Mallarme, The Book

Mallarme, The Book

Printed Matter, Inc.

June 12, 2004

Klaus Scherubel
Mallarme, The Book

Saturday June 12, 2004, 5 – 7 PM

Printed Matter Inc. is pleased to announce the New York launch and presentation of Mallarme, The Book by Montreal-based artist Klaus Scherubel on Saturday, June 12, 2004 from 5 – 7 PM. Published by Printed Matter, Inc., Mallarme, The Book is part of Scherubel’s long-term project dedicated to Stephane Mallarme’s utopian enterprise from the 19th century.

For more than thirty years, French poet Stephane Mallarme (1842 – 1898) was engaged with a highly ambitious project that he called, simply, Le Livre (The Book). He envisioned The Book as a cosmic text-architecture: an extremely flexible structure that would reveal nothing short of “all existing relations between everything.” This “Grand Oeuvre,” wholly freed from the subjectivity of its author and containing the sum of all books was, for Mallarme, the essence of all literature and at the same time a “very ordinary” book. The realization of this “pure” work that he planned to publish in an edition of precisely 480,000 copies never progressed beyond its conception and a detailed analysis of structural and material questions relating to publication and presentation. Yet to Mallarme, The Book, which was to found the “true cult of the modern era,” was by no means a failure. “It happens on its own,” he explained of The Book’s unique action in one of his final statements.

In Mallarme, The Book Scherubel acts as both editor and preserver of Mallarme’s forgotten masterpiece. In a gesture that highlights The Book’s contradictory status as both impossible to realize (as a book) and fully realized (as a conceptual work), Scherubel produced a “cover” for The Book in the dimensions specified by Mallarme more than one hundred years ago. Mallarme, TheBook bears all the hallmarks of an ordinary dust jacket, including an ISBN and a back cover text. This dust jacket wraps around a block of white styrofoam to form the “bookstore version,” which will be presented at Printed Matter alongside the sculptural blow-up “promotional version.” The new English translation follows on Mallarme, Das Buch, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Cologne, in 2001.

This project has been supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Bundeskanzleramt, Austria.

The “bookstore version” of Klaus Scherubel’s Mallarme, The Book is available, along with 15,000 other artists’ publications, from Printed Matter’s NEW AND IMPROVED web-site:

For additional information, please contact David Platzker, Printed Matter’s Executive Director, at (212) 925-0325 or

Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists’ books and other artists’ publications.

Printed Matter has received support, in part, through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Arts Recovery Fund, The Altria Group, Inc., Art for Art’s Sake, Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Fifth Floor Foundation, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, The New York Community Trust, LEF Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Women’s Studio Workshop, and private foundations and individuals worldwide.

Printed Matter, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor a division of, any other non-profit organization.

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June 12, 2004

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