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Triumph eines Hosenverkäufers
(Victory of a Trouser Salesman)

Item date(s): August 2002

Veronika Schäpers
Heiko Michael Hartmann  - (text by)

Pages: unpaged
Size: 220mm
Inscription: Signed by both artists.
Edition: #7/15

Place publication: Tokyo, Japan
Publisher: Impressum
Cat. 218-C5-2/3
Exhibition 2017; 2022

Additional notes:
Idee, Gestaltung, Druk und Einband: Veronika Schäpers.

Gedruckt mit einem hp DeskJet 1220C. Auf Polyathylenterephthalat. In der Schrifttype Geneva 14pt. Einbandmaterial: Polykarbonat. Zweite, veranderte Auglage: 15 arabisch nummerierte Exemplare und 3 romisch nummerierte Exemplare.

Flexed cover and pages of plastic, housed in a plastic bag with the colophon on the cover; those within a clear paper bag together with a white pair of gloves (in a plastic bag); the whole contained in a white linen bag.

Description by the bookseller: "Constructed with the integrity and design qualities of a sophisticated piece of architecture this book is yet another exceptionally innovative masterpiece by Veronika Schapers.

In his text "Triumph of a Pants Seller", the Berlin based author Heiko Michael Hartmann conveys the precarious situation of a customer who is forced by the sales person to buy a pair of trousers. He does not only get advice, but is pushed so much that he has the feeling of being the opponent in a boxing match. His aim is no longer to buy the trousers, but to escape from the scene.

The text consists of twenty lines, each of which can stand alone, but also can be read together with the previous or following line and then gets a different meaning. Some words are even doubled, which lets the reader feel like jumping around. The way of reading underlines the contents of the text: the similarity of buying pants and being attacked in a boxing match.

The format of the book is a square, according to a boxing ring. The text is set in a square as well to mark the area where the boxers are moving. The book consists of 20 pages of clear foil, with one line of text and two boxers’ silhouettes on each page. The boxers are printed as red shadows and only become visible, when the pages are turned. When the pages are lying one above the other, the boxers fuse into a colored mass visualizing the movements.

The single foils are stitched onto transparent gum cords that for their part give tension to the flexible plastic cover and symbolize the strings of a boxing ring. The bended cover is designed in a way that it pushes the spine of the book upwards, in order to make the book easy to open.

To emphasize the transparency of the book, title and colophon are printed on a inflatable plastic cushion that serves as the case for the book. By being light-weighted, the cushion is corresponding with the glue-free binding of the book, and by its shape, it is corresponding to the profile of a sand sack. Cushion and book are wrapped in white paper felt, the same material we receive as wrapping in a store, when we buy really expensive clothes.

First edition Tokyo 2001, 10 Arabic numbered copies and three unnumbered Arabic numbered copies. Out of print.

Second edition Tokyo 2002, 15 Arabic numbered copies and three Roman numbered Arabic numbered copies 20 pages with inkjet prints on clear polyethylene foil. Cover made of clear polycarbonate.

The pages are stitched on gum cords that also bend the cover. Inflatable aircushion with stamped title in red and imprint in black. White fleece bag. 23.5 x 21 cm. Signed by the artist and the author."

English translation:

Immediately after I

stumbled into the ring unguarded

there was I have something for you

certainly you may

the sheer force of springy ropes pushed me

in the dressing-room I turned weak

rather than suspicious

my suggestion for outside I staggered

under the cuffs of his endless

concern to settle the score

I kept nodding keep going I thought

only the price kept me on my

feeble legs just feel the

high-quality material and the excellent

workmanship will look fabulous

after some alterations

with a city shirt mustering

what strength I had left I whispered I‘ll take it

you have made the gong saved me

a good choice

Exhibition notes:
Item 0218 - C5-2/3 on Booknesses: Artists' books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection.

UJ Art Gallery, University of Johannesburg

25 March to 5 May 2017

Creative Research: The Artists’ Books of Veronika Schäpers, Robbin Ami Silverberg and Julie Chen.


22 September to 15 December 2022

Ref: GB/10367

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