Rahel Kraft: Paradoxical Creatures
The Swiss sound artist Rahel Kraft presents a 500-page black-and-white book with a Japanese binding that ingeniously translates sounds into typography and performance art in book form. More than two dozen ‘text scores’, which readers can transpose into performances, are inscribed in a uniform typeface and size on the immediately accessible pages of the Japanese brochure format. The brief instructions often comprise just a few words per double page, leaving scope for improvisation. Each set of instructions is associated with one of seven dimensions of the performance – from ‘time’ and ‘space’ to ‘metaphor and feeling’ – and accordingly assigned to one of seven page areas marked on stiff index pages recurring throughout the book. Some of the hidden pages that can be peeled open contain a lengthy essay as well as double-page ‘graphic scores’ that propose something resembling masks for the performances. The performative character of the publication is underscored by the fact that during reading, the haptics of the soft and hard sheets and even the sound of the peel-open pages come into play. Its extremely ambitious concept takes it beyond the conventional book form, but the design elements such as the black and white and the uniform font size throughout remain remarkably understated.