Ad Schouten is an artist who likes to try the reins of conceptual art. Joseph Beuys and his felt hat? This isn’t filtered-out matter, just an icon like any other. It was in that kind of mood that Schouten hit on the notion of putting four catalogue reproductions of conceptual art into his fax machine. He then dialled the number of a studio in Mumbai where they still paint billboards the old-fashioned way, and asked them to paint some based on the faxes. That produced four colourful interpretations – Beuys’s felt hat now has a hatband – three of which have Bollywood-style lettering.
The four pieces then proceeded to find their way into a complimentary publication from a Rotterdam printer. With characteristic directness the cover says exactly what awaits us inside: full-size reproductions. A minimum of 9 and a maximum of 18 leaves, printed on one side only, have been given over to each plate. The plates can be neatly torn out and can then be laid side by side. The paper is poster paper, with a smooth printing surface and a rough non-printing surface. The covering material is at once supple and tough.
Complimentary publications from printers seem to have a tendency to suffer from too much form and too little content. In this case the shadow panel thought the ingredients were nicely balanced, and the main panel thought that the fact that the sheets in another of the books selected (Ofoffjoff) could be placed together to form a larger image was no impediment to adopting the shadow panel’s recommendation.