Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
Art and travel go well together. The notion of going on a journey has been present in the works of many artists. We have selected three artists' books, which address the topic in a less direct and more unsual manner and discovered a fresh take on things.
Take Care of Yourself by Sophie Calle
In her artist book Take Care of Yourself French conceptual artist Sophie Calle documents her homonymous work first shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007. The work itself centers around a brutally impersonal break up letter, Calle received from a former boyfriend. In an attempt to deal with the situation, Calle goes on a journey in search of explanations. She asks 107 women to interpret the letter, to comment on it, dissect it or in other words, to understand the letter for her. All 107 interpretations are now carefully assembled in one publication, including video performances as well as smaller booklets that make this book an artwork in its own right and hence a true collector’s item.
A Road Trip Journal by Stephen Shore
A Road Trip Journal by Stephen Shore deals with the notion of travelling in the more traditional sense of the word; that is in the sense of going places that are uncommon, less familiar or even less accessible. During the 1970s, the American photographer set out on a road trip across the United States to uncover hitherto unnoticed aspects in the aesthetics of American culture. His trip bore photographs that would later become Shore’s best-known series of works and are said to have laid the cornerstone for a new type of visual language that greatly influenced an entire generation of photographers such as Nan Goldin or Wolfgang Tillmans. In an almost conceptual manner, Shore has kept a detailed journal of the trip, whose faithfully reproduced copy has been published as a highly collectible limited edition book.
Kraft by Peter Piller
For someone who works and lives in two different cities, travelling becomes an essential part of everyday life. On his job-related journeys from Hamburg to Leipzig, German artist Peter Piller repeatedly took photos of the corporate logo of the company Kraft, whose factory lies somewhere next to a freeway between the two cities. Over the years, Piller assembled a series of images that reveal the archival character typical for his work. Taken in motion from his driving car all images are blurred and show the same object. Yet each one of these photographs depicts the objective in its very own and distinct way - revealing that the things we encounter on our journeys may be perceived differently each time.