Sunday, June 26, 2016

Romano Hanni, Worte machen das Unendliche endlich (Words Make the Infinite Finite), Basel: Romani Hanni, 2008. [Edition 290]

A really fascinating accordion by this book artist and typographer who was born in Switzerland in 1956. The title is apt for a work that is totally abstract and reflects Hanni's desire to reach the 'infinite' beyond the limitations of words, indeed in a statement on his web site about this work he says:

Although language can be explanatory, only signs and symbols evoke notions. They are capable of simultaneously incorporating all levels of human existence. Reaching down to the unfathomable depths of the soul grow their roots. Like a gentle breeze, language only touches the surface of understanding. Words make the infinite finite, signs and symbols carry off the spirit into the realms of the infinite world of being. They evoke notions, are signs of the unspeakable and are equally inexhaustible. 

Without signs or symbols, even the most modern of world views becomes impoverished. The division of soul and spirit has much to do with Gutenberg's invention. For the sake of the modern, supposedly unnecessary yet reliable and irreplaceable things are often sacrificed. Access to signs and symbols could lead to peace of mind in which all unconscious is not anxiously blocked out and avoided but embraced as a way of expanding consciousness. In this manner, the spirit could find a way out of self-isolation in which it is held captive by its unconditional worship of science and technology. 

There's a nice tension and balance created amongst the assorted geometric elements in this work, and coupled with small abstracted animals making appearances here and there across the work you have a bookwork that really leaves it largely up to the imagination of the viewer to interpret it as s/he desires. 

10 pages with individual pages at 4.75 x 3.25, handprinted in 4 colors, and extended it measures 2ft 8.5".

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