Footnotes to Life

Sam Samiee

“This publication marks a turning point in the oeuvre of Samiee until now. It can be seen as the end of a period. A period in which the artist has sent out his beacons in the world. The book resembles an experience. One can marvel as though looking at a diorama, yet the pages allow for an in-depth understanding of the oeuvre. This volume is like a multifaceted jewel. To leaf through the pages is to embark upon a journey.

The introduction is followed by details of thirteen exhibitions from 2013–2019 in reverse order, after which there are essays and endnotes. The book follows two systems. Initially, logic prevails. Words and images correspond. After the text section, the reader is required to give the book a quarter turn, so that the format shifts from portrait to landscape. In this second part of the book, after making this turn, the overarching logic starts to dissipate. The book becomes more confusing; images and text don’t always match. The pages gradually start to resemble an archive. Endnotes filled with countless details spur the reader into searching the book for specific references or images. The endnotes suggest infinity.
Together with designer Peter van den Hoogen, the artist has found a way to create a book that mirrors the complexity of his thought processes. It resembles an installation. The cover seems perfectly ordinary, whereas the inside is like a diorama. By opening up this volume, the reader becomes acquainted with Samiee’s working methods. The endnotes refer
in turn to different sections of the book, thereby opening up new avenues for looking at and reflecting upon the oeuvre. In this respect, the publication takes the shape of an extended book. It, therefore, functions like one of Samiee’s exhibitions: always expanding. For the ultimate experience, the reader must completely surrender to the moment. The book thus becomes both an archive and narrative in one with an anti-war statement as its leitmotif, a clarion call that begs us to cherish both adab and love." (Benno Tempel, introduction). For more information click here.

November 19, 2020
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