‘The Crooked: Typefaces for Baseless Rumors’ from Bea Schlingelhoff is published on occasion of her exhibition at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva (29 Feb 29 – 30 Mar 2024) following her Prix de la Société des Arts de Genève award in 2023.
This artist’s book gathers together 366 capping phrases used for kōan practice. A fundamental part of Zen Buddhism, kōans and their associated capping verses are surprising and often perplexing riddles used as meditation tools. Selected by the artist from different sources including Victor Sōgen Hori’s landmark book ‘Zen Sand’ (2003), she proposes one phrase for each day of a leap year.
Featuring a combination of phrases hand-drawn by Schlingelhoff, and others digitally set in a specially created typeface, this volume offers a manual for meditation, self-consciousness, paradoxical thinking, and intellectual speculation, as exemplified in such riddles as “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?”, “Appearing like spirits and vanishing like ghosts,” or “Close your mouth and say one word.”
As instilled in the title ‘The Crooked: Typefaces for Baseless Rumors’ and in tune with Schlingelhoff’s practice, the artist not only invites us to think about the contents of the phrases, but also to reflect on such a practice in our contemporary times.
Designed by Studio SMS (Amsterdam, Zurich), the publication also contains a short introduction about the principles of this Zen practice, and an index that includes the French and German translations of all the selected verses.
Published with the Société des Arts, Geneva.