In the foreword to Whispers we read that there were originally plans for two books about performance artist and photographer Ulay, but in the end the two projects were amalgamated into a single book. Reading this, one is all the more in awe of how a multitude of elements and ambitions have been forged together: Whispers is a book that it is impossible to fault. A strong product suggests a fruitful process, a process of the kind in which substantive, editorial and design choices are all extensions of each other.
At the end of the journey the process gels into a product, which in this case is also an object that cannot be ignored, principally because of the minimally overhanging boards. Images and text, page-wide and in two columns, sometimes serifed, sometimes not, in black and in blue, the images sometimes supporting, sometimes leading, the oeuvre overview at the end flanked by biographical images in blue, matt and glazed paper in various grammages – these elements, in the view of the shadow panel, have been all ordered and arranged with a steady hand, and they all reinforce each other.
At a late stage in the production, the inclusion of a number of photographs in which Ulay appears with his now ex-partner Marina AbramoviÄ‡ was hit by her withholding permission. However, this disruption too has been elegantly resolved by giving the relevant image frames the same pink shade that also decorates the endpapers and ribbon marker.