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Production Narrative

by J.Drucker

This book is produced letterpress, with colored ink and photographic plates all printed relief.

Critical Analysis

by J.Drucker

Design Features

typographic: The varied sizes and spacing of Caslon and Trade Gothic are crucial to the spatial articulation of this book.

imagery: The imagery of city space, pedestrian street scenes, and details is repeated and varied throughout, even as the lone figure from the cover becomes a point of reference within these associated images.

graphical: Layout and timing are spatialized through the design of these pages, openings, and sequences. While the basic idiom and langauge of the book is unified, considerable graphic variation occurs in each of the openings.

openings: The gutter is always noted as a structuring device for intratextual play.

turnings: Many surprises are wrought through the extent to which pages are covered or left open by the textual and visual elements.

development: A tale is told, and loss evoked, even as the trace of presence remains.

sequence:

textual: The text is distilled, referential, and abstract, a poetic rather than prosaic work.

structure:

conceptual:

intratextual:

scultpural features:

temporal features:

other features:

Critical Discussion

Where to start? This is a work that rewards reading and re-reading, since its ability to evoke associations within its complex intertextual field. The cover, for instance, immediately introduces and engages the aesthetic concerns of this book: the title, Was Here, accompanied by the white, blank profile of a person bending towards the foredge of the book takes us into the work. This is our starting point. The first opening, with its creamy paper and dramatic blank left page offers a blow up of our cover figure, now in green, a ghostly spectral figure, but quite present, who leans toward the text block as if speaking the lines, "Now, let us see what the still holds in store for us..." The next opening fills that figure in with a halftone screen, showing details of posture and dress, and situates him within the title page so that his head breaks the title phrase. Was is behind his head, and Here is in front of his face. This subtlety of visual and textual integration in the conception and design of the whole is carried on throughout. Every opening, sequence, and turning has this level of self-consciousness to it.

Detailed Analysis

General Comments

[]

Was Here

title note: []

Agents

Emily McVarish

type: initiating

role:
designer
printer
typographer

dates:
birth: 1965/09/09

note: []


Granary Books

type: initiating

role:
publisher


Emily McVarish

type: initiating

role:
designer
printer
typographer

dates:
birth: 1965/09/00

note: []


Granary Books

type: initiating

role:
publisher


Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Granary Books

place: San Francisco (printed and produced) and New York (publisher)

dates:
publication: 2001/00/00

edition size: Fifty, 40 for sale, 10 hors commerce

note: []

Measurements

depth: 1 inches closed

horizontal: 10.5 inches closed

vertical: 13.5 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)

binding: case binding (AAT)

substrate:
bookBlock: paper Mohawk superfine cover.

media:
ink (local)

other materials:

Appearance

general description: A big, strong book that feels assertive and clear, this is a solid volume that is well produced and equally well conceived.

format: codex (AAT)

cover: Boards covered in linen and stamped with the title in red and an image in silhouette.

color: yes

devices: none

enclosures:
item:

Content

pagination: paginated 64 pages plus front and back matter.

numbered?: numbered

signed?: signed

Colophon

Was Here / written, designed, and printed by Emily McVarish in San Francisco, 2001, for Granary Books, New York City, bound by Coriander Reisbord, in collaboration with the artist, set in Caslon and Trade Gothic, printed on Mohawk Superfine Cover, in an edition of 50: 10 copies hors commerce, 40 copies for sale.

Exhibition Information

exhibition history: Complicit exhibition, University of Virginia Art Museum, Fall 2006.

reception history:

Related Documents

manuscript type: texts

location: artist's archive

note: They must exist.


General Comments

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