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Ulrike is one of the primary artist and intellectuals working in the German and Euro book arts field today. She was one of the primary members of Unica T (a collborative group defined as a fictitious person making real books), and is now part of usus with Uta Schneider and the 13+ group an informal group of Euro book artists touring the world with exhibitions and observations.
Übungsheft 1/2: Exercises in book making – Das 8. der Sibyllinischen Bücher
This book is part of a large project dealing with the Sibyls. The project consists of the Sibylline Books, installations with texts, and portraits of the 13 Sibyls. I started working on the project in 1994. According to history, I intend to make 9 Sibylline Books. The first 6 of my Sibylline Books are one-off's and consist of text collages of ancient and modern texts. They stand for those 6 books that the Sibyl burned herself, as the king of Rome was not willing to pay the price she demanded. The last 3 of my Sibylline Books contain texts by myself and are published in small editions. They stand for those of the original Sibylline Books that were kept in the temple on the Capitol hill in Rome and consulted as one of the main oracles. This is the 8th of my Sibylline Books (so one more is missing to complete the whole project). This book has many layers of texts that are set in different type faces and sizes can be read in different ways. One way is, of course, to open the book and read it page by page. This gives a kind of simultaneous input of the different layers of texts. The typographic form helps to distinguish those layers. One "story" runs on the upper left corner. The second level is found in negative type in the black blocks below. The third layer is in small type size (and English language) right underneath those black blocks. The fourth layer is upside down (and also what is says is a kind of mirror and reflection of the text in the black boxes). All this is happening on the left pages of the first half of the book. On the right pages in the centre you find another layer of texts: these are all quotes from texts of Giordano Bruno. On the double spread in the middle of the book there is one continuous text which marks kind of a turning point in the book. (In this text, I change from German to English from one sentence to the next, sometimes even within a sentence, which sometimes happens just when I am writing, especially when I talk a lot of English or spend some time in an English speaking country.) In the second half of the book, two texts from the first half are continued. You now find them on the right pages, on top the "story", and, a little below, the English text (which is, in fact, also a quote: from the stories of Inanna, as told by Samuel Noah Kramer and Diane Wolkstein). Both can easily be recognized, as type face and size don't change. In addition to that, another layer of text is added and set in an italic type face and larger size. The reader/viewer also recognizes large letters on each page, which through the whole book add up to another text. These texts talk about the past and the future. They can be seen as different voices - like in a piece of music. Each can be followed singularly, and all of them add up to one sound.
Dei Marmi, 2003 ink on Japanese paper, coptic binding with parchment covers one-of-a-kind, published by usus.
This book is part of a series of one-off's that I made in Terrinca, Italy, in the summer of 2003. It is inspired by the marble quarries in the region of Carrara, and also a result of working with texts by Giordano Bruno (although this book does not contain any text). The marble is cut out of the mountain in large blocks, which are in my drawings reduced to simple square shapes. Drawing these squares requires great concentration. I would also like to mention that I bound the book first (in a kind of interim binding) and then started drawing into it. One mistake would have led to removing a whole section. The book consists of three chapters: the first part showing just one square per page, the second one showing two squares per page, which make, of course, 4 on the open double spread, holding the four corners, and the last chapter has three squares, one on top of the other, on the edge of the page. As the paper is so thin, the drawings of course come through on the other side and seeing the same form kind of mirrored on the other side sometime changes the form significantly. Looking at the simple forms the reader/viewer might be reminded of ink drawings from the Far East. I don't want to compete with those. I use the square, not the circle. But reading Giordano Bruno's texts I thought that his ideas sometimes get quite close to some aspects of Zen Buddhism. Maybe there was an - unconscious - connection while I was drawing.
All texts by Ulrike
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