This book, conceived by Anri Sala and Christine Macel, is first and foremost intended to be a research tool, and to provide the reader with an entry point to the issues that the artist was exploring in the process of creating Ravel Ravel Unravel. A range of different texts offer a variety of perspectives, which complement and enter into dialogue with each other in order to convey a complex reality: on the one hand, we have the historic statements by Maurice Ravel, Paul Wittgenstein and Marguerite Long (a famous pianist and friend of Ravel’s), texts taken from novels by Alexander Waugh (a Wittgenstein specialist) and Jean Echenoz (extracts from his novel Ravel), a text about John Cage and the Harvard anechoic chamber by Dana Samuel or about the left hand musical technique written by Hans Brofeldt, and finally essays by Laurent Pfister (on the notion of copyright in different countries), by Peter Szendy (a musicologist and philosopher) and Christine Macel (commissioner of the French Pavilion). Similarly, the illustrations stem from, and illustrate, various different aspects of the project: archive images and illustrations, preparatory drawings by the artist and images from the films he produced for the Biennale. Quentin Walesch’s design for the book coveys a sense of movement, of a discrepancy between the musical tempi: the pages are given a sense of rhythm by vertical black strips that run across the entire publication, the fore edge slides from the back to the front cover. This books is just as much an informative work as an artist’s book, and offers both an immersion into the eventful story of a piece of music and into Anri Sala’s mind as he conceives a work and develops its main themes and principles.
Texts by Hans Brofeldt, Jean Echenoz, Theodore Edel, Marguerite Long, Christine Macel, Laurent Pfister, Maurice Ravel, Dana Samuel, Peter Szendy, Alexander Waugh, Paul Wittgenstein
Co published by Manuella Edition & Le Centre National des Arts Plastiques