Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Above and Below

Alexander Massouras
Above and Below; or Apocryphal Journeys in Thirty Etchings
Julian Page, London: 2013
In Flight, A Trip Down and The Invisible World, the three short fictional texts in this volume, all transport the reader to imaginary places and through equivocal states of being. The narrative is moved forward by sparse, often single, lines of texts - on occasion it resists any momentum, offering only a blank page. In Flight begins 'One bright morning, Joseph woke to find the world as he'd dreamt it' and the dreamlike vision continues across all three stories, in a manner reminiscent of the haunting and surreal work of Edward Gorey. In Massouras's etchings surfaces wiped free of ink deliver an elegant counterpoint to areas of precise and figurative cross-hatching. Everyday objects are often on the verge of being obliterated by infinity. An image from In Flight alludes to the last expedition of Solomon Andrée, the ill-fated Arctic balloonist, while the final text touches on boat-building, mountaineering and environmental catastrophe. 
Paperback, 72 pages, 19 x 27.7 cm. Illustrated with 30 hard-ground etchings. Edition limited to 60 copies plus 5 artist's proofs.
ISBN 980957012417.

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