by Artist book
In 2020 Albert Coers found a 30-year-old exercise book from his English lessons. This booklet seemed so interesting that he photographed it and now presents it as an artist’s book.
The words, English on the left, German on the right, and their sequence give us a sense of the themes, word fields and stories. They join together associatively and result in Dadaistic-looking connections, e.g. „dream“, „tree“, „head“ or „dial“, „toothpaste“, „handsome“. The words are of astonishing topicality as far as the present of the USA 2020/21 is concerned: on the first page “president”, on the last page “civil rights” and “trial” – see the election campaign between Trump and Biden.
The colors of the booklet can also be associated with the USA and its political symbolism: The blue of the cover can be read as a reference to the Democrats; blue is also the ink. The title “English words” is written in red, and further back a grotesque drawing is scribbled on a white background, giving the colors of the USA. Looking back, it is astonishing what one did’nt know at that time and had to write down: That “ocean” means in German “Ozean”, “follow” “folgen”?
This is hard to believe in 2020, where English has become a natural second language for many people. Thus the booklet is also a reflection on language and language biographies. The booklet is in original size, but not reproduced as a facsimile, as a photographed object with a clear margin. Edges and shadows are thus also reproduced and the materiality, but also the character of the booklet as a reproduction is emphasised.
The cover shows the hands of Coers holding the object.
Englisch-Wörter (English Words) 1990/2020
Salon Verlag Cologne, 2020
148×210mm, 64 pp, German / English
Limited edition of 250 copies