Rob Kovitz
Ice Fishing in Gimli

“Imagine being outside time. That the past and future are revolving around you, and you cannot place yourself properly. That your body, your receptacle, has been numbed free of history. Because I feel this way, and I can see clearly when and where the evil started …”
Richard Zimmler, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Ten years in the making, Ice Fishing in Gimli is an 8-volume image/text montage bookwork by Winnipeg artist/writer Rob Kovitz. Set in and around a strange small town and a large frozen lake in the uncharted center of Canada, it’s an epic citation saga of desire, ambition, weather and landscape; of drownings, freezings, murder and cannibalism; of alien architectures, bizarre conveyances, inscrutable soothsayers and esoteric ice-fishing techniques; of the search for enlightenment, the poignancy of fish-flies and the indeterminacy of maps; of prairie writer and double-agent Frederick Philip Grove, Gimli-born Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stephanson, and numerous other quixotic characters both real and imagined; of boredom, failure, madness, nothingness, unrequited love, best-laid plans, the Wandering Jew, the House of Squid and mysterious things that may or may not be hidden beneath flat, frozen surfaces, to name a few things …

Evocative, wry, enigmatic, disquieting—a densely built dream association in the guise of the meticulously documented and verifiable—this is a book unlike any you’ve ever read before, with lots of pictures for when you get bored. So cast your hook and hold your breath—you never know what will get dragged up in Ice Fishing in Gimli.

“Is this a new form of discourse in step with its multivalent, chaotic times, or just an excuse for intellectual laziness? Only the author knows for sure.”
Marco Polo, Canadian Architect

ABotM seal of approval

Published by Treyf books
ISBN 978-0-9812869-0-7
8 volumes 6×8 in, 4,750 pages, black and white, 2009
open edition

Available from Treyf books

“The Great Canadian Novel you’ve been waiting for. Don’t argue–just read it”

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing in Gimli

Rob Kovitz creates bookworks and web projects that consist of texts and images he collects from various sources and recombines through a meticulous but highly subjective process of editing, ordering and juxtaposition. In addition to Ice Fishing in Gimli, he has published four other bookworks under his imprint Treyf Books including Pig City Model Farm (with Princeton Architectural Press) and Room Behavior (with Insomniac Press), various short projects in magazines, and online projects at Treyf Books have been distributed nationally and internationally in bookstores, libraries and at Kovitz currently lives in Winnipeg because of its very interesting weather, where he also teaches at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture.

“Now, these are useful books,” he said, looking around his cabin. “So far as I’m concerned, no book’s worth reading that doesn’t offer information of practical use to the reader. What kind of books do you like, Andy?”

Eric McCormack, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women