Walter Benjamin à Paris : Ailleurs

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Walter Benjamin à Paris : Ailleurs

100.00

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WB à Paris : Ailleurs, is a collaboration of art and design, curiosity and research. An homage to place and wandering, tracing the chronology of Walter Benjamin’s travels, exile, and escapes.

This project is the first edition of my collaboration with Paula Hutchings.  It is an artwork which began with Paula's meticulous and dedicated research into the many addresses and where Benjamin lived and travelled. I designed and produced this particular edition, contributing color concepts as well as packaging/format.

Signed and numbered Ed. of 50, printed on vellum

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The folio was a finalist for the 2018 «Prix Walter Benjamin», a distinction awarded annually to a literary, plastic, or interdisciplinary work, written in French and on the subject of Walter Benjamin.

 It has also been submitted as part of a larger project to the Galeria Guttmanna at the Jewish Museum in Prague.

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WB: à Paris / Ailleurs debuted at Feira Plana, the annual international Art Book Fair in São Paulo, in connection with «DesApê», the rare art book collection of Rita Barbosa. (Here presenting WB folio in her interview at the Cinemateca Brasileira in March, 2018)

Notes : Walter Benjamin, written by Paula Hutchings

The extra literary concerns of WB were legion: As traveler, nomad, exile, inveterate list maker, and sometime proprietor of Paul Klee’s “Angelus Novus”, Benjamin took root in archiving, collecting ephemera, books, corresponding, and delighting in the very certain materiality of fountain pens, notebooks and writing papers.

Walter Benjamin’s life and work provides a rich precedent for apprehending displacement and loss under the present geopolitical climate. Benjamin’s life and death serves as a reminder to us of what is forgotten, kept, left behind, and perhaps remembered by countless exiles as they move toward another “non-lieu d’ exile”. His endless peregrinations across Europe and multiple addresses in Paris alone, his cartons of books and paraphernalia always en route remind us of the necessary for a writer and observer of phenomena such as he was. Something perhaps left behind in this advanced technological age: the very materiality of being human.

The nomadic, errante sensibility of WB traversed his domiciles and his thought, as he touched upon subjects political, quotidian, and theological. The migratory quality of his thought becomes apparent in even a casual perusal of A Berlin Chronicle and runs through to the final unfinished Arcades Project: from the intensely personal to the abstract historical. His presence can be discerned in the fragility and provisional character of much contemporary artistic, literary and other cultural works.

This formally diverse and bilingual project in homage to Benjamin has been in progress since 2011. The textual material or images have been extracted from his texts and letters and placed in forms of Inventories. The substrates are various: linen, vellum, book pages, or video; and take forms that explore the intimate binaries structuring our material conditions:

order / disorder ; opacity / transparency ; interior / exterior ; voyage / domicile

© Paula Hutchings 2018