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Rahel Kraft works as a musician and artist at the intersection between modern compo­sition, installation and performance. Her research and compositions are invariably driven by an examination of the human voice. This is not only a tool to develop sounds, but also a drive to get deep into the acoustics and atmosphere of spaces, or to track down collective processes such as active listening. The artist’s book Paradoxical Creatures connects to Rahel Kraft’s artistic practice and depicts at the same time an extension of it. Therein is Paradoxical Creatures a kind of script for a performance, a score made up of words and ­images: “Listen to an empty page” or “Crumple a sheet of paper” are open instructions for ­action. At the same time, Para­doxical ­Creatures is based on an intensive examination of the medium of books and the acoustic, haptic and material characteristics of paper. How can the ephemeral ­actions and sounds of a performance be captured on the pages of a book? How can the book function as an instrument, or as material for a performance? Which ­instructions should be transferred—which white spaces occupied? How does the opening of indi­vidual pages sound? How can space be created with a fold-out book cover?

 

The visual and linguistic elements are indeed fixed on paper, but they remain open and ambiguous at the same time. Light and heavy types of paper alternate in different rhythms, ­depending on how quickly the book pages are peeled away. The torn edges of the ­Japanese binding sound rough under the fingers and different on another surface. Paradoxical Creatures is a script for a performance and also an ­invitation for ­further performances, in which the sequence of actions can be varied and newly combined; in which one, several or many performers act; and in which the sounds can be mono- or polyphonic.

 

Paradoxical Creatures is published by Jungle Books as part of the Facetten series by the Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau.

ISBN978-3-033-07701-0
Artist

Rahel Kraft

Editor

Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau

Writer

David Toop

Gioia Dal Molin

Rahel Kraft

Designer

Samuel Bänziger

Rosario Florio

Larissa Kasper

Format

482 pages

170 × 230 mm

Softcover with dust jacket

LanguageEnglish / German
Price

CHF 32.00