The Exquisite Book

The Exquisite Book by Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski and Matt Lamothe takes the surrealist game of the exquisite corpse and puts a modern spin on it. With 100 artists and illustrators it was an ambitious project of organization, communication and design to create a book in which to present a technically difficult format: a very long accordion fold. To make it manageable, the book is organized into ten sections of ten images each. These five-page accordion pages with images on either side are then bound into the book. I'm sure it was a labour-intensive process to bind the book!

Some of the participating artists include UPPERCASE favourites Camilla Engman, Lisa Congdon, Ray Fenwick, The Heads of State, Sarajo Frieden, Nick Dewar, Lab Partners, Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch, Esther Pearl Watson, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Irina Troitskaya, Calef Brown and Matte Stephens among others. (All these people I've just listed have participated in UPPERCASE magazine, our books or gallery shows over the years. Sorry if I've missed anyone!)

Although by the very nature of the exquisite corpse game the connections between images can be hit or miss, there are some nice moments between illustrations — particularly when each illustrator is sensitive to the content motifs of what came before their piece. And for those fold outs where the connection from one to the next is lacking, there are plenty of standalone images that are interesting in their own right.

The book is available through Chronicle here. Enter the promo code EXQ to get 25% discount & Free Shipping. Thanks to Patti Quill for inviting me to be part of the book tour. (I got to meet Patti and other members of the Chronicle family when in San Francisco this past summer — you can see some images from inside the headquarters in the current issue 7 of UPPERCASE magazine.)

With different bloggers profiling the book, it is interesting to see how each person connects with the book. Decor8 wants to hang it on her wall. I want to figure out how it was manufactured!

Tour Dates
10/18 Design For Mankind
10/19 My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses
10/20 Creature Comforts
10/21 Oh Joy!
10/22 Pikaland
10/25 Print & Pattern
10/26 ReadyMade
10/28 The Post Family
10/29 Decor8
11/2 Mint
11/3 Grain Edit
11/5 7◊7 Magazine