Claire Huot, Robert Majzels, Nathan Tremblay

Produced in a limited edition of 200, 85 is a book consisting of five volumes that are simultaneously art objects, radical translations, and works of visual poetry. In a series of creative cross-cultural encounters, writer-translators Claire Huot and Robert Majzels take passages from a variety of texts and transform them into 85-letter blocks of text. These letters, presented without space breaks or punctuation, float in elegant geometric columns on the variously colored pages, demanding the reader’s active engagement as she organizes and reorganizes them into constantly fluctuating combinations of meaning. The 85 project uses visual media and avant-garde techniques to explore the border between translation and original creation. The aim is to apply a non-mastering ethical view of the translator’s task. Majzels and Huot’s approach is open-ended, nonlinear, and materialist—a practice evoked by the visual layout of the texts, which enacts the difficult negotiation in English of Chinese poetic works. 85 is printed on Lynx Opaque acid-free paper with an accordion fold. Bound individually in hard covers with embossed and foil stamped titles, each volume is a work of visual text-art in its own right. The set of five comes in a specially made, frosted case made of epoxy resin by Nathan Tremblay.

Published by Les Figues (L.A.) and Moveable Inc. (Toronto)
ISBN: 978-0-9684908-5-3
10×23 cm, 110 pp, full-colour offset, accordion fold, hard cover embossed and foil stamped, 2013
Edition of 200
250 $CAN

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Claire Huot is a sinologist, translator, and author of non-fiction and fiction. She has written two books on contemporary Chinese culture, La Petite révolution culturelle (Éditions Philippe Picquier), and China’s New Cultural Scene: A Handbook of Changes (Duke University Press), as well as a mystery novel, The Prison Tangram (Mercury Press). She holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the Université de Montréal and is presently an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures at the University of Calgary.

Robert Majzels is the author of four novels, including Apikoros Sleuth (Mercury Press and Moveable Inc), which was awarded the 2007 Alcuin Society Prize for Excellence in Book Design. His play This Night the Kapo was produced at the Berkley Street Theatre in Toronto, in 2004. He was attributed the Governor General’s Award of Canada for his translation of France Daigle’s Just Fine in 2000. With Erín Moure, Robert has translated several books of poetry by Nicole Brossard, including Notebook of Roses & Civilization, shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2008. He is an associate professor in the English Department of the University of Calgary.

Nathan Tremblay is a visual artist with a Masters degree in Computational Media Design from the University of Calgary. He is the principal Director/Designer for Palette Industries, a multi-disciplinary design firm recognized for design excellence by UNESCO, the European Greenlight Programme, and the Industrial Designers Society of America. Its work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Light + Building Trade Show in Frankfurt, the Interior Design Show in Toronto, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. Palette has collaborated on projects in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and Seoul, with clients like Pure Design, and renowned artists Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller and Massie Office.

Moveable Inc. is a typesetter, printer, website designer and server based in Toronto. Though it specializes in corporate communications, it has also contributed to the production of catalogues and websites for arts institutions and publishers, including the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Toronto International Film Festival and Firefly Books. The company has also published Erín Mouré’s Pillage Laud, Robert Majzels’s Apikoros Sleuth Limited Edition and co-published with Les Figues Claire Huot and Robert Majzels’s 85. Moveable has won more than 75 international awards for excellence in the graphic arts. Its work has been cited by the American Center for Design, the New York Type Directors Club, the Mead Annual Report Show, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada and Applied Arts magazine, among others.
Les Figues Press is a nonprofit literary organization and award-winning, independent publisher of poetry, prose, visual art, conceptual writing, and translation. Based in Los Angeles, Les Figues Press publishes five to seven books a year and favors projects which push the boundaries of genre, form, and general acceptability. They also curate and host literary events, including readings, conversations, performances, and art salons. Embracing a feminist criticality and editorial vision, Les Figues Press is interested in work that is aware of itself as a textual body within a history and culture marked (like physical bodies) by constructs of gender, race, class, and sexuality.

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