Die Stadt - The City by Hilke Kurzke

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The story in this miniature book features two searchers arriving in a city which looks promising. Nevertheless they decide to leave because small everyday things annoy them too much, and they decide to look somewhere else for alien rocket technology. The skyline of the city, shown in the center panel shows rockets in abundance. This is a story about culture shock, and how it is the small things that make it hard to arrive in a new place. Presenting the story in German and English stresses the main theme and corresponds to my own experience from which this fragment is drawn: from working in Minnesota for a while as a German native speaker. The box with the retrieval band resembles the sky scrapers in the city panorama. I chose to present the book like it could be part of an archive: in a folded wrapper in a box. The specific structure was inspired by a video of Hedi Kyle, presenting some of her books, mentioning methods for wrapping and storing books.

Artist Bio

Hilke Kurzke was a mathematician and theologian before being a book artist, and always was a lover of stories. Topics for her art come from where those interests overlap. She is ever again amazed by how books manage to conserve and teach knowledge and experiences. In her work she examines how this magic is done. Early pieces concentrated on structural elements, but soon she discovered the writing down of language as an important aspect. As a consequence works in secret and fake script, sometimes concealed, entered her body of work. Many of her recent books feature her own writing: She presents very short sequences that seem to be fragments of larger stories. Part of the meaning has to be searched in non-textural parts of the book, in images and structure, and the story has to be completed in the reader's head—which is where the magic always happens.