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Eiko & Koma: This Is Your Life (and Work)

Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty is Eiko & Koma’s one-and-only compendium catalog. As such, it needed to embody the life and work of their prolific partnership. Extensive research into the ephemera of the artists’ forty-year career—program notes, flyers, performative and editorial photography, video, reviews, and letters—yielded many of the images in the […]

Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty is Eiko & Koma’s one-and-only compendium catalog. As such, it needed to embody the life and work of their prolific partnership. Extensive research into the ephemera of the artists’ forty-year career—program notes, flyers, performative and editorial photography, video, reviews, and letters—yielded many of the images in the book. The material also served as inspiration for everything from the stark image-only cover to the margins and typeface choices. Excerpts from a poem by Forrest Gander were used as section dividers to give the reader a verbal play-by-play of the artists dancing, a contrast to the abundant visual documentation of their dances. Printing and production choices were made to reflect Eiko & Koma’s humble but sparkling personalities: uncoated paper, natural stock for the front and back matter, simple black insert sheets for reviews and reprints, and silver edging that lends only a little sheen. The matte cover, as unassuming as it appears, was achieved by using four plates of black ink, and the spine’s text was set in dull white foil, all subtle details that, though modest in appearance, were fitting given the subject(s).

Below are a selection of spreads and source materials for Eiko & Koma: Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empty, edited by Joan Rothfuss and published on the occasion of Eiko & Koma’s Retrospective Project in 2011.