Published books

MONSTERS 2005

9 original signed photographs and a text specially written
in English for the book by Tony Oursler
Soundtrack (remix from noises transmitted by the NASA)
created by the artist, and recorded on a CD
Tumbling tray case designed by Radi Designers,
made of a white-resin base covered by a transparent globe
Graphic design by Philippe Millot
Each copy is numbered and signed by
Tony Oursler and Radi Designers
An edition of 50 copies - Dimension: 17.8 x 13.8 x 2 inches
MONSTERS

Monsters, Tony Oursler’s first artist’sbook, features a chaotic discussion between spooky,scary, and funny characters. Tony Oursler was eager topay tribute to his creatures through the medium of thebook. For him it was important to leave a more lastingtrace of their passage, which is somehow ephemeral inhis videos. The artist’s futuristic photographs, saturated with colors,are portraits of the characters that are staged inhis videos. Each of these monsters, remnants of humanbeings, has a strong presence and a coherent discoursedespite its apparent incoherence. For the artist, it wasimportant to put down on paper the idiosyncrasiesof these composite beings, whose mumbling is some-times not heard in its integrity during the screenings.Coming from a family of writers, Tony Oursler hasalways wanted to capture in writing the voices of hischaracters.

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These voices fuse without answering one another, as ifthey were monologues rehashed ad infinitum. Beyondtheir strange, comical appearances, the monsters showthe narrowing of consciousness and the depth ofhuman preoccupations. In a touching and surprisingmanner, they expose neuroses, anxiety, claustrophobia,and excruciating loneliness.
Making an artist’s book with a video artist was a realchallenge on different levels. Recreating the movementof the video, without using any kind of artificialdevice, was already a challenge for the graphicdesigner Philippe Millot. Millot made use of ingenioustechniques–from the layout of the text to the choice ofink–in order to introduce motion throughout the book.In the tradition of calligrames dear to Rabelais andApollinaire, the text runs across the pages in tantalizingand sensual spreads, giving free rein to the imagination.The use of colorful metallic ink invites the lightto reflect on the typeface as if the words were dancing,adding to the impression of movement.
Each monster has its own personality, and each monologueis transcribed with a different font.

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The silver edges of the pages perpetuate this idea ofmovement of light with the rocking of the tray case,which seems to comes to life in an oscillating motion.For the housing of the book, Radi Designers came upwith a clever idea, inspired by a 21st-century cabinetof curiosities, a transparent and futuristic containerrocking like a roly-poly toy. Like a jar filled with formaldehyde,it confines the monsters and symbolizes thefeeling of entrapment that at times characterizes thehuman condition. It also allows a possible ethnographicstudy of these characters, who lead intense lives. Theircapacity for auto-analysis is a creative soil, and theirrevealed fragility makes them endearing. The rockingof the roly-poly tray case set these intriguing creaturesin motion, who seem to come alive inside book.

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BLACKHOLE
«I’ll turn you into a black hole.
Sun spot pop your mind. Carbon burnout.
Brains all over the place. Go figure.
Yum yum. Frog. Crystal vision. Eat optical alpha.

I’m going to turn you into a spider.»(…)

GLOB
«Inside your mind. Inside your body. I’ve been there.
You think I have a life? You don’t even know the meaning
of life. Oh, two worlds that can never meet.
Cross the vast open black spaces. Deep deep space
You don’t understand the code. Expressions and feelings.
Culture. Speed of light. Can you travel it? See what I mean?
Try to live the moment. Comprehend me.»(…)

SYLVAN
«Smoke sunshine shadow
You want me me me
Jump out of the window the prices have dropped
You’re headed for a silver splat
I’d like a good tumble in the hay
Let the wind blow you away.»(…)

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VETRI ROSA 2006

Original text written for the book in Italian by Ornela Vorpsi,
translated into English by Ann Gagliardi, and into French by Yann Apperry
7 original signed color photographs, specially created by Mat Collishaw
to illustrate Ornela Vorpsi’s text
Folded leaflets, embossing, cutting, and photoluminescent patterns on glassine sheets
Traycase designed by Philippe Cramer,
walnut with inlaid crystals of varying size, title printed with a hot iron
Graphic design by Philippe Millot
Each copy is signed by Mat Collishaw, Ornela Vorpsi,
and Philippe Cramer An edition of 50 copies - 11.8 x 15.3 x 2 inches
VETRI ROSA

VETRI ROSA 2006

In the book Vetri Rosa, the British photographer Mat Collishaw and the Albanian writer Ornela Vorpsi intertwine in a very sensual way their philosophical approaches to life and death, innocence and beauty. It is a tale of initiation, evoking the relativity of time and space as it relates to consciousness. The young heroine of Vetri Rosa perceives life through the filter of a kaleidoscope–formed by bits of pink glass shards–and manages to dissect its mechanisms with the insight and wisdom of a far-off look. With great clarity and poetry, she captures and describes moments of familial intimacy, love, and friendship. Very early in life these moments make their mark on our consciousness, and evoke the loss of a certain innocence. Vetri Rosa explores the “beautiful and poetic childhood wandering, the evil and violence of everyday life.”

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Mat Collishaw imagined a visual story resembling a rite of passage to illustrate Ornela Vorpsi’s text with his photographs. Inspired by the chiaroscuro of Flemish paintings and the contained atmosphere of the Victorian era, the artist blurs temporal borders and grafts a poisonous beauty onto contemporary preoccupations. For Vetri Rosa, he photographed two girls whose melancholic beauty hides a dramatic and metaphorical burden. Each photograph is an allegory, and refers in a poetic way to such themes as freedom, self-awareness, friendship, and eroticism. Where do we draw the line between good and evil? where is the boundary between moral and immoral, the horror and the sublime? Mat Collishaw’s photographs reveal the ambiguity of life, radiating a sweetness and a poetry that contrast with some darkness and generate a real sense of probing. “I don’t seek provocation,» says Mat Collishaw, «but an expression of the sublime and the horror, the feeling that one gets when confronted with them, which shows a beauty that would not exist if ugliness were not there.”

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BEYROUTH 2008

16 original signed photographs
(12 black-and-white prints and 4 color prints)
by Gabriele Basilico, five of them taken in 2008 specially for the book,
completing the series from 1991 and 2003
All the photographs have been chosen jointly by the publisher and the artist for this edition
The text has been specially written for the book by Wajdi Mouawad, in French,
and translated into English by Bernard Hoeppfner
A facsimile of the author’s notebook has been reproduced and inserted in the tray case
The graphic design is the creation of Philippe Millot and Editions Take5
15 copies are enriched with a tray case designed by Robert Stadler.
The tray case is made of brown resin layers held by white plastic sheets evoking teutonic plates
The 25 remaining copies include a cardboard tray case covered with serigraphed dark-gray paper evoking armor
Each copy is signed by Gabriele Basilico and Wajdi Mouawad
(and by Robert Stadler for the first 15 copies)
An edition of 40 copies, of which 15 rest in a tray case designed by Robert Stadler
11.8 x 15.3 x 2.8 inches - 15.3 x 20.8 x 4.3 inches (white tray case)
BEYROUTH

BEYROUTH

When they evoke Beirut – Beyrouth in French –, neither Gabriele Basilico nor Wajdi Mouawad seek to impose their personal vision of the city. According to Wajdi Mouawad, “My plays aren’t about war, but about the attempt to remain human in an inhuman context.”
Like Wajdi Mouawad, Gabriele Basilico seeks objectivity as a way of making our humanness resonate within us. Both of their works are overwhelming: Gabriele Basilico’s photographs are silent, neutral, highly objective images. As the artist explains, the photographer’s eye has to give time to the places he captures so as to penetrate their essence. For Basilico this involves adopting a philosophical and existential attitude that allows him to find meaning in the outside world. Thanks to his non-compromising sense of ethics and his close attention to image quality, Basilico demonstrates with his images a rigor and a perspective that prevent us from glorifying the past. Rather, they represent an unflagging quest for objectivity..

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Although not narrative, his photographs manage with great strength to expose the still-open scars of a city that is constantly being destroyed and rebuilt, and which has an extraordinary capacity for resilience; like the phoenix, Beirut seems constantly to rise from its ashes. For this reason, the publishers deliberately mixed photographs taken from different times, unfettered by chronology: images of a destroyed city taken in 1991 right after the war, images of the reconstruction from 2003, images evoking destruction for the pur-poses of construction, and current shots taken for the book by Gabriele Basilico in Beirut in 2008. The idea was to disregard the classical time frame of “before and after,” and concentrate on the idea of perpetual transformation.

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Although not narrative, his photographs manage with great strength to expose the still-open scars of a city that is constantly being destroyed and rebuilt, and which has an extraordinary capacity for resilience; like the phoenix, Beirut seems constantly to rise from its ashes. For this reason, the publishers deliberately mixed photographs taken from different times, unfettered by chronology: images of a destroyed city taken in 1991 right after the war, images of the reconstruction from 2003, images evoking destruction for the pur-poses of construction, and current shots taken for the book by Gabriele Basilico in Beirut in 2008. The idea was to disregard the classical time frame of “before and after,” and concentrate on the idea of perpetual transformation. Written specially for this book, Wajdi Mouawad’s text condenses all the substance of the playwright’s work. For the author, it has a particularly strong symbolic importance since it is also his first incursion in the poetic register. The wounds of exile, the absurdity of fratricidal war, and the astonishing resilience of human beings are described in a powerful–and beautiful– way.
A true synergy occurs in this book between the various participants–author, photographer, graphic designer, translator, editor. The interplay between Gabriele Basilico’s photographs and Wajdi Mouawad’s text is breathtaking. With this in mind, and in respect to the gravity of the subject, Philippe Millot created a simple and airy layout. The importance of the color white, a symbol of hope, contrasts with an almost telegraphic typography alluding to the pragmatism of wartime. Design is at the service of art, not yielding to it but giving it its space. The typeface used for the titles, inspired by the construction blocks used in the Middle East, evoke their variable geometry, and also the form of mashrabiyas.

Beyrouth Pages Et Carnet

For the architecture of the book, the graphic designer and publisherbased it on the little Moleskine notebook in which Wajdi Mouawad wrote and drew his texts. The Arabic alphabet gives its rhythm to the pages like a breath of air. This dialectic between the Arabic and Latin alphabets highlights the rupture of exile and the importance of language in the identity of a human being.
The author’s powerful description of the “tectonic plates of grief,” an unstable equilibrium that characterizes the city in times of war, inspired designer Robert Stadler for the tray case of the book. Referring to a theory, established by the Russian physicist Kolmogorov in 1941, that some objects never have a fixed shape, the designer has created a random stack of plates that could have shifted after an earthquake. These strata, constructed with architect’s foam sandwiched between sheets of white composite, reflect Gabriele Basilico’s training as an architect and his modernist restraint. Another case was proposed for the regular edition, made of metallic paper evoking an armor.

Editions Take5 Beyrouth 1

BOOK OF CHASTITY 2010

Original text, written in English specially
for the book by Tom McCarthy
16 original and color photographic prints by Ernesto Neto, unpublished and signed
(8 of which printed on photographic paper and 8 on cotton paper
Folded leaflets, embossed, cut, sewn and varnish on transparent paper Traycase designed and built by Ernesto Neto,
conceived like a nest made of strips of plywood, covered with orange translucent nylon and hand-stitched with orange and purple cotton yarn
Graphic design by Gva Studio, in collaboration with the artist and the publisher
Each copy is signed by Ernesto Neto and Tom McCarthy
An edition of 30 copies - 15 x 21 x 5.5 inches
BOOK OF CHASTITY

BOOK OF CHASTITY

For his first artist’s book, Ernesto Neto chose to explore the interaction of the observer with his work, very much in the tradition of Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, his predecessors of the Neo-Concretist movement. To this avail he chose to photograph, for hours and days on end, a young woman as she wanders through his sculpture Our Mist into the Myth at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Tokyo.
The young woman in the photographs is both a muse and an object of the artist’s desire; with time she melts into the installation until she becomes an integral part of it. The supple, biomorphic sculpture is composed of polyamide tulle, wood, turmeric, and cloves, and goes far beyond the limits of abstract minimalism–it fills the space and offers the observer a calming cocoon, the perfect place for daydreams and abandonment. At the same time, it also evokes a macrophagic monster that gradually engulfs the viewer in its generous and welcoming folds.
The photographs by Ernesto Neto in Book of Chastity are based on a triangular intrigue between the young woman, this monumental sculpture that seems to devour her, and the photographer’s voyeuristic, lustful gaze. This triangle lends enormous tension to these mysterious and sensual images, giving expression to an overwhelming desire. Looking at them, one wonders : Who is this mysterious young woman who suggests the mythic image of Eve, the “eternal temptress”? Where are we? Inside her body, or inside the sculpture? Is this slow and sensual foreplay, or pure fantasy?

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The text written for the book by Tom McCarthy provides snippets of answers in the form of intriguing, very postmodern dialogues. The narrative is told through two voices. In the first part, a man lies on his psychoanalyst’s couch, trying to recollect a passion that haunts him. He relates his obsessive desire to possess this young woman body and soul, her refusal, and his subsequent frustration. In the second part, the text becomes extremely trenchant and blunt, resembling the screen version of a stage production. In this way, the author introduces a destabilising dialectic that explores the subjective nature of our relationship to reality, shedding surprising light on the roots of memory and the unconsciousness. As in his book Remainder, whose avant-garde style caught the critics’ eyes, he creates a counterpoint between two voices, scrutinizing with incisive clarity our obsessive passions and the neuroses they produce.
The text also refers to Ovid’s myth of Narcissus. The latter, the narrator’s alter ego, tirelessly contemplates his reflection on the surface of the water, and ultimately drowns. The woman who transcribes fragments of his words is Echo. With the story of Echo and Narcissus, Tom McCarthy cleverly plays with the initials of Ernesto Neto, E and N. The graphic design, created by Gva Studio, in close collaboration with the artist and the publisher, exudes sensuality page after page, and appeals very much to the imagination. The colors reflect the hues of the skin, the title and page numbering are embossed, evoking beauty marks and Braille lettering. The chromatic range of the photos and the graphic design echo each other with every page. The images were printed in two different ways, reflecting the two registers of the text: the first, more shiny, are printed on photo paper and correspond to the narrative part of the story, while the second, on cotton paper, are more abstract and show the images as if filtered by a veil.

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Two skin-colored sheaves of tracing paper, sewn–like the casing–with violet and orange thread, dissect the installation with a transparent veneer, similarly to the way Tom McCarthy analyzes the different strata of consciousness. This entire sensual universe is enclosed in a casing conceived of as a sculpture by the artist, who is first and foremost a sculptor. Very intriguing for its indefinable form, it reinvents the very idea of a case for a book, bringing to mind alternately a cushion that seemingly invites the reader to snuggle up to it, a cradle, or for some a waffle. By designing a neoprene bag with suggestive forms in which to slip the tray case, the artist plays with the idea of desire. He makes of the Book of Chastity a book that “gets under the skin” and can be closely carried everywhere.

Calque Neto

RECTO VERSO 2012

Text specially written for the book in English by Alberto Manguel,
translated into French by Christine Le Boeuf
All the photographs have been commissioned and specially taken
by Ali Kazma for the book :
- 8 original signed color prints
- 176 photographs printed with offset on cardboard
The graphic design is the work of Philippe Apeloig,
in collaboration with the artist and the publisher.
Jean-Luc Honegger imagined a geometrical design for the cover of the tray case,
executed by hand in polymethylmethacrylate and closing a maple wood box
Each copy is signed by Ali Kazma, Alberto Manguel, Philippe Apeloig,
and Jean-Luc Honegger
An edition of 30 copies - 17 x 13 x 2 inches
RECTO VERSO

RECTO VERSO

In Recto Verso, a dialogue between the photographs of Turkish artist-videographer Ali Kazma and the text by Canadian author Alberto Manguel instigates a reflection on the book and its future. For several years, Editions Take5 had wanted to undertake a project in honor of the book–which presented a real challenge, both because of the complexity of the subject and the transformations this medium has undergone over the centuries. In the end, the choice fell on Ali Kazma to make an artist’s book on the subject: he is passionate about the book, and each of his videos is a true archaeological, aesthetic, and poetic documentary on the knowledge and gestures that characterize a profession. For years the artist has examined the role played by the trades in our societies, observing their mode of operation so as to approach the topic of work in a philosophical way.
“In his videos, Ali Kazma demonstrates a strong predilection for close attention and patient observation. His works bide their time– taking a closer look, in a descriptive but also an analytical manner–through precise filming that testifies to a pleasure in detail. The resulting image, exceeding the framework of the documentary, is elevated to the level of a cognitive vector. It shows without dramatizing, and clarifies without taking sides.”
Over a period of three years, the editor travelled the roads of Europe together with the artist, visiting numerous emblematic locations that are rarely accessible to the public–libraries, printing shops, papermakers, bookbinders, restoration workshops, book lover’s dens–a true photographic investigation. With the broad scope of the project, the number of photographs grew from week to week. In the end Kazma took almost 8,000 photos. Apart from this archival work, eight original photographic prints were selected by the artist and the editors to illustrate the artist’s book, along with 176 photographs in the form of small cards. Some are descriptive, others purely aesthetic, still others simply funny. Easy to handle, they allow the collector to compose an infinite number of visual stories, similar to the video screens that Kazma juxtaposes in his work. Each one explores the precise gestures carried out by the men and women as they go about their work with books. The artist transcends the systematic and repetitive side of these gestures by revealing their virtuosity and craftsmanship. Also celebrated are first manuscripts, artist’s books, philosophical collections, and treatises that have made a mark on our history. The same emotion and rigor with which the artist communicates his vision of the world of books, their development over time, and endangered masterpieces resonate in the text by Manguel, one of the greatest scholars on the history of the book

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RECTO VERSO

In Recto Verso, a dialogue between the photographs of Turkish artist-videographer Ali Kazma and the text by Canadian author Alberto Manguel instigates a reflection on the book and its future. For several years, Editions Take5 had wanted to undertake a project in honor of the book–which presented a real challenge, both because of the complexity of the subject and the transformations this medium has undergone over the centuries. In the end, the choice fell on Ali Kazma to make an artist’s book on the subject: he is passionate about the book, and each of his videos is a true archaeological, aesthetic, and poetic documentary on the knowledge and gestures that characterize a profession. For years the artist has examined the role played by the trades in our societies, observing their mode of operation so as to approach the topic of work in a philosophical way.
“In his videos, Ali Kazma demonstrates a strong predilection for close attention and patient observation. His works bide their time– taking a closer look, in a descriptive but also an analytical manner–through precise filming that testifies to a pleasure in detail. The resulting image, exceeding the framework of the documentary, is elevated to the level of a cognitive vector. It shows without dramatizing, and clarifies without taking sides.”
Over a period of three years, the editor travelled the roads of Europe together with the artist, visiting numerous emblematic locations that are rarely accessible to the public–libraries, printing shops, papermakers, bookbinders, restoration workshops, book lover’s dens–a true photographic investigation. With the broad scope of the project, the number of photographs grew from week to week. In the end Kazma took almost 8,000 photos. Apart from this archival work, eight original photographic prints were selected by the artist and the editors to illustrate the artist’s book, along with 176 photographs in the form of small cards. Some are descriptive, others purely aesthetic, still others simply funny. Easy to handle, they allow the collector to compose an infinite number of visual stories, similar to the video screens that Kazma juxtaposes in his work. Each one explores the precise gestures carried out by the men and women as they go about their work with books. The artist transcends the systematic and repetitive side of these gestures by revealing their virtuosity and craftsmanship. Also celebrated are first manuscripts, artist’s books, philosophical collections, and treatises that have made a mark on our history. The same emotion and rigor with which the artist communicates his vision of the world of books, their development over time, and endangered masterpieces resonate in the text by Manguel, one of the greatest scholars on the history of the book

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To design the pattern appearing on the case, the Swiss bookbinder Jean-Luc Honegger drew inspiration both from the form of the library, in tribute to Manguel, and from the video screen, in reference to Kazma. The contrast between black and white evokes the duality of every library, which, according to Manguel, is well ordered during the day and undergoes a metamorphosis at night, when the most iconoclastic works have their say. It also brings to mind the struggle between the light of knowledge and the darkness of obscurantism. Used to working with leather to make unique bindings for collector’s editions, Honegger agreed to experiment for Editions Take5 and to work with a contemporary material, PPMA, which the editor associates with maple wood.

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ENVELOPPE-MOI 2013

Original text, written for the book in French by Jean-Philippe Toussaint,
translated into English by John Lambert,
9 pigment prints by Annette Messager, specially created for the book by the artist,
(10 signed prints for the 26 first copies),
printed by Robert Hennessy,
An original photograph by Jean-Philippe Toussaint,
A set of facsimile postcards written by Jean-Philippe Toussaint,
A set of blank postcards,
Text, colophon page, and title page designed by Philippe Apeloig,
Traycase imagined by the editors in collaboration with the artist and the graphic designer,
serigraphed by Grenfell Press and handcrafted by Mark Tomlinson,
This edition was created by May Castleberry for the Library Council of MoMA, and Céline Fribourg for Editions Take5,
An edition of 110 copies, including 26 copies in which all works are signed by the artist.
14.6 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches
ENVELOPPE-MOI

ENVELOPPE-MOI

Enveloppe-moi is an artist book published by MoMA, in collaboration with Editions Take5, Annette Messager, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
This edition, conceived by the artist in Paris, comes to readers as something found deep in a closet or tucked under a bed, ready to be opened and brought back to light. Within separate enclosures a handmade box con-tains: a postcard correspondence between the artist and the writer/artist Jean-Philippe Toussaint, a letter and a photograph by Toussaint, and ten photographic collages by Messager. These contents could be souvenirs of an intensely imagined or experienced liaison, or clues to a secret history. The whole represents an enigmatic visual and verbal exchange.
Over a five-month period in 2011, Messager sent fifteen postcards, one by one, to Toussaint. Each card features on one side a black-and-white photograph of one of Messager’s preexisting artworks. The collection of postcard images presents a series of indefinite but suggestive images of obscured words, phrases, nets, and body parts. Toussaint replied on the blank side of each postcard with brief comments, questions, and literary references apparently prompted by the image on the opposite side. A second set of postcards reproduces the same artworks by Messager, but these postcards are still blank on the writer’s side. At the artist’s suggestion, readers may consider sending the “virgin” postcards (as the artist describes them) to another correspondent.

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Messager also created ten collages that visualize emotionally heightened (and slightly ironic) scenes from a fictional romance : A manipulated photograph of the artist as a young woman, trapped in a net like a spider’s web; a B-movie style image of a lover’s kiss; a playful, doodled image of a floating mermaid overlaying a dark installation of photographic memorabilia; artworks based on graphic representations of words such as “chaos,” “trouble,” and “hotel-fiction”—these and other images are as fantastical and expressive as the written correspondence is enigmatic. They deepen the mystery of the boxed collection. Nine of these collages appear as pigment prints, printed with the utmost care by Robert Hennessy, in the center well of the portfolio. A tenth collage is stamped onto the cloth-covered box. (This collage also appears as an additional pigment print in the deluxe edition.) Three more images are printed by silkscreen on the cover of the box in red cloth.
During the five-month correspondence, Toussaint photographed the quotidian circumstances in which he wrote on his side of Messager’s postcards. One digitally printed photograph by Toussaint of a hand dropping a postcard into a postbox slot can be found within a slot on an inside flap of the portfolio, along with Toussaint’s digitally printed letter.
The text and the colophon page were laid out by Philippe Apeloig with the Lettera font, in a simple manner, like a factual record of this correspondence. The page title was designed by the graphic designer in a way to preserve the mystery and transience of this alleged affair.
The portfolio was designed by the editors, in collaboration with Apeloig and Messager. The artist specially made some drawings that were silkscreened on the casing by Grenfell Press, which was assembled by Mark Tomlinson. This edition was created for the Museum of Modern Art in New York by May Castleberry, editor of the Library Council of MoMA, and Céline Fribourg of Editions Take5.

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EDITIONS COROMANDEL : 1996-2003

The éditions Take5 were created in 2006 to pursue the publication of artists’ books in the same spirit and passion of the previous Editions Coromandel founded in 1996 which had published 14 books, all part of major museums’ collections in the world. In 2003, the partners of Editions Coromandel had decided, by common agreement, to put a term to their editorial activity.

 


Editions Coromandel : 1996-2003:

CITIZEN SIDEL 1996

Photographs by William Klein
(six signed silver prints)
Text written in French by Jerome Charyn,
(translated into English by Marc Chenetier)
Black fabric tray case, with a collage of black corrugated paper
created by Marielle Zarraluqui
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
12 x 16 x 1.4 inches - An edition of 80 copies
CITIZEN SIDEL

The publishers had thought for quite some time to associate those two American artists because they had parallel destinies. Both were in fact NewYork expatriates in Paris, whose notoriety was bigger in France than in their home country. It turned out that they had known each other for many years and had started to work on a collaboration (the adaptation into a movie by William Klein of a novel by Jerome Charyn) before abandoning the project due to a lack of financing. This mutual admiration permiates throughout the book, reflected by the text and the images. Klein has provided sixtyof his photographs, taken in 1966 in NewYork, to Charyn, who selected among them six images that inspired him most. The text he wrote for the book, is, in his own words, «exhaling steam», as an echo to Klein’s images. The former inspector Isaac Sidel, the iconic character created by the writer, has become the mayor ofNewYork and is en route to the vice-presidency. The graphic design was supervised by Klein, and is largely inspired by his pictorial work from the ‘50s.

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BATEKE 1996

Photographs by Graciela Iturbide (4 signed silver prints)
Poems in French by Aimé Césaire and Alvaro Mutis,
unpublished Spanish translation by Alvaro Mutis
Graphic design by Andres Mengs
Traycase made of natural linen
15 x 12 x 0.8 inches An edition of 40 copies
Bateke

TOKYO 1996

Photographs by Nicolas Bouvier (6 signed silverprints prints pasted on paper)
Text written in French by William Cliff
(translated into Japanese by Yoshida Kanako)
Traycase designed by Manuel Camargo,
made of zinc originating from the roofs of Paris,
with two photographs by Nicolas Bouvier in serigraphy
Graphic design by Jérôme Le Scanff
13.2 x 10.3 x 0.8 inches An edition of 40 copies
TOKYO

Publishers had initially contacted Nicolas Bouvier in the hope that he would give them a text on India. After visiting him in his Geneva workshop, they discovered images taken during two trips to Japan in the ‘50s and ‘60s that they liked so much they decided to use for the book. William Cliff, a Belgian vagabond poet, wrote a dozen free-verse poems describing a recent trip to Tokyo. Against all odds, the two artists did not know each other though their sensibilities were very similar. Bouvier died in February 1998, soon after the publication of the book. The tray case was crafted using zinc plates that came from Paris’s rooftops. On each side of the tray case a photograph by Bouvier has been screenprinted, one symbolizing traditional Japan and the other modern Japan. The poems of Cliff were translated into Japanese, to allow the reading of the text in the language of the country of the rising sun but also to enjoy the artistic beauty of Japanese characters.

Tokyo 2

MUES IMMOBILES 1997

Photographs by Francisco Toledo
(4 signed silver prints)
Text written in French by Raphaël Confiant
(translated into Spanish by Alain-Paul Maillard)
Traycase in fabric tinted by hand with cochineal by Nancy Madrigal,
and a small edition of 12 copies enriched
with original ceramic plates by Gustavo Perez
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
15 x 12 x 1.5 inches - An edition of 55 copies
MUES IMMOBILES

The originality of the work by Mexican artist Francisco Toledo lies as much in the multiplicity of its influences as in the diversity and freedom of its forms. His rare photographic portraits made a great impression on the Martinican writer Raphael Confiant. They inspired his four prose-poems which intertwine human and animal aspects, and were influenced by the legends of the Amerindians. The cover and the heads of chapters are illustrated with small printed drawings created by the artist. The fabric used to cover the folder is tinted with cochineal, a parasitic insect found in the nopal cactus. This pre-Colombian artisanal method of coloring is slowly disappearing, and only mastered nowadays by a handful of Mexican craftsmen.

MUES IMMOBILES

THE COINCIDENCE OF THE ARTS 1998

Photographs by Mario Testino (7 original signed prints,
including three silver prints and four C-prints)
Text written in English by Martin Amis
Black metal tray case inlaid with three magnifying glasses of different
sizes designed by Ron Arad Graphic design by Jérôme Le Scanff
13.7 x 13.7 x 1.2 inches - An edition of 60 copies
THE COINCIDENCE OF THE ARTS

The Coincidence of the Arts is a book dedicated to London, where the British writer Martin Amis was born, and where the Peruvian photographer Mario Testino and the Israeli designer Ron Arad lived. They had even been sharing a large loft with other artists in the early 1980s. Although the book is dedicated to London, the artists decided to set its story in New York City. Following a «wild» casting call in the streets of the East Village, the fashion photographer invited a dozen young people to an appartment and immortalized this pretty decadent evening. The tray case of the book, designed by Arad, humorously reveals parts of a busty young woman widely exposed. The blackened steel box is inlaid with three magnifying glasses that evoke the lens of a camera.

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My Mother’s Killer 1998

Photographs by David Levinthal
(6 original signed cibachromes)
Text written in English by James Ellroy
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti
and Pénélope Monnet
Printed cardboard tray case fastened
by a Mikado pick-up stick
13 x 12 x 1.1 inches
An edition of 55 copies
MY MOTHER’S KILLER

James Ellroy ‘s style is the kind of literature the publishers always wanted to introduce to their illustrated books. The American crime fiction writer and essayist proposed to the Coromandel team, during one of his stays in Paris, the first publication in French of a text he had written about the murder of his mother which had already been published in the American magazine GQ. Reading this text, situated in the Los Angeles of the ‘50s, immediately made us think of the polaroids of the American photographer David Levinthal. The latter re-creates, using small figurines and toys, scenes from Eisenhower’s fanstamagoric America, in order to photograph them: scenes of couples forming or dislocating, deserted dinners, or wandering police patrols.

For the book, the artist chose among his recent works six new images that were reminiscent of the mysterious atmosphere of Edward Hopper’s paintings: three photographs in shades of red and three bluish images, taken through the intermediary of a TV screen. The cover of the book is inspired by B-movie posters from the ‘50s and by their flashy colors and catchphrases.

Resulting from a mistake by the printer, who inverted the colors, two different versions of the title page were printed, one on a red background and the other on a blue background. Few copies include both versions. The cover flap is held closed by a Mikado pick-up stick.

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Five Hours to Simla 1998

Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark
(4 signed silver prints)
Text in English by Anita Desaï
(translated into Hindi by S. Joshi)
Part of the edition with a tray case
designed by Ettore Sottsass, in elm
wood closed by Indian cotton cords
Graphic design by Jacques Le Scanff
16 x 16 x 0.7 inches
An edition of 55 copies
FIVE HOURS TO SIMLA

Since its creation, Editions Coromandel has wanted to pay tribute to the Indian coast that inspired its name.

The Indian writer Anita Desai entrusted the publishers with a text describing a family trip to Simla, a little town situated at the feet of the Himalayas where the bourgeoisie of New Delhi occasionally migrates in order to escape the hot season. The American photographer Mary Ellen Mark, who had traveled numerous times to India (and had taken there the photographs for her famous book Falkland Road), chose four unpublished photographs from the ‘80s to illustrate this story called Five Hours to Simla. The original prints were developed by hand with the utmost care. Short excerpts of the English text were translated into old Hindi to appear as a decorative frame in tones of saffron.

The tray case was designed by the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, who was a connoisseur of India, and had dedicated in the ‘80s a collection of furniture to this country, that he had called Bharat. It was crafted by Gallery Mourmans in Maastricht, Netherlands, with a mahogany frame covered by veneer elm and colored cords in Indian cotton.

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L’Ensoleillement des Solitudes 1999

Photographs by Christer Strömholm
(6 signed silver prints)
Text in French by Yves Martin
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénéloppe Monnet
Traycase in printed cardboard
13.7 x 13.7 x 1.4 inches - An edition of 50 copies
L’ENSOLEILLEMENT DES SOLITUDES

Christer Strömholm, the legendary author of the book Place Blanche, was the oldest photographer with whom Editions Coromandel ever worked. As a result, the editors couldn’t ask the artist for new images. They decided to choose, among his most famous photographs, a set that could feed the imagination of the poet Yves Martin.

Both the author and the photographer had lived in the Place Pigalle in the ‘50s, and had extracted the substance of their works from the atmosphere of this district in Paris. The images represent the world of the night, of prostitution and its transvestites and peep shows. The amazing aestheticism of those disturbing images, taken in the ‘50s and ‘60s by Strömholm, contrasts with the darkness of the subject and prefigures the work of many contemporary photographers such as Nan Goldin.

Martin died a few weeks after the publication of the book, and Strömholm not long after in 2002.

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Flowers 1999

Photographs by Vik Muniz
(6 signed silver prints)
Text in English by Lynne Tillman
(translated into French by François Boisivon)
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
Cardboard folder
13 x 11 x 0.8 inches - An edition of 50 copies
FLOWERS

The Brazilian artist Vik Muniz had been collecting artificial flowers for many years, and had even fabricated some himself from paper. For this book, he selected a series of images that evoke an old herbaria of the 18th century, an era during which amateur botany became a futile aristocratic entertainment. At first impression, the photographs appear to be of these classical herbaria. However, after observing the image more closely, the reader can easily detect the reflection of a piece of plastic or the paper’s texture, and feels disconcerted.

Challenging our faculty of perception is a central element in the work of Muniz. This ironic approach inspired the American writer and art critic Lynne Tillman, who wrote for the book a long and tender poem on flowers filled with humor.

The photographs were enriched, in the printing process, with sepia and gold tones in order to emphasize their similarity to old prints.

The typography is a post-modern reinterpretation of the overornate initials of the 18th century. The book is presented in a dark-green paper folder inspired by old school notebooks.

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Mexico 1999

Photographs by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
(7 signed silver prints, and a unique photographic collage)
Poems written in French by William Cliff
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
Printed cardboard tray case
10 x 14 x 0.8 inches - An edition of 35 copies
MEXICO

Upon his return from Mexico where he had been giving a series of conferences, the Belgian author William Cliff gave the publishers a dozen poems recounting his last impressions of Mexico. Cliff was expressing in his own words the daily lives of the city’s outcasts, which evoked the dark images of the Mexican photographer Pablo Ortiz Monasterio..

As the author of The Ultima Ciudad, one of the most impressive books dedicated to urban reportage of recent years, the photographer selected 6 images to accompany the poetry of the Belgian writer, including a photomontage made specially for the book.

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Surface 2000

Photographs by James Casebere
(6 original signed Fugiflex prints mounted on plexiglas)
Text in French by Mohamed Dib
(translated into English)
Graphic design by Arthur Ceria and David Learner
Text laser-printed by Patrick Nash
on transparent plastic sheets
Traycase in sandblasted aqua plexiglass,
which can also be used as a lectern
21 x 14 x 2 inches - An edition of 60 copies
SURFACE

The American photographer James Casebere has always been captivated by architecture and theories on social spaces, particularly those by Michel Foucault.

In his studio, he builds mockups of troglodytes and ghosts cities and flooded or abandoned buildings, that he then represents in a very metaphysical way in his photographs. In the book Surface, six of these images were paired with a short text by the Algerian writer Mohammed Dib. It describes the destruction of a town, and the efforts of its inhabitants to re-create an underground society. The photographs are independent inside the book, appearing as laminated C-prints mounted on sintra. The idea was to preserve the organic and etheral quality of the images.

The text is laser-engraved on thin sheets of transparent plexiglass through which the images appear in a very fluid manner, page after page. The shadows of the printed letters reflect on the photographs, making the words readable. When stacked on top of each other, these transparent pages reveal the text in its whole. The book rests in a heavy transparent tray case–which can also be used as a lectern–made of three different kinds of plexiglass, sandblasted, translucent, and aqua. The transparent lid covers the first image like an intriguing veil.

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Still Life 2000

Photographs by Kiki Smith
(24 signed C-prints)
Text in English by Lynne Tillman
Part of the edition with a bottle-green resin
tray case latched by a lacelike laser-cut out
metal clamp,
designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec,
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
6.7 x 7 x 2.8 inches - An edition of 60 copies
STILL LIFE

Friends since the early 1980s, the American artist Kiki Smith and her fellow writer and art critic Lynne Tillman had already published two books together. The publishers deliberately gave them carte blanche for this collaboration. Tillman chose 24 images from Smith’s photographic work. Tillman responded to them in writing, with a short poem composed of 24 sentences, as a layman would compose for a Book of Hours. The photographs show the artist’s everyday life and intimate moments, her pets and her home, with some of her installations and sculptures. The size of the photographs makes us think of family albums, adding to the intimate character of the work. The tray case for the book, designed by the Bouroullec brothers, is a mossgreen plastic box latched by a lacelike metal clamp.

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Monologue d’une Ombre 2002

Photographs by Miguel Rio Branco
(8 signed ilfochrome prints)
Text in Portuguese by Augusto dos Anjos
(translated into French by Didier Lamaison)
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Pénélope Monnet
Traycase by Michele de Lucchi,
in sheets of glass held by a metal circle
Diameter of 14.2 inches, depth of 1.6 inches
An edition of 60 copies
MONOLOGUE D’UNE OMBRE

Exceptionally breaking their rule to only work with living writers, the editors published a text by Augusto Dos Anjos. The great Brazilian Parnassian poet had died in 1914 at the age of 30 years old, leaving this long, dark, and haunting Symbolist poem that had been haunting the Brazilian photographer Miguel Rio Branco for many years. Rio Branco chose to illustrate this poem with eight of his photographs–a broken windshield, the corpse of a horse, a run-down wall portion– which, although leaning toward abstraction, all evoke violence and destruction.

The book is presented in a tray case designed by Michele de Lucchi, a hollowed steel circle enclosing the pages between two glass plates, which provides a framework for the photographs.

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City People 1999

Photographs by Seton Smith
(8 signed cibachromes)
Text written in English by Lydia Davis
Graphic design by Olivier Andreotti and Peneloppe Monnet
16.4 x 12.2 x 1.2 inches - An edition of 50 copies
CITY PEOPLE

Lydia Davis, one of the most celebrated novelists of our time and contributor to the New Yorker, sent to the publishers a dozen short texts. The American photographer Seton Smith then selected five of these texts and paired them with some images of a building’s court-yard in the East Village, which she had taken during one of her recent visits to New York. Based in Paris, Seton Smith, Kiki Smith’s younger sister, is known for the unreal and dreamlike atmosphere of her photographs.

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