A Guide to Trees for Governors and Gardners.
Photographs, text and collages by Yto Barrada.
Deutsche Guggenheim, 2011. 128 pp., illustrated throughout, 11¾x8¼".
In the satirical tradition of Jonathan Swift, and riffing on Brion Gysin´s Dream Machine, Yto Barrada´s artist book is a guide humbly submitted by an anonymous bureaucrat describing how to prepare an unnamed city for a visit by a high-ranking diplomatic official.
The manual consists of illustrated instructions, graphs, charts, collages, and photographs, and promises to 'reveal for the first time ... a radical innovation' in the method of placing palm trees along the visitor´s route.
Seemingly reasonable at first, these directives ˆ on repainting sidewalks, making cardboard spectators and arranging palm trees to 'induce a state of euphoria' in the visitor ˆ begin to suggest something amiss behind the patriotic Potemkin facades.
Clothbound, handworked (160 x 220mm); including signed artist´s print (frequency modulated offset) on India paper (297 x 420 mm); in clothbound slipcase.
Limited, numbered, and signed edition of 350 copies plus 25 A.P.
ZE898-LTD Limited Edition is no longer available