The Quay Brothers’ Universum

Americans Timothy and Stephen Quay are identical twins who never grew out of the stage of building shoebox dioramas. A good thing too, as they made their name with their stage sets for drama, ballet and opera, and above all for their animated films. At the end of 2013 the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam devoted an exhibition to their bizarre work. The accompanying book gives us not only an impression of the work but also an idea of their sources of inspiration. Among them are Polish posters, a number of puppeteers, and writers such as Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz and Robert Walser, passages from whose writing are included.

The discussion of the book concentrated mainly on the grid lines that start on the dust jacket and are left visible throughout the book. The heyday of visible grid lines is long past, but the device has now become a retro element. There were three reasons why the panel were ultimately happy to accept it. Depending on the background, the lines are either blue-grey or silver-grey, on the picture spreads they hold the images together, and on text spreads they combine nicely with the classicist typeface used there. ‘I’m going to get this book right away.’

Edition: 2013
Language: English
Final editor: Marente Bloemheuvel, Jaap Guldemond
Publisher / commissioner: EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; distributed by nai010 publishers, Rotterdam
Designer: Joseph Plateau
Lithographer: die Keure, Bruges (B)
Printer: die Keure, Bruges (B)
Binder: Catherine Binding, Bruges (B)
Dimensions: 171 x 230 x 11
Amount of pages: 144 p.
Number of copies: 2,500
Price: € 19.50
ISBN: 978 94 6208 127 7
Font and foundry: ITC Bodoni Six (Linotype)
Binding style: sewn soft cover, dust jacket folded in the American style
Material: 120gsm Munken Lynx (interior), 300gsm Munken Lynx (cover), 70gsm Core Uncoated (dust jacket)