The Lulu Plays; Earth-Spirit, Erdgeist; Pandora's Box, Die Buchse der Pandora
San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2015. Kentridge, William. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 126 of 400 copies, folio size, 171 pp., signed by William Kentridge, with prospectus. Fine. Item #CNJL1195
The text is the original telling of the Lulu tale by Wedekind; as the inimitable Andrew Hoyem writes in the book's prospectus, "these works from the turn of the last century changed the course of drama, not just in Germany but worldwide, and have had a profound effect on film and opera as well". Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Wedekind (1864-1918), born in Germany, worked in the circus and onstage, cabaret and theatre; he died at the young age of fifty-three. His legacy was one of having been a celebrated radical "who was censored, banned, and even jailed for his stage expressions against conventional behavior; although he aspried personally to upper-class respectability" (prospectus).
Andrew Hoyem has paired these two plays by Wedekind with sixty-seven full-page drawings by William Kentridge (b. 1955), a South African artist who studied politics and African history in Johannesburg, then fine arts at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, and finally theatre in Paris at Ecole Jacques Lecocq; he has been heavily involved in theatre both as a designer and actor, and has won awards such as the Kyoto Prize (2010) and the Carnegie (International) Prize (2000), among many others. Kentridge's visceral mark making is heavily laid on top of found pages filled with text, to create bold figures, each with an individual mystery.
___DESCRIPTION: Full gunmetal grey cloth with titling in type and imagery drawn by the artist printed by silkscreen, with the word "Lulu" on the front cover of the book, black lettering on the spine, pictorial endpapers of black smears of paint over vintage dictionary pages, title page in red and black, frontispiece an image by the artist of Frank Wedekind, the text pages in red for the actors' lines and black for the character names and directions, the images are derived from brush and ink drawings the artist made for his production of the opera Lulu which opened at the Met in New York in November of 2015; types are Perpetua and Gill Sans, paper Hanemuhle Biblio, folio size (13" by 9.75"), pagination:  2-171; limited edition of 400 copies (plus 26 lettered copies not for sale), this number 126, signed by William Kentridge on the colophon. Housed in a slipcase covered in the same fabric as the book, with a Rorschach of black blood across the sides the back of the slipcase. The book's 8-page prospectus (which surrounds a sample leaf with text and a Kentridge image) and the Subscriber Letter are both loosely laid in.
___CONDITION: Both the book and slipcase are fine, as new; we opened the publisher's outer paper wrapping in order to catalogue this copy, it has never been read or used; clean, crisp, literally as it left the Arion Press. The prospectus and Subscriber Letter are also fine, we opened the accompanying cardboard mailer to catalogue.
___CITATION: Arion Press Catalogue no. 104.
___POSTAGE: Due to the size of this volume, for international customers additional postage may apply, please inquire for details.
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