: London, nd

The Tate's really been kicking it out with the accordions recently, first was the "Tate Artist Timeline," (2006), and more recently the "The Works of Art London" (2015). I can't work out the date for this publication but assume its around 2015. On one side are artists' names from 1730 to 2000, and on the reverse, titles of works, by presumably, the artists on the other side. This is an interesing book visually, but kind of hopeless in terms of having this history laid out in any kind of accessible manner. 12 pages at 6.25" x 6.25" and extended 6" 3".

Frances Barry, Walks of Art London, Tate Publishing: London, 2015

A beautifully designed and very smart publication that has maps and info for 10 one-hour walks in central london that are organized around notable public artworks and other culturally significant landmarks. 12 pages, with each page 6.5" x 6.25" and fully extended 6ft 3".

Performing for the Camera, Tate Modern, London, UK, 18 Feb. - 12 June, 2016, exhibition brochure.

These sweet 7-page accordions were free handouts for this really fascinating exhibition and historical survey of the way we 'perform' in front of the camera.  7 pages, 5.75" x 4", fully extended 2ft 2".

Mark Hearld, Winter Feast, collage, Art Angles, UK, nd.

A fun greeting card by this UK illustrator who went to Glasgow School of Art and then to the Royal College of Art where he studied for an MA in Natural History Illustration. What I like about this rather commercialized greeting card format are the laser cuts made into the pages so that you are able to see right through the whole card/publication. On his Art Angles website Hearld has a number of other similar accordion formatted cards all of them featuring different countryside animals. Single pages 5.75" x 8.25" fully extended 2ft .75"