Golden LetterThe Netherlands
Anne Geene, Arjan de Nooy
Design: Jeremy Jansen
Printer: Drukkerij Tielen, Boxtel
Publisher: de HEF publishers, Rotterdam
Paintings from old masters are scoured for birds; details are isolated and sorted. Variant forms of the white bird splotch are identified as an indicator of the flight speed. The black nuances of the crow and the white nuances of the wood pigeon’s egg are shown on exposure scales. The book bridges several gaps in avian research. These are mostly series whose general principle becomes recognisable as the motifs are structured in variants and specific relationships to one another. The astounding, entertaining richness of the overall design is not at all an obstacle to the self-descriptive overall effect. In decimal structuring, as is customary for academic texts, surprising aspects are arranged together which have been neglected by research, or which create entirely new coherences.
The typewriter script in a single font size is obliged to take a factual approach. The rigid type and image area can be filled either systematically, stringently, or playfully, rhythmically. Sections printed in black/white and colour alternate sensibly. Different types of paper which only display tenuous differences in their shade and texture subtly mark certain chapters. As is so often the case in fundamental research, its practical use will presumably only be disclosed in the future.
That is not the issue here, however, because the dividing line between integrity and irony becomes indistinct so as to be constructive, and it is precisely in this zone that aesthetic and bird-free perceptions thrive.