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Round not Square On The Rugs

Weil man bei Design aus dem Iran gerne an Teppiche denkt, haben wir uns für die Premiere unserer BEYOND CURTAINS Buchrolle mit Anna Wahdat von On the Rugs in Hamburg zusammen getan. Autorin Lena Späth reiste extra aus Barcelona an und setzte sich mit Antonia und FAZ-Redakteur Christian Meier zum Gespräch über ihr Projekt auf den Teppich.

Ein großes Dankeschön an Anna und ihren Vater Herrn Wahdat, die uns so herzlich begrüßten, dass uns trotz echt Hamburger Wetter gleich ganz warm ums Herz wurde.

Hier ein paar Impressionen von diesem rundum gelungenen Abend – inklusive Schnelldurchlauf durchs Buch!

Because we imagine carpets when we think about Persian design – and it’s true, though there’s so much more to it! – we paired up with Anna Wahdat from beautiful carpet lable On the Rugs in Hamburg for the launch of our latest scroll, BEYOND CURTAINS. Author Lena Späth came all the way from Barcelona and sat down on a stack of carpets with our own Antonia and FAZ-journalist Christian Meier for a diverting talk about her project and a Q&A session.

A huge and heartfelt Thank You to Anna and her father Mr. Wahdat who were so very welcoming we felt all warm and fuzzy in spite of real authentic Hamburg weather.

Here’s some impressions of this lovely evening – including a quick tour all through the scroll. Enjoy!

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Round not Square lässt die Sau raus

Im Deutschen gibt es eine Fülle wunderbarer Sprichwörter mit Schweine-Thema: Man fährt “wie eine gesengte Sau”, “keine Sau war da”, und wenn man in besonderer Feierlaune ist, lässt man auch mal richtig “die Sau raus”. Wenn man das als Hinweis auf die Rolle des Schweins in der deutschen Kultur liest, kann es nur wenig überraschen, dass es ein Schwein war, das zum Hauptcharakter einem der allerersten deutschen Comics wurde.

Als Ludwig Emil Grimm sich in den Kopf setzte, eine Bildgeschichte über das Leben der “merkwürdigen und liebevollen Sau von Ihringshausen” zu schreiben, hielt ihn – trotz der potentiellen Schwierigkeiten für jedes Storytelling – nicht einmal die notorische Kürze eines durschnittlichen Schweinelebens davon ab. Natürlich ist es schwierig, einen vorzeitigen Tod durch Schlachten zu vermeiden, wenn man ein Hausschwein porträtiert. Aber Grimm zeigt, dass das einer guten Geschichte gar nicht im Wege stehen muss.

Mit spitzer Feder und schwarzem Humor beschreibt er das Leben einer Sau vom Stall bis ins Grab, beziehungsweise zum Metzger … und dann einfach weiter darüber hinaus, bis hin zum wahrscheinlich ersten autobiographischen Bericht eines Schweins in der Literaturgeschichte. Das Ergebnis? Eine ebenso absurde wie lustige Geschichte mit wunderbar detailreichen Zeichnungen die zeigen, dass Grimm nicht nur handwerklich sehr begabt, sondern auch ein scharfer Beobachter der Eigenarten und Schwächen seiner Zeitgenossen war.

Als die Sau geschlachtet ist, und jedes ihrer Körperteile von den Ohren bis zu den Hufen in Berge von Deliktassen verarbeitet wird, drängt sich uns modernen Lesern der Vergleich dazu auf, wie heute Fleisch konsumiert wird. Natürlich hat schon damals zu Grimms Zeiten nicht jedes Schwein eine Würdigung erlebt wie die nun eben besonders liebenswerte und zudem noch außergewöhnlich ergiebige Ihringshäuser Sau. Aber Fleisch war auf jeden Fall keine Selbstverständlichkeit, und die Tiere, von denen es kam, wurden mit Respekt behandelt.

Darum war es besonders schön, dass wir am Erscheinungstag die Sau gemeinsam mit unseren Freunden von Meine kleine Farm rauslassen konnten, der „Online-Metzgerei“ mit Mission: Bewusster Konsum, besseres Fleisch, glücklichere Tiere, Metzger, Bauern und Konsumenten. Das Motto: Weniger Fleisch, mehr Respekt!

Wir sind uns sicher, die Ihringshäuser Sau wüsste das zu schätzen.

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Larry Yust on Round not Square

It happened like this. I got an email out of the blue from some people who called themselves Round not Square. The name intrigued me and so did their proposal. They wanted to use some of my images to make a book in the form of a scroll. You know, with sticks to roll a long piece of paper from one side to another, rolling pages past your eyes instead of flipping them. Like an ancient Chinese scroll. It was completely out-of-the box and it caught my imagination.

So I emailed back asking for more details. We exchanged emails several times and the result was that I pulled a new book project of mine from an established publisher (who was taking too long to get the book into print, I thought) and gave it to Round not Square.

I’m glad I did. The result is everything I hoped it would be, still way out-of-the- box. Unique, beautiful, fun, crazy and the best way I have seen yet to present my long images in book form, albeit a book of a very different sort.

I love it.

Larry Yust, Los Angeles, 2015

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Winners of Capturing Movement

We did this great photo mission together with the amazing EyeEm community. The results?

  • about 8.000 pictures handed in
  • over 2.000 photographers from all around the world took part
  • a week of excitement and cheerfulness when spotting new cool shots

Of all these contributions we had to pick. It was really hard – but after long discussions, instant love declarations and serious fighting we agreed on the 24 pics of the final selection. These pictures

  • were exhibited on Saturday the 20th of June in Berlin
  • will get published in our newest publication called Capturing Movement

And then, out of these 24 outstanding images we had three prizes to award. There were three categories, and we are once again delighted to announce that

  1. Eric Youn (US) won the Best Picture category
  2. Constantin Schiller (Germany) won the Best Metaphor category
  3. Rachel Chua (Phillipines) won the Public Choice category, which was given out by the audience, both online via facebook and offline at the Capturing movement exhibition

The winners won their very own copy of the scroll Capturing Movement and will be the first to hold it in their hands when it is all set and published. Congratulations!! It will be a beautiful book and we are really happy to have had the opportunity to cooperate with EyeEm and their great community.

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The Audience Award – Capturing Movement

Last Saturday we invited the public to help us chose the audience award of the photo mission we initiated with EyeEm and their great community. About 8000 images were handed in by over 2000 photographers around the world – imagine! Those are impressive numbers. And even more amazingly: we received loads of impressive images!

So before making the Jury decisions on the winners, we wanted to give you all a chance to choose your favorite picture out of our final selection of 24 outstanding images. Taking the global set-up of the artists into account we decided to have two days of Facebook voting before the actual event.

On Saturday then we had a remarkable evening, combining the Finissage of our exhibition at the Wettbureau in Berlin-Wedding, with the offline voting for the Audience Award, some champagne and Jessica Nay’s beautiful music: Noah’s tape live in concert.

The most extraordinary moment of my evening was definitely to get to know two really cool girls who had just had a 6 hour drive to be there – this totally made my day!!

And last but not least: we are proud to announce Rachel Chua (@rachlannchuaa) as the winner of the Audience ard. Congratulations, Rachel! Your picture has made its way to the hearts of hundreds!

#9 by Rachel Chua

Capturing Movement by Rachel Chua

Thank you all for being there!

Below you can see the Top 4 images of the Audience Award, congrats to all of you!

NrArtistEyeEm Total no of votes
#9Rachel Chua@rachlannchuaa263
#4Eric Youn@serlaluz168
#6Priscila Lima@la_lima115
#14Flavio Edreira@flavioedreira111
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Capturing Movement

Life doesn’t stand still. How true! This is why we teamed up with EyeEm, the creative community for photography, and launched a new Photo Mission called Capturing Movement today.

Whilst much of photography is about capturing a posed, still scene, there’s an art to truly capturing the dynamism, speed and movement of real life. Life is full of activity and movement, and the mission is all about communicating that energy in a photograph

We will publish a selection of finalists with full credits – on scroll, printed, designed and handbound in Berlin. Three winners will be selected, whose pictures will be central to the publication. They will receive the first copies of the finished scroll as their reward when it is published.

Since today, this new book can already be pre-ordered through our Kickstarter campaign.

All finalists will be exhibited at Wettbureau in Berlin on June 20th, where one of the three winners will be selected through an “Audience award” by the attendees of the event.

The mission Capturing Movement is online on EyeEm from June 8th, deadline is June 15th, 2015.

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A completely new level of freedom

I love books. Especially photo books. They are collections of visual knowledge and perspective, and photographs can do things words could never do. I love turning a page and stumbling into a new and surprising scenery, another look, other living and inanimate things than on the page before. But with every read-through, a book loses some of its ability to capture and surprise, you see the pictures on one double page, you have an idea what’s coming next and the relation of every page to another becomes at the same time more obvious and more detached. It is also very tedious to fumble around the edges of a page in order to turn just one and not several at a time, and then they insist on tearing just because you are too passionate a page-turner, and I won’t even start on large-format pictures in traditional books or the distorted horror that is a photograph stretched over one double-page. Or playboy centrefolds. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had it with those devilish stacks of paper from the ninth circle of hell. I hate books.

Enter the good old scroll-format book. The solution to all of our problems. In a sexy shiny new dress. I will admit that I had a minor mental breakdown the very first time I started to layout this book for Round not Square, I didn’t know what to do, where to start, how to structure… but it soon dawned on me that the trouble I had stemmed from what was so great about this format, a completely new level of freedom. It was all up to me, the only limitation being vertical. Quite the challenge. It led me to design a way of story-telling that I had never had the opportunity to realise before, one chain of thought, or block, or chapter could be 30 cm long and consist of ten pictures, or it could be 90 cm long and consist of just two, and I wasn’t forced to implement any clear breaks where I didn’t want them. Even better: ultimately, it’s the reader who decides what is shown at once, whether it’s just one picture, a set of three, or the entire book (provided the premises in the west wing of your château allow for it, because it is quite long indeed). There are hundreds of different ways to look at such a scroll.

Quite honestly, the scroll won’t be able to replace the cookery books you inherited from your grandmother. It won’t replace your first edition of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Les Européens” and it won’t replace your Bible, or your Quran. I also doubt it will replace anyone’s Torah, but that’s another story. In any case, there are quite a few things that a scroll-format book can do that “normal” books never will, and the same is true the other way around. They will never replace one another, but it’s high time the scroll took back the space that is carved out for it, and that place is round, not square. I love books.

Simon Becker


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