Thursday, September 28, 2017

Denis Briand, V.L.D.D.P., Les Editions Incertain Sens, Rennes, 2011

This is a smart publication that works at a number of different levels. At its most basic its the reproduction, in printed form, of a 1970s slogan (Vive le dictariat du proletature) whose painted outlines can still faintly be seen on the wall of a university building on the Rennes University campus. With the original image fading this book was conceived as a way of fighting this disappearance, and of preserving a historical link to the social conflicts that embroiled this campus and many others in France from the late 1960s until now. 

The phrase "the dictatorship of the proletariat" was adopted by the founders of Marxism as a description of the inbetween stage between capitalism and the full collective ownership that would come with communism.

Denis Briand works as an exhibitions curator and artist in the visual arts department at Rennes 2 University, France.

16 pages, single-sided, individual page 5" (h) x 4" (w), fully extended 6ft.

The back cover shows the outline of the original slogan as it was painted on the concrete facade of the building and the book replicates the spacing and placement of the original letters and words across the accordion folds of the book.

Anna Plestilova, Ukolebavka pro male pavy (Lullaby for Little Peacocks), Prague, Czech Republic, 2014

A subtle series of drawings and texts make up this rather delicate one-sided accordion that takes as its main theme the 'eyes' in peacock's feathers with the final image of a closed eye 'closing' the book as it were. According to the artist each page of verse is a different take on peacock's eyes and she notes that she chose the accordion format as " is possible to open it as a hand fan," in a similar manner as to how the peacock displays its feathers in a fan shape.

For more information about the activities of this Prague-based artist: Nakladatelstv√≠ | Bylo nebylo

13 pages, single pages 7.5" (h) x 3.5 (w), fully extended 3ft 9.5". 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jessica Spring, An Inflammatory Guide to Banned and Challenged Books, Springtide Press, Oregon, 2012

With its humorous play on the modest form of the matchbook this really fun and lively double-sided accordion strikes out at an important issue as it was published to commemorate Banned Books Week at King's Bookstore, Tacoma, Washington in 2012. At 3" square the book fits comfortably in the hand and the printing is topnotch and sadly, the message is always timely. 

For more info about Jessica's work: springtide press

Single page 3" (h) x 3" (w), 11 pages & fully extended 33" (2ft 9").



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Julien Duporte, Etropud's I.S.B.N., lendroit, lapressepuree & etropud, france 2013 [ed. 100]

I really know nothing about this book or its author, but I'm sympathetic to the book's theme of how we have been reduced to numbers. For the record here is what can be found at the International ISBN Agency website on the definition of an ISBN:

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were 10 digits in length up to the end of December 2006, but since 1 January 2007 they now always consist of 13 digits. ISBNs are calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number.
Each ISBN consists of 5 elements with each section being separated by spaces or hyphens. Three of the five elements may be of varying length:
  • Prefix element – currently this can only be either 978 or 979. It is always 3 digits in length
  • Registration group element – this identifies the particular country, geographical region, or language area participating in the ISBN system. This element may be between 1 and 5 digits in length
  • Registrant element - this identifies the particular publisher or imprint. This may be up to 7 digits in length
  • Publication element – this identifies the particular edition and format of a specific title. This may be up to 6 digits in length
  • Check digit – this is always the final single digit that mathematically validates the rest of the number. It is calculated using a Modulus 10 system with alternate weights of 1 and 3.
What is an ISBN used for?
An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.
Either way this is a fun little double-sided accordion with one side comprised of abstracted colors and the other the 13 numbers that form an ISBN.

Single page 3.5" (h) x 2 5/7" (w), 12 pages and fully extended at 2ft 8".

The back of the book and back of the label.

Ed Young, Mouse Match: A Chinese Folktale, Silver Whistle & Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997

A beautifully produced book that illustrates this Chinese fairytale about a mother and father mouse and their search to find the most suitable marriage candidate for their daughter, i won't spoil the ending, but this story is known as the 'Mouse Bride' story in China.

Ed Young illustrates this large book with his collages and cutouts, and while these are serviceable they create a dark and muddy kind of field, and the mouse figures seem to fight against this background. However, the struggle and the search that form the heart of this story are clearly communicated through this ambitious collage.

Single page 11" (h) x 8.5" (w), when open 18ft 5".

Alzbeta Zemanova, Untitled, Loop publishing, Prague, 2011

Another cool publication from Loop in this tight format and this one by another czech illustrator. This book takes 'a walk in the woods' as its theme, but the atmosphere Alzbeta creates is much more relaxed & innocent than Frantiska Lachmannova's treatment of the same theme (see next blog entry).

Double-sided and single page 4.5" (h) x 6" (h) and when fully opened 24.5" (2ft 1/2").

Frantiska Lachmannova, Untitled, Loop publishing, Prague, 2011

This accordion by this Czech illustrator would seem to be telling a dark little tale about a walk into the woods, but nicely done! Same publisher as the previous posting with all the accordions by Loop publishers, Prague.

Single page 4.5" (h) x 6" (w), when opened 24.5" (2ft 1/2").

Saturday, September 23, 2017

8 Accordions, Loop & Umprum, Summer, 2017

I was in Prague for a week this summer and spent the whole time chasing down cool art places, bookstores and galleries, and with Prague's printmaking history in mind, I was also looking for accordion publications. It was during one of my last days in Prague that I stumbled into the gallery and funky bookstore Galerie Xaoxax (see photos of space below). Pleased to find such a cool place I started exploring this storefront store. Soon enough I noticed a whole table of accordions just sitting there, i couldn't believe my luck! From this great selection I'm presenting 8 of them here.  Talking with the woman in the gallery she said that they had been done for a class with a professor at the University and then taken to the Tabook, the yearly arts & literature festival in Tabor, Czech Republic, presumably for sale. They are all the same size and same paper but they are a smart set of accordions ranging allover the place in content and style, but neverthless a very exciting series of artists' books exploring the accordion format. Xaoxax's website doesn't seem to be up but they have a facebook presence.

Screen print, each page 5.5" (h) x 7" (w), double-sided, when open they are 28" (2ft 4") wide. 

The table of accordions, i was in bliss!

Tsai Hsin-Ying

 Zuzana Sagitariova


Katefina Kozakova

Jakub Bachorik

David Dolensky

Sofie Tobiasova

Nikola Logosova

Zuzana Bramborova