Marijn van Kreij spent two years on a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 2006 he was one of the winners of the academy’s W.F.C. Uriôt Prize. Part of the brief for the Uriôt Prize judges is if possible to select a laureate whose work might gain from being used in a publication. The panel for the Best Dutch Book Designs do not concern themselves with art, but with that guideline in mind they can still conclude that the Uriôt judges made a good choice.
O Let It Be is a stapled brochure in a flapped cover containing the surprisingly large number of 104 pages. With unfettered enjoyment, drawings, photographs, collages and van Kreij’s conceptual brainwaves have all been set out on six different sorts of paper all equally thin and flexible. Coloured paper and colour-tinted areas keep the whole thing together. Here and there the page-filling images are provided with a vertically placed caption in van Kreij’s own handwriting. The book’s spine title is in similar style, albeit that in the absence of a spine it has been placed on the back. The front flap hides any text that is not art, the back flap the captions, for once not with thumbnails but with page references. One of van Kreij’s drawings includes the motto ‘The danger of obsessive study’. Perhaps this explains why these page references don’t actually refer to anything: the pages in the interior are unnumbered.
All the same, this is an exemplary little book.