MIKHAIL KARASIK’s BOOKS / 1990—1999
The Song of Solomon (book)
Leningrad, 1990. 204 × 125 mm. The Song of Songs is a translation of Salomon’s poems from Old Hebrew by Abram Efros. After a year in which he concentrated on more contemporary texts, this book marks the artist’s return to the main theme of his early books, the Bible. Karasik wrote the text on the stone with lithographic crayon and added full page illustrations, chapter headings, and tail pieces with a hair hair brush and reed pen. The text and illustrations are printed on thin paper, on one side only. Several sheets of paper are glued together, harmonica folded, and saddle stitched into grey board covers. The book is kept within a white card slipcase lithographed in three colours. In total 45 copies were printed.
The Song of Solomon (album)
Leningrad, 1990. 627 × 462 mm. An album in large format containing ten coloured lithographs based on the Song of Songs. While the main focus of Karasik’s previous publication was on the text, this publication consists mainly of illustrations. In nine plates, fragments of the original text in Hebrew written were directly written on the stone by Semen Yakerson. In addition there are two title pages and tables of contents, one in Russian and one in Hebrew. Seven of t 15 copy edition , contain an additional page in Hebrew while in the other eight this page is in Russian. The fifteen sheets are held in a cardboard folder with a linen spine.
Marina Tsvetaeva. Phaedra
Phaedra and Sybil. Leningrad, 1991. 238 × 143 mm. After making a set of five Kharms’ books, Karasik created this set of Phaedra and Sybil, two books with poetry by Marina Tsvetaeva
(1892-1941)taken from her collection Posle Rossii 1922-1925(After Russia 1922-1925),published in Paris in 1928. Both books are bound in plain coloured paper covers, one grey and one black. They are kept in a three folded cream card cover lithographed in four colours. On the outside of this cover only Phaedra is mentioned. The contents of both books are mentioned on the inside flaps. Karasik created a total of 25 sets.
Phaedra. Leningrad-Moscow 1991. 234 × 141 mm. The text for Phaedra, poetry by Marina Tsvetaeva, is written with a steel pen in black ink. The illustrations are three colour lithographs made with a brush. The book consists of 4 folded sheets (16 pages) bound in plain black paper covers. Karasik created a total of 30 copies, thus making an extra 5 besides the 25 copies for the set. Together with the fact that the cover of the set only mentions Phaedra, this may indicate that initially there was to be no set but only a single book. On the half-title the artist has printed his initials MK a precursor of the name he later used when publishing. In addition to Leningrad, Moscow is also mentioned as publishing location.
Sybil. Leningrad, 1991. 239 × 140 mm. The text for Sybil, poetry by Marina Tsvetaeva, was written with steel pen in black ink. The illustrations are three colour lithographs made with a brush. Where as the illustrations for Phaedra are full coloured and possess a painterly quality, the line drawings Karasik made for Sybil emphasize drawing. The book consists of 5 folded sheets (20 pages), bound in plain grey paper covers. Also in this part of the diptych, the artist printed his initials MK on the half-title. As publishing place only Leningrad is mentioned.
Leningrad, 1990. 97 × 67 mm. A set of 36 playing-cards, miniature drawings, lithographed in an edition of 31 copies. Each set has cards of each colour from 6 up to the aces. All cards are printed on both sides of two sheets of cardboard. One sheet has the red colour cards, hearts and diamonds, on one side and a three colour ornamental reverse side. The other sheet has the same ornamental reverse side but the front side is printed in black for clubs and spades. All red and black images were done by brush. A second version is known in which the 7 of hearts was added to a small number of sets. The cards are kept in a lithographed cardboard box. Each set includes a booklet.
Daniil Kharms. Four Incidents and Aviation of Transformations
1990–1991.330 × 205 mm. Four incidents and Aviation of transformations is a collection of five books with texts written by the famous absurdist writer Daniil Kharms (1905–1942).During the Soviet era his work, except for that for children, was prohibited. It was only available in illegal samizdat or self-published editions. Kharms became an increasingly important inspiration to the Soviet nonconformist artists in the 1970s and 1980s following the publication of a great number of his texts in a Russian-exile edition in 1974. In these five books Karasik builds on the tradition of samizdat by combining it with avant-garde texts. For the first time he also refers to himself as Kharmsizdat (to be translated as Kharmspublishing). In 1991 he published 33 sets of 5 books bound together with a banderole inside a slipcase that is decorated with a collage of paper, card and fabric lettering.
1. A Terrible Death. Leningrad, 1990. 131 × 95 mm. A terrible death, written by Daniil Kharms, is the first of a great number of texts by this author that Karasik illustrated. It became part of the set of five Kharms books only after all five had been completed. This can be seen in the edition size which numbers 36 copies, three more than the number of sets. It is the first book for which the artist used a publisher’s name: Blitsbook. It is printed on grey paper, stapled within an ochre cardboard cover. The 12 pages of text and illustrations are lithographed in black, the cover is in three colours. Both illustrations as the text are printed over two page spreads.
2. The Aviation of Transformations. Leningrad, 1990. 210 × 141 mm. The aviation of transformations, written by Daniil Kharms, is listed by Karasik as the second book of the set of five Kharms’ books. The artist printed it on sheets of paper used to make sewing patterns, taken from fashion magazines, in a 33 copy edition. The brush drawings are in black ink, the text is produced with a reed pen in red ink. The printed sheets are glued together, and then stapled inside a grey paper cover. The cover is printed in three colours.
3. Holiday. Leningrad, 1991. 81 × 176 mm. Holiday, written by Daniil Kharms, is the third book in the set of five Kharms’ books. Karasik printed the first five copies on one side of grey paper; the remainder of the 33 copy edition, on the reverse of a poster. The text and drawings are executed in three colours: black, grey and red. The paper was harmonica folded and then glued between two cardboard covers. These are lithographed in two colours and have a collage addition. A red fabric eye is added on the top of the front cover so that the book can be hung from the wall. Folded the book measures 8 × 18 cm, unfolded the book is 66 cm long.
4. Makarov and Petersen. Leningrad, 1991. 119 × 180 mm. Makarov and Petersen, written by Daniil Kharms, is the fourth book in the set of five the Kharms’ books. Karasik printed the 33 copy edition copies on geographic maps of South America. Some were printed right on the images of the maps themselves, others were printed on the reverse side. The maps were cut into pieces of 60 × 18,5 cm. These cut pieces were then harmonica folded—with four folds—and stapled inside a grey paper cover, lithographed in red and black. Also in red and black, the text is printed between two black silhouettes of men with pipes.
5. The Obstacle. Leningrad, 1991. 259 × 198 mm. The obstacle, written by Daniil Kharms, is the final book in the set of five Kharms’ books. The text of the book was typed in strawberry coloured ink using a classical typewriter and transferred to a lithographic stone. The accompanying illustrations were executed by brush in green ink from the firm Pronin and Mazer. Hence the publisher’s name, ShliMazer, chosen by Karasik for this book. The illustrations and text were printed on three sheets of paper. These were bound with a green ribbon inside grey card covers lithographed in red and black with a collage addition of a garter snap.
Frederico Garcia-Lorca. Ten Poems
Leningrad, 1991. 294 × 201 mm. Ten poems by the Spanish avant-garde poet and playwright Frederico Garcia-Lorca
(1898-1936)are printed in a 37 copy edition. The artist copied the text using a steel pen and printed them in black ink. With a brush Karasik added illustrations in the margins as well as at the head- and tailpieces. All but one of these are in black, the exception having a red colour addition. Three full page illustrations also have red colour additions, and the page numbers also are printed in red. The book consists of 8 folded sheets of paper (32 pages) bound in a black card cover with the author’s name printed in white. It is kept in a white slipcase lithographed in red.
Franz Kafka. The Knock at the Manor Gate
St Petersburg, 1991. 152 × 121 mm. The knock at the manor gate, written by Franz Kafka
(1883-1924)was printed by the artist in an 30 copy edition. The text is lithographed in black on 5 folded sheets (20 pages) in two versions:
1) 14 copies on blue paper;
2) 16 copies on ochre paper. On 4 pages illustrations on white paper have been mounted. Another two illustrations on a single piece of folded white paper were bound in separately. Furthermore there are three folded sheets (12 pages) of see through chalk-paper with lithographed illustrations on one side. At the back is a folded leaf with the original German text printed in offset. In this book Karasik uses for the first time St Petersburg as the place of publication, the original name of his home town having just been accepted to replace Leningrad.
Daniil Kharms. Incidents
St Petersburg, 1992. 218 × 213 mm. For this book Karasik printed the text of Incidents, written by Daniil Kharms, in violet ink on 8 folded sheets of grey wrapping paper, that was used at that time in Russian stores.ssia. He printed the illustrations in green ink on 6 folded sheets of brown blotting-paper. The sheets were bound alternately in a grey paper cover with a red paper dust-jacket, lithographed in white and violet. The book is kept in a corrugated cardboard folder fastened with laces. The artist printed 27 copies.
St Petersburg, 1992. 390 × 277 mm. Tamar a Bible story taken from chapter 13 in the second book of Samuel. Karasik published it in collaboration with Delta and Aurora-Design publishers in St Petersburg. The English language text is printed in offset on coarse, light-brown paper. The double page title and four full page illustrations were lithographed in nine colours. This is the first example of Karasik’s use of this kind of multicoloured lithography in his artists’ books. The cover with flaps is a more usual three colour lithograph. The book is stitched and kept in a slipcase inside a card cover.
Franz Kafka. Metamorphosis
Prague, 1992. 322 × 265 mm. Karasik made three versions of Metamorphosis, a story by Franz Kafka.
1) When Karasik was invited to work in Hustopece u Brna in the Czech Republic, he printed an album of 8 single-page and 2 double-page lithographs illustrating the story in a 30 copy edition. These are housed with two lithographed title pages in German in a cardboard folder.
2) The same 10 illustrations, with the paper cut down to a smaller size, together with a Russian language translation of the text were published in a 100 copy edition by IMA Press in collaboration with Dablus in Moscow.
3) A year later a German text version in almost the same size as the portfolio was published in a 150 copy edition, printed in offset by the Arsis publishing house in St Petersburg. For a few copies inf this edition, a lithographed slipcase was produced.
St Petersburg, 1993. 111 × 69 mm. Playing cards, 36 compositions, is a set that was produced by Karasik in a 47 copy edition. Each set has cards of each suit from 6 up to the aces. The face side of each card is lithographed in two colours. The reverse side has an ornamental design in red, black, violet and white. The drawings on the cards refer to images and compositions of the Russian avant-garde (Futurism, Suprematism). The cards are kept in a lithographed cardboard box.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah (album)
Prague, 1993. 500 × 407 mm. Karasik printed the 25 copy edition of the Lamentations of Jeremiah based on the Bible story when he was invited to work in Hustopece u Brna in the Czech Republic. However, Prague is mentioned as the place of publication. This is a large format album containing eleven coloured lithographs. These are kept unbound, with the title page in English printed in black, in a cardboard folder covered with a red, bronze, or white paper lithographed in two colours. With the exception of the first lithograph, the others have a white bottom section where the artist has numbered and signed the work.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah (book)
St Petersburg, 1994. 399 × 285 mm. Not long after the finishing the portfolio in the Czech Republic, Karasik anew made lithographs for The Lamentations of Jeremiah. This time he made a book with an English language text of the Bible story. The text is printed offset on grey paper. A lithographed title page has been added as well as five full page illustrations and one double page illustration, on white paper. The 24 pages are bound in a double cover of black and brown cardboard. The book is kept in a cardboard slipcase with a coloured lithograph. With this book, printed in a 27 copy edition,, the artist presents officially himself for the first time to the world as M.K. Publishers.
Daniil Kharms. Incidents III
St Petersburg, 1994. 427 × 265 mm. Incidents No.3 is Karasik’s third collection of stories by Daniil Kharms if the first five books (published together in 1991) is counted as a single collection. The artist printed the lithographs for this book during his stay in Hustopece u Brna in the Czech Republic. He published the book back in St Petersburg in a 21 copy edition. The lithographs are mounted on eight triangular cardboard pieces. Linen joins these pieces together to form an eight-part fan. One side of the fan is printed in white on black paper, the reverse is printed in three colours on cream paper. Folded together. the eight parts fit into a triangular slipcase. This is covered by a lithograph in white on black paper.
Joseph Brodsky. Isaac and Abraham
St Petersburg, 1994. 290 × 150 mm. Isaac and Abraham, a poem by Joseph Brodsky
(1940-1996),was printed by Karasik in a 47 copy edition in the form of a concertina. The book has 34 pages, of which 28 contain the poem’s; the remainder have illustrations. There are four full page illustrations lithographed in colour. The title page illustration is printed over two pages. The text is printed obliquely on the pages: slanting upwards on right side and downwards on left side. Illustrations and text are printed only on one side of the paper. The paper is harmonica folded between two green card covers. The book is kept in a grey card slipcase. Both cover and slipcase have a title-collage.
Nikolai Oleinikov. THE CUFF OF LOVE
Vol. 1. St Petersburg, 1994. 136 × 236 mm. The cuff of love. Volume 1 by Nikolai Oleinikov
(1898-1937)was produced by Karasik in a 37 copy edition. The text and illustrations are printed in offset on six folded sheets of paper (24 pages). These are stitched into a white cover with a black dust jacket. On the right hand side of the book there is a triangular cutout in which a cuff link has been placed. Some of these are silver, others have semiprecious or artificial stones. The book is kept in a black slipcase lithographed with violet stripes. The book and slipcase thus give the impression of a real sleeve with a cuff. It of course is important to note that in Oleinikov’s days cuffs were used to jot down notes on.
Vol. 2. St Petersburg, 1994. 158 × 450 mm. The cuff of love. Volume 2 by Nikolai Oleinikov is a continuation of the previous book. The 37 copies comprising this part are similar in design and lay out to part 1, except that they are much longer. Another change is that in addition to the horizontal triangular cutout on the right hand side, there is also a vertical triangular cutout on the left hand side. In this way the book can be rolled up so that with the help of the cuff ink it can be made into a real cuff. The six sheets of paper printed on both sides (12 pages) are stitched together on the left side inside a white paper cover and black dust jacket.
Daniil Kharms. THE OLD WOMAN
St Petersburg, 1994. 331 × 190 mm. For his one man show in Geneva, Karasik published The old woman, a story by Daniil Kharms, in French in a 33 copy edition. The translation of the text as well as the accompanying article is by Jean-Philippe Jaccard. The text is printed in offset on white paper. There are four illustrations lithographed in two colours on grey paper. The book is bound in double, green cardboard covers, creating double fly leaves. The outside cover is illustrated while the fly leaves contain a double page and a full page lithograph both at the front and the back of the book. All lithographs have collage additions of pieces of printed newspaper and silver-foil. The black card slipcase has cutouts of a knife and fork behind which grey paper has been mounted.
St Petersburg, 1994. 236 × 225 mm. Kibirov’s accordion is a collection of poetry written by the Moscow poet Timur Kibirov (1955). Karasik lithographed the text in white on both sides of black paper. The paper is harmonica folded in 16 parts (32 pages) with half pages at both ends of the paper mounted inside two cardboard sheets covered in red paper. The front and back covers are lithographed in white and have collage additions of fabric, leather, and buttons. These are composed in such a way that they create the appearance of a bayan, a Russian accordion. Karasik finished only 9 of these ‘accordions’ despite the fact he printed 17 copies of the text. Each finished copy is kept in a box or instrument case that is closed by either leather straps or bra straps. The inside of the boxes has been decorated by a collage of photographs taken from issues of the magazine Ogonyok from1967.
Daniil Kharms. DO MIRACLES EXIST?
St Petersburg, 1995. 321 × 245 mm. Do miracles exist?, a collection of texts by Daniil Kharms compiled by Anna Gerasimova, was made in a 21 copy edition plus an additional artist proof. The text is written with a brush and a reed pen and printed in lithograph using black, with additions in yellow, violet and mauve paint. Furthermore there is typed text, transferred to the lithographic stone in violet ink. Some of the text is printed in mirror image and can only be read from its reflection. The reflections are created by collage compositions of silver foil. Beside these illustrations in text there are illustrations in black as well as full page illustrations in colour. Text and illustrations are printed on 8 folded sheets of paper (32 pages) which are kept unbound in purple cardboard covers with a yellow dust jacket. The book is kept in a folding cardboard box covered with purple coloured paper.
Osip Mandelshtam. OH HOW AFRAID WE ARE, YOU AND I...
St Petersburg, 1995. 236 × 225 mm. Oh how afraid we are, you and I... is a collection of poetry written by Osip Mandelshtam
(1891-1935)during the same period as the construction of the White Sea Canal. Dug by forced labor, the canal has become the symbol of Stalin’s drive toward industrialization and the power of the Soviet administration. This book, printed in a 50 copy edition is Karasik’s tribute to the repressed poet, in particular, and to repressed art, in general. The text is printed in offset on grey paper. The main feature of the book is its cardboard covers upon which nine wrappers from Belomorkanal (White Sea Canal) cigarettes packs have been mounted,. The cardboard slipcase is lithographed in colour.
Paul Eluard. LOVE
St Petersburg, 1995. 312 × 178 mm. Love is a collection of poetry by the French communist poet Paul Eluard, pseudonym used by Eugène Émile Paul Grindel
(1895-1952).Karasik printed the text in offset print on six folded-sheets of white paper (24 pages). There are no illustrations, but the pages are cut into the shape of an upper woman’s torso, with holes as nipples. When opened they show the full women’s torso. The sheets are bound with a cord in double card covers of red and blue colour including an appendix of the original French text. The 50 copy edition has two versions for the folder/slipcase:
1) a folder with laces;
2) a lithographed slipcase.
Timur Kibirov. SNOWSTORM
St Petersburg, 1995. 192 × 84 mm. Snowstorm is the second book with poetry by Timur Kibirov that Karasik. printed. As with the previous book there are no illustrations. Again the shape of the book is emphasized. The first book was accordion shaped, this book is ‘bottled under supervision of the artist’ in a 35 copy edition contained in: 1) plastic vodka bottles; 2) plastic whisky bottle. There is one artist proof in a glass bottle. The computer printed text on coloured paper is harmonica folded inside 50 cl. plastic bottles that have been cut in half. The book can be opened by unscrewing the bottle cap. The bottles are presented in a linen satchel with a watercolour title.
Mikhail Karasik. DIFFUSE RUMINATIONS ON ASCETISM
St Petersburg, 1995. 355 × 257 mm. Diffuse ruminations on ascetism, a chronicle of Karasik’s journeys through central Asia in the 1980s, was printed in a 20 copy edition. It combines the artist’s thoughts with his diary entries by printing the respective texts in either yellow or violet on white paper. To these he has added. In excerpts in typed print from Iuzhakov’s Large Encyclopaedia
(1904–1909),in green on white paper and in white on black paper. Eleven illustrations are lithographed in black and grey colours on single pages and within the text. Illustrations and text are printed on six folded sheets of paper (24 pages) bound with some circular shaped extra pages with photographic collages inside paper covers, the book, together with an English translation in a separate appendix, is kept in a card slipcase with a cosmic map of Pamir.
Igor Terentev, Aleksei Kruchenykh, Ilia Zdanevich. DUET OF 3 IDIOTS
St Petersburg, 1996. 410 × 310 mm. Duet of 3 idiots is a compilation of lesser known poetry by three futurist poets of the Tiflis based 41° group: Igor Terentev
(1892-1937),Aleksei Kruchenykh (1886–1968),and Ilia Zdanevich (1894–1975).This book, in a 13 copy editionwith an artist proof, is the first example of Karasik’s actual use of futurist art, his main inspiration. The book consists of 6 folded sheets (24 pages) on which both text and illustrations, executed in brush, are lithographed in black. A collage of silver-foil and a small torn piece of paper has been added. The folded sheets are contained in a black cardboard folder with a ‘3x’ cutout, that isinside a red board box with collage of paper rulers. A booklet in English with the biographies of the poets has been added.
HOW SAINT FRANCIS CONVERTED THE FEROCIOUS WOLF OF GUBBIO TO GOD
St Petersburg, 1996. 455 × 270 mm. How Saint Francis converted the ferocious wolf of Gubbio to God is one of the Fioretti (The Little Flowers), a beloved collection of stories about Saint Francis of Assissi
(1182-1226).Karasik lithographed the text made by in brush using bronze paint and black initials on grey paper. The title-spread, three double page and five single page compositions as well as one quarter-pagelength illustration and an end piece are lithographed in colour. In total there are seven folded sheets (28 pages) bound within a purple coloured flyleaf inside brown cardboard covers in a17 copy edition. The slipcase, of the same material as the cover, has a lithograph in red. An appendix with the original Italian text as well as a German translation has been added to the book.
DAVID AND URIAH
St Petersburg, 1996. 423 × 368 mm. David and Uriah is a story from the Second Book of Samuel in the Bible. The text is offset printed on white paper; the illustrations are colour lithographs. Karasik printed three single page and two double page illustrations. All the lithographs are bound as separate pages between text pages, the double page illustrations in the form of fold outs. Half of one of the double page lithographs is used a second time as a frontispiece. The book is bound in a cover of dark blue paper with a monochrome lithograph. The 27 copy edition has a cardboard slipcase similar to the cover.
Charles Beaudelaire. THE TOY OF THE POOR
St Petersburg, 1996. 185 × 146 mm. The toy of the poor is part of a larger poem by the French symbolist poet Charles Beaudelaire
(1821-1867).The book is printed in a 36 copy edition and is the second co-production between Karasik and Serge Plantureux. Through the influence of this Parisian book and photograph dealer, Karasik to made more extensive use of the photographic collage in his oeuvre. In this book, the artist fully integrates for the first time lithography and photographic collage rather than placing them next to each other. The French text in computer print and the lithographs in earthen tones are printed on grey paper. The 20 pages are bound in a dark-blue paper cover, kept inside a red cardboard slipcase.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
St Petersburg, 1997. 185 × 273 mm. The fifth element is a text by the Pseudo Aristotle (texts written later and/or attributed to Aristotle). It also is the title of a film by Luc Besson, which the artist with co-publisher Serge Plantureux visited earlier that year in Paris. The book is in fact a commission from Plantureux for his daughter Adrienne; it, is the second part in her special library of artist’s books. It consists of five folded leaves of white paper (20 pages) with lithographed text and illustrations on the theme of books and reading. In addition to one double-page and three single page lithographed illustrations with paper collage elements, there are also five separate photo-collages. The book is bound in plain cardboard covers with a mounted photograph. Only 40 of the advertized 47 copy edition were realized.
Mikhail Karasik. SELF-PORTRAIT
St Petersburg, 1997. 405 × 245 mm. Self-portrait is the third publication in which Karasik publishes his own texts; it follows Butchering a calf from 1989 and Diffuse ruminations on ascetism from 1995. Both earlier publications employer texts written earlier. For Self-portrait the concept of the book and the form were thought out before the text was written. It contains the artists written and photographic observations on his own appearance in text as well as mounted portraits. In addition there is a colour lithograph with his self-portrait and eight silhouettes cut from black paper. This confronting ego document was printed in a 21 copy edition in plain cardboard covers within a black cardboard slipcase that is adorned with a montage of photographs showing the artist at work on one side and a white paper silhouette with a collage of string glasses. An English translation of the text is included as separate booklet.
Mikhail Karasik. THE GULF BOOK
St Petersburg, 1997. 260 × 156 mm. Words from the «Puddle of the Marquis» (The Gulf Book) is a short text by the artist referring to the residential area near the Finnish gulf where he has his apartment and studio. This area received the name «Puddle of the Marquis» when the Russian fleet was garrisoned there during the 19th century. The book consists of seven cardboard panels upon which, on each side, either photographs or text-pages have been pasted. The panels are bound together with linen and screwed inside two halves of a plastic oil canister (similar to the cover of Blizzard). Three glass tubes are mounted to the inside of the front-cover. These contain material found on the shore of the Finnish gulf: screws and bolts in the first, stones and beads in the second, and oil in the third tube. Only three of the advertised 5 copy edition were completed.
Mikhail Karasik. ARABIAN EROS
St Petersburg, 1998. 480 × 315 mm. Arabian Eros is an album of lithographs inspired by Karasik’s travels to Central Asia in the 1980s. The artist printed this English album in a 17 copy edition plus 2 supplementary artist proofs. It consists of a title page, imprint, table of contents and nine colour lithographs of which two are double page spreads. The titles are printed opposite the seven full-page lithographs; the two double-page spreads have the title incorporated in the composition. The six folded sheets (24 pages) are bound in greenish brown cardboard covers. The book is kept in a clamshell box made of cardboard covered with lithographed paper.
Mikhail Karasik. MOUSETRAP
St Petersburg, 1998. 160 × 75 mm. Mousetrap is a short text by Karasik in computer-print on grey paper which is on mounted on six cardboard panels. The panels are joined together with linen and harmonica folded between wooden covers, the front cover being an actual working (but never used) mousetrap. To close the book, a shoelace has been added. This book was conceived in conjunction with the exhibition around the theme ‘mousetrap’ held in the St Petersburg gallery Borei in 1998. The artist constructed the playful book in a small edition of only 5 copies. The Mousetrap is kept in a grey cardboard slipcase.
St Petersburg, 1999. 570 × 365 mm. Shulamite from Salomon’s Song of Songs is a collection of lithographs on single sheets. The artist printed this English language collection in a 15 copy edition with a supplementary artist proof. It consists of a title page with imprint on the backside and a table of contents printed on both sides plus nine colour lithographs. The 11 sheets are kept loose in a cardboard box with a folding cover. The main body of the edition is kept in a clamshell box mounted with paper printed in four colours; although for some copies the paper is printed in only two colours.
Mikhail Karasik. MINARET
St Petersburg, 1999. 590 × 210 mm. Minaret is yet another book inspired by Karasik’s journeys to Central Asia in the 1980s. In a short text the artist describes his experiences near a minaret around praying time. The edition is printed in a15 copy edition with additional artist proofs. On five folded sheets (20 pages), oblique rather than rectangular, there are 8 colour lithographs printed over two pages and one colour lithograph on one page. The English text is printed in black above 7 of the illustrations. The folded sheets are kept loose in an oblique green card folding cover inside an orange box. The box is protected by a brown cardboard slipcase on which a Russian translation of the text is printed in violet ink.
Dmitri Shostakovich. JEWISH SONGS
St Petersburg, 1999. 565 × 413 mm. Jewish songs by Dmitri Shostakovich
(1906–1975)presents a portfolio of sheet music for two of the composer’s songs together with 10 illustrations by Karasik. Title page in English, and 4 pages of sheet music in Russian, 1 for A Girl’s song and 3 for Winter, are printed in violet ink; the illustrations are colour lithographs. These fifteen sheets are kept in a paper over cardboard clamshell box. This box is lithographed in green ink with the title in English printed over sheet music. The portfolio was published in a 13 copy edition with one supplementary artist proof.