Book-newspaper Alcools ("Alcohols") - edition 2005-2006 - my second and most favorite experience in the genre of the artist's book. The reason for its creation was the exhibition dedicated to the centenary of the release of "Alcohols" by Guillaume Apollinaire. I was invited to participate by Andrey Suzdalev, for which many thanks to him.
"Alcohols" is Apollinaire's Alcools in Russian and French. The book fit in nine issues of the newspaper. Each issue had at least one spread (4 pages, printed with a reverse like a real newspaper). The largest issues are eight pages each.
On the bottom line of the headline is proudly typed: “Poems by Guillaume Apollinaire. Translation by Mikhail Kudinov. Everything else was done by Yuri Gordon. In fact, much of the rest was done by the Epson 1290 printer, but I described its exploits in detail in LiveJournal.
The page format is 31.11 × 44 cm. The book-newspaper was printed on an Epson 1290 home inkjet printer, A3 + format, print resolution 1440 dpi. Paper Agate, light gray laid. The first pack was donated by the artist Valery Orlov about ten years before the project. When I ran out of Agate, I began to buy vergers of different density and color in hood salons. Therefore, part of the circulation is blue, part is light green, part is fawn-yellow ... The pictures on the site do not reflect this.
For "Alcohols" it was drawn in Painter and translated into font in FontLab Kostro - three styles: antiqua, italic and grotesque. The font has a legend: it was allegedly made by a friend of Apollinaire, a young typesetter from the Montparnasse printing house, who decided that the best poetry in the world should be typed in the best letters in the world. The name Kostro is the youthful nickname of Wilhelm Apollinaris Kostrovitsky, in the future Apollinaire. It turned out crooked (I just drew by hand, but la prima), but sincerely. Over time, Kostro became the favorite font of fellow artists.
The format of the book-newspaper is dictated by two considerations. For the exhibition, I wanted to make a fairly large, larger than an ordinary book, form. The newspaper was perfect for this. In addition, the A3 plus printer, purchased specifically for this project, made it possible to print A2 sheets folded. At the same time, I immediately decided to release the entire book, not limiting myself to a couple of exhibition numbers. So, something like a "newspaper novel" was coming, a print with a sequel.
Initially, I planned to release only a few author's copies of the book. But at the exhibition, seven copies of the first issue were suddenly and instantly taken away by the public. And then I decided to announce a subscription. The decision is serious, and given that the subscription was free, perhaps a little crazy. But then, at the beginning of the project, I did not yet know what I was getting into.
Even before the announcement in LiveJournal, I had several subscribers - the organizers of the exhibition and close friends, about ten people. I was counting on a circulation of 20-25 copies. However, the project aroused such interest that I had to voluntarily stop the subscription at point 50 - otherwise it would not be possible to cope with it. In the end, the circulation amounted to 54 copies, including two for museums.
Thanks to LiveJournal, subscribers were scattered throughout Eurasia, from Omsk in the east to Baden-Baden in the west. That is, the Russian Post was involved in the case, and the whole idea turned into mail art. The envelopes became part of the project: each issue was printed with its own sleeve with an illustration. Only a set of newspapers received by mail was considered "correct". In order for the newspaper to fit in the C4 envelope, it had to be folded in half. This influenced the composition of the pages and made Alcools a real newspaper.
It is not easy to publish a book on an ordinary string player, even in a small edition. But this seemed to me not enough. Apollinaire for me is a part of youth, like a close friend, not just a poet. And it just so happened that inside the book of poems an imaginary dialogue began between the publisher and the author. And Guillaume himself turned into the protagonist of the book. This layer is one of many in the Alcools newspaper.
Three more layers - illustrations, design and layout. I didn't limit myself to any one style. Among the illustrations are pencil, vector from Illustrator, color from Painter. Some copies of the newspaper were hand-coloured.
The text can go vertically, at an angle, upside down, superimposed on the picture - in general, a complete design arbitrariness.
But even this seemed to me not enough. Many copies of the book-newspaper were supplemented with marginalia - by hand, in pencil - to each of the subscribers. He wrote different things, depending on what he wanted to draw the attention of this particular person to. By the way, I tried to pick up prints for everyone on papers of different colors. Thus, no two subscription packages are the same.
The publication was accompanied by a series of posts in LiveJournal under the general heading "Alcohol Chronicles". There I informed about the release of a fresh newspaper, talked about the difficult struggle with the printer, which spoiled expensive paper and desperately chewed envelopes, described the interaction with the mail (very difficult), and even wrote an introduction and an apology for the project (approximately in the middle of the process).
After the release of the ninth and final edition of Alcools, the book was shown at the British School of Design. The organizer of the exhibition is Vyacheslav Yaroshenko with the assistance of Ilya Ruderman. In connection with the show, a problem arose: a shortage of copies. The entire circulation was sent to subscribers, it was impossible to show the sheets on both sides. I had to dig into the marriage. At the same time, I found out that the printer and the printer spoiled 120 sheets - a total of two print runs. It’s good that I didn’t have to report to anyone for overspending paper.
I exhibited Alcools a few more times using the kit of my good friend Igor Voronin.