November 2, 2017–January 27, 2018
Comandante Zorita 48
Ivorypress presents the artist’s book Tummelplatz, by William Kentridge. The book, printed in an edition of nine (plus four HC and three AP), comprises two volumes, each of which contains ten stereoscopic photogravures by the artist.
Tummelplatz arose from a wish to make, in the most analogue way, a virtual reality pop-up book: to play with three dimensions and the essentially flat format of paper and a book. The idea was to use stereoscopic photography to give an illusion of depth in images, of layers coming forward towards the viewer from the book.
For this project, 19th century processes of stereoscopic photography and particularly photogravure printing were used as a way of reproducing the photographs. The format of the book was informed by the historical format of stereoscopic aerial photographs used by mapmakers.
To make each stereoscopic image, Kentridge made a three-dimensional drawing in his studio: distant horizons, landscape, and distant elements of the landscape were pinned to the walls of the site (charcoal was used to make the drawings), and foreground images, objects, and texts were drawn and arranged on an angled table-top in front of the wall. A pair of stereoscopic photographs was taken of each one of the landscapes, and these were turned into photogravures by Randy Hemminghaus (Brodsky Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), using the technique of light sensitive gelatin applied to a copper plate and etched in different strengths of acids, to achieve the rich tonal grey scale characteristic of photogravures.
The three-dimensional drawings were made over a period of approximately two years. About forty images were made of which 20 were selected to constitute the double volume of Tummelplatz. Alongside the making of the images and photogravures was the parallel work of finding the right papers, binding, and machinery of making the book.
Publisher Elena Ochoa Foster, who has been working in close collaboration with Kentridge on the project over the past five years, stated: “The title brings me back to my former twenty-year profession as a researcher on clinical and experimental areas of the human mind. Tummelplatz sounds, of course Freudian and relates to the hidden space or room where free association takes place, the universe where unexpected thoughts and acts live, and the creation of a (sometimes chaotic) space where the activity in our brain (secret areas/rooms, outside and inside the self) paints landscapes. Tummelplatz is Kentridge’s studio at this moment, and it will go on to have an afterlife in the book.”
Tummelplatz is part of a long line of esteemed artists’ books published by Ivorypress since its foundation in 1996. William Kentridge is thus added to the roster of artists with whom Elena Ochoa Foster, founder and CEO of Ivorypress, has previously worked, such as Richard Long, Anthony Caro, Anish Kapoor, Francis Bacon, Isamu Noguchi, Cai Guo-Qiang, Richard Tuttle, Ai Weiwei, Maya Lin, Marc Quinn, and Olafur Eliasson, among others.
These artists’ books are part of institutional collections including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fundación Serralves in Porto and in private collections.