Book Hook: Yorgos Sapountzis, Eine Statue hat sich an mich erinnert, A statue has remembered me
I am pleased to present Eine Statue hat sich an mich erinnert, A statue has remembered me by Berlin-based Yorgos Sapountzis because as far as exhibition catalogues go, this is one of the best. It goes far beyond the exhausted catalogue formula of a couple of critical essays on the artist’s work, an interview with the artist, and documentation of past and current work. Its distinction is evident in both its design and content.
If you’ve been browsing in ProQM or Motto within the last few months (which if you are reading this I’m sure you have) you’ve undoubtedly noticed this book as its cover design successfully stands out amongst the other well-designed books on the shelves or in the piles. The combination of the playfully arranged text on the front cover along with the primary colored sides makes it almost impossible not to pick up and have a closer look. The cloth dust jacket is fitting for Sapountzis’s work as he often uses textiles in performances and installations. The effective design naturally continues inside the book; as you can see below, the images in the book are purposefully arranged so that the combination of images becomes more than just documentation.
The four photo essays, “In the Time of Dreams,” “Food Fast Cast,” “The Second Night,” and “Collapse” combine documentation of different projects to create a new visual narrative.
Flipping through the book and appreciating its appearance doesn’t quite do the work justice; it is worth it to spend more time to actually read the provided content. I get the feeling that people collect catalogues in order to remember a show they liked or have a relic of a show they didn’t see; in both cases it is usually to have the images to look at. What I appreciate about the texts in Sapountzis’s catalogue is their variation and sometimes oblique relationship to his work. Probably the most interesting inclusion in the book is Rosalyn Deutsche’s “Reasonable Urbanism,” an excerpt from Giving Ground-The Politics of Propinquity (1999) which doesn’t discuss the work of Sapountzis directly, but examines a novel about two men’s relationship with each other and the city. Deutsche’s attention to the author’s use of the imagined life of statues and how statues transfigure the public space we share with them creates a poetic relation to the focus of Sapountzis’s work.