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A Labor of Gratitude

In conjunction with the exhibition Text/Messages, the Walker and mnartists.org hosted Multiples Mall, an artist book fair for the Twin Cities (hopefully to become an annual event). We thought it was a good occasion to actually collaborate with each other and so after batting around a number of ideas, we settled on something resembling a […]

In conjunction with the exhibition Text/Messages, the Walker and mnartists.org hosted Multiples Mall, an artist book fair for the Twin Cities (hopefully to become an annual event). We thought it was a good occasion to actually collaborate with each other and so after batting around a number of ideas, we settled on something resembling a labor of love: four pamphlets dedicated to four people who for some reason or another had failed to be heard, or had been overshadowed, or had been unsuccessful in their ambitions, but had nonetheless given us inspiration. Michael Chang: the youngest male tennis player to ever win a Grand Slam championship, never to win again. Michael Collins: the third, relatively unknown astronaut of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission. Anaïs Nin: an obscure literary figure for most of her life, only later receiving widespread attention. And Levi Eshkol, the progressive prime minister of Israel who delivered a passionate but disastrously stuttered radio address and then died shortly thereafter. The four pamphlets were bound together (see rotating covers above) and were also distributed individually to coffee shops (see below).

Our title was derived from the following passage from Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, which describes a difference between labor and work, in the context of one’s gifts and passing them on. It is printed on the back of the bound copies:

For more about The Gift from a designer’s perspective, see Rob Giampietro’s excellent article for Dot Dot Dot, and his reflections for the most recent issue of Idea magazine.

front covers of individual pamphlets

back covers of individual pamphlets

selected spreads

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And here are some photos from the fair:

Multiples Mall

Members of Hardland Heartland at their booth

Sam Hoolihan showing off his books

Erik Brandt of Geotypografika

Mylinh’s flickr performance:

[flickrvideo]http://flickr.com/photos/preciousstuff/3306193437/[/flickrvideo]

  • Erik Brandt says:

    What an honor and a thrill, many thanks to you for including our wee table in your post. Honto ni, domo arigato goazaimashtah, Emmet-san! I am still pouring over your materials, cheers to all of you and many thanks for the trades.

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