Bronze MedalGermany

JAK, Hamed Taheri
EXP.edition, Stuttgart

Designer: Demian Bern, Stuttgart
Printer: Offsetdruckerei Karl Grammlich GmbH, Pliezhausen
Bookbinder: Lachenmaier GmbH, Reutlingen
ISBN: 978-3-00-039050-0

An absolutely normal book – is what this book is not. On leafing through it, leaves fall out, but not the pages themselves, rather inserts in various forms. Everything not free to move stays put – that which is technically known as a book. And yet its free elements are an intrinsic part of it, no less so than the imagination of its authors and the artist – and no less so than the imagination of its readers and beholders.

Not only between author and reader is this book a document of interactiveness, but also between book and spirit. Of course its particular form remains a special case, but it makes it obvious to us, and tangible too, what the true intention of a printed book is, whether with or without text. It makes an example of the first maxim to be found within it, a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre: “… Thus unlike a tool, the book is not a means to a particular end: it commends itself as the very purpose of the reader’s freedom.”

Bronze MedalGermany

Tomasz Gudzowaty (Hrsg.)
Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern

Composition and Design: Marek Mielnicki / veryniceworks, Warschau (Polen)
Editing: Jan Scheffler / prints professional Jan Scheffler & Kerstin Wenzel GbR, Berlin
Printer: Offsetdruckerei Karl Grammlich GmbH, Pliezhausen
Bookbinder: Lachenmaier GmbH, Reutlingen
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3521-6

A new standard for the colour black. What richness of nuance, atmosphere and pictorial quality the alleged absence of colour can evince! This photographic project in book form also refutes generally assumed appearances: black-and-white equals graphic. Its features: cardboard cut-flush binding with black fabric spine; transparent glossy spine embossing; thick cover card with neither inner edge nor standing edge; three-sided colour edging in black around the whole body of the book including the cover edge; loose hinge at the front making for perfect 180 degree opening; black endpapers; bi-colour printing of the richly contrasting photographs; duplex black and black glossy. And what about the pictures? With 75% tonal values or even in the blackest of zones the differentiation of shapes is still just about perceptible; reproduction and printing techniques become signets of the meaning of photographic visual language. The subject matter? The hulk of a shipwreck, rust, dirt, sweat, mud, naked feet, kilotons of weight and muscle power – the deconstruction of steel and bodies. It is seldom that the beholder of a book is tantalised so directly with a single colour spectrum.

Bronze MedalGermany

Christian Lange
Lange Liste 79–97
Spector Books, Leipzig

Composition and Design: Christian Lange, München
Print and binding: DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH, Altenburg
ISBN: 978-3-940064-51-6

Christian Lange’s book “Lange Liste” is in fact nothing more than lists of expenses from his mother’s housekeeping books, beginning in 1979 during the time of the GDR and extending up until 1997. What makes this book so special is its reduced design. The lists have the typography of long till receipts which bear witness to thrift of glaring dimensions, however. Illustrated with photographs which have been joined to the lists to form a collage, the book has wonderful haptic qualities – its choice of paper, the eschewing of colour and statistical appendix leave a convincing aftertaste of dealing with everyday life under restrictive circumstances.

Using the principles of conceptual art, this insight into a private life lived in German real socialism as well as after its demise ends up becoming a sociologically inspired study; the lists it contains can practically be read as diaries. Simple, charming and attractive: a superb contemporary historical document.

Bronze MedalChina

Hou Hanru, Ou Ning (Hrsg.)
Liu Xiaodong’s Hotan Project & Xinjiang Research
China CITIC Press

Designers: Xiaoma & Chengzi
ISBN: 978-7-5086-3821-8

This book is presented in the form of a compilation documenting an extensive art project. Diary entries, sketchbook drawings, photographs, overpainted photographs, large-format plein air painting on canvas right through to a podium discussion and coverage of the exhibition’s reception culminate in this self-contained artist’s bookbeauty.

The design concept therefore goes way beyond that of a standard documentation: by outlining rather than simply juxtaposing the very different phases of the enterprise it has successfully transformed the process-driven nature of the project into a durable medium – that of a book – thereby alternating between glossy and matt materials, between coarse and fine typography, between colour and monochrome.

You can really be persuaded you are feeling temperature, air and earth, indeed the whole atmosphere of what is taking place on the book’s images. Yet the question keeps coming back: is such a thing – imparted atmosphere – actually possible? This book offers an opportunity to examine just this possibility. Perhaps it is through its atmosphere that the reader may gain an inkling of the original subject matter. If this is the case, then the credit belongs to its design concept.

Bronze MedalPoland

Monika Hanulak
Typografia niepokorna
Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa and Pracownia Ilustracji Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie

Designer: Monika Hanulak
ISBN: 978-83-63269-08-1

Much effect with sparing means: three colours only, a simple layout, open and voluminous paper, no jacket. This is a large-format documentation of a workshop held at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts on the subject of an archaic yet anarchic image technique, namely paint sprayed over templates – stencils.

Using the widest possible range of contrasts – black, neon red, mint green – the book’s colours have all the hipness of having been dabbed into the book straight from the street. In the first part of the book the reader browses through a series of stencils, enjoying their graphic reduction and their micro-drops trickling away at the edge of the templates. This is followed by generously composed and mostly double-page photographs showing the progression of the workshop from the initial sketching through to the actual spraying of the pictures on the wall of the building. And even in the prepress the photographs are subjected to anarchic treatment, the three aforementioned colours being dispersed in reverse gradation among the usual colour channels such that they, too, somehow make a stencilled impression.

The book’s choice of thick paper, which would also be almost suitable for making silhouettes, is the obvious one to have made. Also the open spine in which the stitching and curvature of the plies are clearly visible is nothing less than one would expect: this jacket-less book has turned out as a finished example of something provisional, just as the provisional nature of stencil technique itself is the perfect graphic means.