Coup de Dés (COLLECTION)
with contributions by Luc Boltanski, Craig Dworkin, Arnaud Esquerre, Annette Gilbert, Michalis Pichler, Ryoko Sekiguchi
New York: The Center for Book Arts, 2024, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2024
240 x 170 mm, 280
Offset, sewn binding, paperback
ed. 800 copies
By now the appropriation of Mallarmé, and in particular of his Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira le Hasard, constitutes a genre of its own. Coup de Dés (Collection) attempts to gather, present and contextualize the numerous editions, re-editions, appropriations of Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira le Hasard, including those attributed to Mallarmé as well as those which claimed by artists as new works in their own right. Moreover, the collection comprises publications, of whatever genre, which feature the word-constellation “Coup de Dés” on their cover.
Un Coup de Dés (Collection) is a book about books, a collection, a gathering of evidence, a critical investigation, and an anthology of artists books. The book catalogues all the books in its accompanying exhibition with meticulous bibliographic details, is richly illustrated, and is accompanied by critical essays written by leading scholars of the field such as Annette Gilbert, Craig Dworkin, Luc Boltanski/Arnauld Esquerre, Michalis Pichler and Ryoko Sekiguchi.
“Books and Ideas after Mallarmé” explores how Mallarmé’s Coup came about in the first place and how the absence of an authoritative edition contributed to keeping its exact status indeterminate, making it intertextual text par excellance.
Also, it looks at the Coup which has become a reference piece that gets appropriated with increasing frequency by contemporary artists and authors, who often operate independently from the commercial gallery system, gather around the networks of art book fairs, and have contributed to a wide-ranging bibliographic discourse within a field that has been subsumed under the umbrella term publishing as artistic practice. The research and the represented books all question the notion of the publication as a neutral container for information, and argue for a consideration of the physical shape and structure of text, of publications and of their materialization.
Besides Stéphane Mallarmé, this anthology features books and bookworks by authors such as Derek Beaulieu, Jérémie Bennequin, Marcel Broodthaers, burozoique, Bernard Chiavelli, Jim Clinefelter, Mario Diacono, Sammy Engramer, Cerith Wyn Evans, Ernest Fraenkel, Angela Grasser, Elsworth Kelly, La Bibliothèque Fantastique, Brian Larosche, Benjamin Lord, Michael Maranda, Guido Molinari, Monchas, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Aurélie Noury, Raffaella Dell’Olga, Michalis Pichler, Nicolas Richard, Sam Sampson, Camille Soula, Klara Vith, Eric Zboya, and many more.
The book is published on occasion of Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé at Center for Book Arts New York (1/18/2024 – 5/1/2024).
COUP DE DÉS (COLLECTION) showcases some of the many, varied responses generated across more than a century of imaginative creations inspired by the visual daring of Stéphane Mallarmé’s enigmatic UN COUP DE DÉS. In addition, its thoughtful essays demonstrate the ongoing relevance of Mallarmé’s thought to the field of speculative poetics.
—Johanna Drucker, author of Iliazd: Meta-biography of a Modernist (Johns Hopkins University Press)
True to the Symbolist practice of Stéphane Mallarmé, for whom the artist’s subjective consciousness was primary, Pichler configures and structures his book on literary and linguistic reflections after Mallarmé in an impressively unique way.
—Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (MIT Press)
With these multiple evocations of the poem, we can reiterate how great works are those that generate others, like an incessant perpetual movement, which Michalis Pichler, as a good collector of ideas, watches live and records.
—Aurélie Noury, researcher, editor at Éditions Incertain Sens, librarian at ESAM Caen