Der Durchschnitt als Norm
A yellow softcover on the subtle interventions in public space by Zurich-based artist duo Meier & Franz plays adeptly with the format and the expectations of its readers. On the one hand, it is a relatively conventional book of text presenting conversations and essays on the development of Zurich’s urban environment in a single-column layout occasionally interspersed with black-and-white illustrations. On the other, the book’s material execution deploys two deliberately disorienting tactics: the use of thin, high-gloss paper makes it uncharacteristically heavy, while the extremely precise block, with the front cut edge bearing the author’s name, title and publisher printed in yellow and black makes it appear as though spine and cut edge are reversed. The technology used to print on the cut edge has only recently become affordable and is being widely used at present, but the way it is deployed here is exceptional. It picks up on the ‘norm’ theme referred to in the title and questions it in such a way that – as with many works by Meier & Franz – the intervention is not immediately apparent. This is a book that speaks for itself.