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- KurzbeschreibungJosef Strau&8217;s text collection Dreaming Turtle accompanies his exhibition of the same name at the Vienna Secession. This is the first time the visual design of his text posters has been translated into book format.
Against the background of a wintry New York cityscape &8211; which in Strau&8217;s work plays a recurring role as a place of real and imagined immigration &8211; the book&8217;s first part relates how the artist prepares the exhibition. The production of text is described as a romanticizing enterprise which involves recording as well as transfer. Accordingly, the main section of the book was written within only a few days.
A rudimentary plot evolves from a commission to write a text about a piece of music by Marina Rosenfeld for a record cover. This provides Strau with a springboard for various idealized descriptions of art production loosely based on Four Nights of a Dreamer, a film by Robert Bresson which traces the movements of an artist who, rather than actually producing art, records his urban wanderings and encounters on tape. The film was adapted from Dostoevsky&8217;s White Nights, whose narrator describes himself in denigrating terms as a dreamer and a turtle. &8220;Turtle Island&8221; is a Native American name for North America as a whole and Manhattan in particular: the dreamers of this world congregate on the back of the island-sized turtle.
Strau&8217;s text could also be seen as an attempt to write under the influence of music. Apart from Rosenfeld&8217;s piece, two of what are probably the best known American compositions of the twentieth century also come into play, namely, Rhapsody in Blue and The Unanswered Question.
Dreaming Turtle forms an integral part of the exhibition at the Secession gallery and can be understood as a fragmentary draft script for a new version of Four Nights of a Dreamer.
- AutorJosef Strau
- VerlagRevolver Publishing
- Seiten120 Seiten
- Gewicht378 g
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