Durs Grünbein, Veronika Schäpers

26°57,3’N, 142°16,8’E (Architeuthis)

Durs Grünbein, Veronika Schäpers

26°57,3’N, 142°16,8’E (Architeuthis)

Date

2007

Edition Size

36

Media

Letterpress, Vellum

Paper

toshaban genshi

Binding

Hand-sewn

Dimensions

18.75 × 10.5 × 1.5 in

$ 10,000.00

Out of Print


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“26°57,3’N, 142°16,8’E – At this location in the northwestern Pacific, the Japanese marine biologist Tsunemi Kubodera took the first pictures of a living giant squid in its natural environment. I chose these coordinates as the title for this book containing three poems by the Berlin-based author Durs Grünbein. Before these first images were taken, all scientific surveys were based on dead squids washed ashore or parts of them found in the stomach of sperm whales, which evoked through their giant size the myth of the aggressive monster. Kubodera’s pictures, taken in September 2004 and published a year later in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, were not only a scientific sensation but garnered worldwide popular attention as well.

Inspired by a note in the Newspaper about this discovery, Durs Grünbein wrote a poem entitled ‘Architeuthis.’ Fascinated by his seven-verse text, and because we decided some time ago to make another artist book, this project about deep-sea fish emerged. We chose two further poems to be printed: one – which was already published – about the bizarre shapes and behaviors of these creatures living in such deepness entitled ‘Sous les Mers,’ recalling Jules Verne’s Capitain Nemo; and a third about the legendary fish ‘Remora’ which Grünbein wrote specially for this book.

In autumn 2006, shortly before he caught the first giant squid alive on film, I visited Tsunemi Kubodera in his office in the National Museum of Science in Tokyo. Surrounded by countless preparations and images of different types of squids, he told me about his discovery and reactions to the publication of his photographs, not forgetting to point out his disappointment in the Japanese media’s focus on the question of whether giant squid is edible and if so, how many sushi can be made from it. I decided to use the data and formulas received from Kubodera together with some nautical charts as illustrations for the book. When we met, Kubodera also showed me pictures and short films of squids he recorded at depths between 600 and 1000 meters. The unpracticed spectator sees only dim silhouettes of the squids in these images, but at the same time begins to sense the diversity of life in such darkness. This gave me the idea to work with the interaction of transparent and opaque pages.”
– Veronika Schäpers

3 poems by Durs Grünbein, translated into Japanese by Yuji Nawata. Vellum cover, letterpress on 50-year-old Toashaban-Genshi

Gampi paper, hand-sewn binding, acrylic glass box. 18.75×10.5.”