Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Valerie Linder, Abecedaire de voyage (an alphabet book of a journey), Esperluete editions: Belgium, 2011

A fascinating 'alphabet' book that is made up of images of 27 different objects from which Linder has made graphite rubbings, and on the opposite side of the page is a small list of words that have been crossed, arriving at the bottom to one printed in red. These words have tentative, yet teasing connections to the objects depicted. The larger 'text' of the book is about journeys. The publishers in their description of this book include a quote by Linder about the book stating:

 "Selected words in the dictionary, objects selected: Propose only words related to the journey, to different degrees. Shift the relationship between the chosen word and the object - to weave links, to be amazed, to be a little disturbed, disappointed, astonished ... that's the purpose of the trip."

Alphabet books have a long history as children's books that featured letters of the alphabet alongside words or images that corresponded to each letter, and thus served an educational function. However, Linder's book does not reveal such neat correspondences and she sets up a field of much more discursive interpretations for the reader to meander through. Truly a book that entails a journey through letter, word and image!

One-sided, 53 pages, individual page 6.5"(h) by 4.5"(w), and when open 19ft 7.5".

On the back of the book is the following quote from the artist:
 "Gleaned objects rubbed and words chosen from the dictionary."

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