Durs Grünbein // Weiße Verben [White Verbs]

Durs Grünbein’s poem “Weiße Verben” is a response to his first encounter with Kazimir Malevich’s painting “Suprematist Composition: White on White” in the New York Museum of Modern Art. Expecting to experience a revelation upon seeing the icon of modern painting, he instead describes his first reaction as a smile, which is quickly replaced by a sense of disappointment. The poem is executed as a watermark and looks ghostly on the white mould-made paper. The white page is contrasted with a colored graphic element, which presents the poem using a graphemic color code developed by the synesthete Eva-Maria Bolz. Each line of color stands for one letter in the text. Each of these two sheets is covered by 10 pages, which are printed with excerpts from Malevich’s manifestos “The Artist” and “Contemporary Art.” The manifesto is screen printed as a negative white text on transparent paper; like the watermark, it is most easily read by holding it up to the light or placing a dark page underneath it. The text layout is based on Strichtarn, a camouflage pattern used in the first half of the 20th century.

Watermark moulded in manila hemp, Inkjet printed on kozo-paper, negative screen print on EnDuro Ice-translucent paper, Letterpress on abaca-paper.
2-piece acrylic box with title.
16 x 40.5 cm
Edition: 40 copies with Arabic numbering and 6 copies with Roman numbering.
Karlsruhe, December 2017