Nicole Morello’s books are, without exception, book creations that take on a special form. Morello (Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1953) originally studied the history of art at the Paris VI University and also trained as an interpreter and translator (1973-1977). In 1978 she moved to Düsseldorf, the place where all her book objects have been conceived. These days books have, for Morello, become an integral part of theatrical productions in which both the actors and the audience are able to engineer change. In the case of her Marcel Proustprject, she worked towards establishing Community Artwork (‘Gemeinschaftsarbeit’) with projection, video, recital and dance where, throughout, the rustling sound of paper can be heard.
Around the turn of the century Morello started creating concertina fold books. Most of Morello’s objects d’art are one-off projects but in the case of one such publication, Save Antarctica (1998), some thirty were made. Her books are hand-painted, the medium being gouache. With Save Antarctica each copy differed slightly from the next one. The thick paper pages portray dozens of cut-out penguins against an ice-landscape background. The names of scientific research stations in Antarctica have been pasted onto the gouache with Letraset type letters. Similar books developed around such themes as the ‘camel’ and the ‘flamingo’.
A later publication, also involving a print run of thirty, comprises a box of cotton handkerchiefs. They are part of the Marcel Proust-edition, Les mouchoirs de Proust (2014). Each copy contains a printed booklet and four unique hand-embroidered handkerchiefs alluding to the famous opening line of Remembrance of things past: ‘For a long time I used to go to bed early’ (‘Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure’). The four handkerchiefs consecutively present the words ‘Longtemps’, ‘je m’essuie’, ‘couché’ and ‘de bonheur’. In the case of Proust it was common to go to bed early, in the case of Morello it is all about a different ritual: ‘For a long time, I dried myself, lying down, happy’ (‘Longtemps, je m’essuie, couché, de bonheur’). In French Morello’s sentence is homophonic with that of Proust: it sounds the same but means something different and, depending upon where the comma is placed, there are different possible readings too.
|Beschrijving:||Les mouchoirs de Proust / Nicole Morello. - [Düsseldorf] : [Nicole Morello], 2014. - 4 handkerchiefs, embroidered in red ; 27 cm|
|Printer:||Design Typografie und Editorial Design, Hochschule Niederrhein (Krefeld)|
|Edition:||30 numbered and signed copies|
|This copy:||Number 03/30|
|Notes:||In a handkerchief box|
|Shelf mark:||KW Koopm P 10039|
- Paul van Capelleveen, 'Nicolle Morello', in: Artists & others. The imaginative French book in the 21st century. Koopman Collection, National Library of the Netherlands. Nijmegen, Vantilt Publishers, 2016, p. 192-193.
- 'Nicolle Morello' [website]: http://www.lophora.de/e_buecher/index.html