Wednesday, 30 January 2013

FRANTIC + ANTIC-HAM = FRANTICHAM

What happens if two book artists from opposite ends of the globe meet, fall in love, and then are forced apart again by the circumstance of where they live?

That's what happened in 2005 when Red Fox Press publisher Francis Van Maele (pseudonym Frantic) and Kim Hye Mee (pseudonym Antic-ham) met at a book fair in Seoul. A month of passion and discovery followed. But then Francis had a plane to catch, back to Achill, Ireland. 5000 miles away.
Of course they found ways to connect with each other, despite the distance. Like every other couple in a long distance relationship they chatted online, they posted love letters to each other, they met up for short periods. But it did not stop there. They were book artists so they expressed their love in the way they knew how; through books.

So many books. Intricate, complex and beautiful collaged books dashed off as if they were blown kisses. I found ten in the shop alone and there are more. All penned under the lovers new combined pseudonym: Franticham. They scrupulously, obsessively documented their time together. They reveal their correspondence in unguarded intimate detail. It is frantic, frenzied, torrid, crazed passion. It is almost literally publishing as an act of love-making.

These collectible books by Franticham, published variously in 2005 and 2006, are available to buy in our shop: Send Me a Pict, Rendezvous, Bus 23, Diary of Silent Fish, Daytripper, It's Your Quiet Heart It's Your Silence, Zine #4, The Routemaster, A Fond Farewell and Travelling Fish. They range in price from £3 to £75.

www.redfoxpress.com

- Jon Lander

P.S. Kim eventually moved to Ireland, and correct at going to press, they are still together and making books 8 years later.

P.P.S This post is a subtle reminder to you that Valentine's Day is approaching.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hurricane Butter

Hurricane Butter by Sophie Herxheimer is a pamphlet of poems and ink drawings exploring themes of food, family, fertility, womanhood, motherhood...

Butteriness runs through every page. In the words, which describe yellow foods, yellow suns. In the design of the pages, laid out in multiple yellow hues.
The title speaks loudly for the poems within. Butter is slick, sickly, smothering, it is too much, it bowls you over and obliterates you like a hurricane.

Herxheimer writes about the characters of her childhood. The mothers, with their rich meals and ample bosoms. The fathers, with their moustaches, and hats, and booming laughs. Their simple conservative values, that see the world in uncomplicated shades of separation, where "Dogs are dogs and cats are cats".

She mourns the loss of her god-like mother. Out of her death, memories surge forth. She cooks in an attempt to become her, to revive her through some unknown magic held in the contents of a b├ęchamel sauce.

The drawings add an immediacy to the words. They drip with ink. Like the lines of her poems, the brush strokes are seeking something, they do not know where they may end up before they begin. This little book is an adventure into the heart of it's author.

Hurricane Butter costs £6 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. You can visit her website at www.sophieherxheimer.com

- Jon Lander

Sunday, 13 January 2013

From the Upper Deck

Living in London, the proportion of one's life spent staring at people from the top of a double decker bus must be well above the world wide average. It is a unique sensation, as if looking down on people through a microscope, one feels a sense of remove from them, as if they were on television.
In 2005 the photographer Przemek Wajerowicz began a project in which he would build up a collection of photographs taken from the top deck of every double decker bus route in London.

162 routes, and 8 years later Wajerowicz has still got plenty more to do. But this bus spotter's wet dream is really the side show to the actual content of the photographs: they are quietly spectacular.
A teenage couple, snuck between two bins, sharing a secret joke, the girl pulling gently on the toggles of his hoodie; an elderly man tending to his garden with loving precision; a kid crossing the street on a bmx, reaper's scythe casually held in hand. It is the strange and the mundane, it is human life in a Petri dish.

From the Upper Deck is a postcard book assembling 16 of the very best photographs from the project. It costs just £5 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Mansion of Thought


How do we express knowledge? How do the thoughts in our head become something tangible, visible, tactile? This is the question Angela Lorenz asks in her latest book work Mansion of Thought. Bringing together 60 drawings and two short essays, Lorenz explores how, over the ages, cultures have expressed their fundamental beliefs and philosophies through the visual.

As with Curiosity filled the Cabinet, the format of the book is far from conventional, yet reflects the theme perfectly. Lorenz's thoughts are made three-dimensional, the folding work can be reconfigured into any manner of different shapes and arrangements. Exploring the work is like delving into pitch-black labyrinth with only torch light to aid you; new pages spring up as if from nowhere!

It is a book that demands your inquisitive side, to explore every word, drawing and page, and meditate upon their meaning. It is clear that Lorenz has put so much energy, and time into Mansion of Thought, all that remains is for the reader to open it up and add their own.

The Mansion of Thought costs £30 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.
We also have two other fantastic new publications by Lorenz, My Elusive Cockney Family and More Dicky Birds, a 2-part series of illustrated books on Cockney rhyming slang. They are £15 each.

-Jon Lander