Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Afghanistan - A Journey

Afghanistan - A Journey

An artist's book by Peter Chasseaud
(Altazimuth Press) 2007

I will be showing this book at the UK Fine Press Fair (Oxford Brooks University) on 3-4 November, and at the London Artists Book Fair at the ICA at the end of November.

Limited Edition Artists Books by Peter Chasseaud

Peter Chasseaud is an artist and writer who has lived in Surrey and Sussex for most of his life. While much of his work is concerned with British and European landscape, he has travelled extensively in Europe, North Africa, Asia and America. His large, hand-bound, limited edition artists books, incorporating the artist’s poetic texts and black and white photographic images, maps, charts and other imagery, litho-printed on heavy, archival paper, or digitally printed, have been bought by major British, United States and other overseas collections and institutions, including the British Library, the National Railway Museum, Manchester Metropolitan University and the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington Local Studies Centres. His previous publications include: Kings Cross (2004), and Thames – The London River (2005).



Peter Chasseaud, Altazimuth Press, Lewes, 2007
Signed & numbered digitally printed limited edition of 100 copies. Price £100.

This book was inspired by the artist/author’s trip through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan in 1972, seen from today. The parallel texts, in different typefaces, are built around his original travel journal, and the black and white photographs which he took while travelling using a folding pocket Kodak camera, giving negatives 2¼-inches square. The free-verse poetic text, interwoven with the travel journal, was written in the summer of 2006 while fighting was going on in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, and considers the historical and contemporary ‘clash of civilisations’, history, empires, cultures, war, religion, family, identity and memory.

· 50 black & white photographs by artist/author.
· Maps, documents, other images.
· 6,000-word poetic text, by artist/author.
· Designed and bound by artist/author.
· Soft covers and maps in colour.
· Landscape-format, 12 x 18 inches (30 x 45 cm).
· 72pp including covers.
· Digitally printed.

Extract from text:

Gridded by mind-scored graticule of latitude, longitude,
seamed by footsore roads, quick or sluggish serpentine rivers, ringing railways
in the country’s grain, the lie of the land (like lines on my hand),
I travel too lightly through the peoples of Europe, of Asia;
their villages, towns, cities, their valleys, mountains, plains.
Arteries of people and of blood, tracks, routes, migrations, invasions, deportations,
flows and contraflows, tides of war and death, pools of peace.

War scuttles ahead, snatches at my heels, scatters blood and broken stone,
shattered buildings, shivered bodies, shock and awe.
Power, violence, empire:
politicians and statesmen front the money, rig systems, markets, information,
squeeze last drops – sweat, tears, blood – from we the people.

We thread our confused way through culture wars, shooting ones,
clashes of civilisations,
cross borders in the gaps between;
wary of fanatics, fundamentalists, dysfunctional casualties,
collateral damage, fly low, under their radar, dodge the flak.

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