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NIGHTLIFE

Cyprien Gaillard

2019

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In 2012 Cyprien Gaillard went on a trip to Sri Lanka and visited the city of Kandy located at the geographical center of the country. Kandy is also where the artist printed a few copies of an artist book: “NIGHTLIFE”. Three Star Books in 2019 is publishing it in a revised and augmented three volume version.

2012 “NIGHTLIFE” is the compilation of more than 180 large black and white analog night photos of mostly plants from around the world arranged by the artist in a cinematic sequence.

As Gaillard was wandering through the streets of Kandy, the artist noticed the delicate quality of the paper used for the posters that saturate the city walls. Most street posters in Sri Lanka are printed on a thin 50 grams paper (coated on one side and offset on the other).

After tearing a fragment of a poster off a wall as a paper sample, Cyprien Gaillard entered the first print shop he found and asked if they could make him a large book of his night photos (a project the artist had initiated a few years earlier) and bind the volume according to their local standards.

The Kandy print shop used a laser copy printer but as the thin paper and the copy machine were not compatible, a problem quickly occurred: as the poster paper went through the printing rolls, an irregular white crack randomly appeared along the pages creating a kind of lightning strike across the black and white saturated night images.

The combination of the intense black and white photos, the use of thin poster paper, the waxy effect from the laser printing on the coated paper surface, the white random fractures on the pages, and ultimately the cracking sound created by the bound sheets as the pages were turned produced an effect that seduced Gaillard immediately.

On the original cover, which was designed together with the printer, Gaillard mentioned a press name he had created for that occasion in order to give “NIGHTLIFE” a provenance: the “ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS PRESS - PERADENIYA SRI LANKA”.

The few copies of the original “NIGHTLIFE”, were distributed by the artist among his friends and seven years later, Three Star Books is happy to propose a new and augmented version.

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