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Campbell, Ken, 1939–2022

The word returned / Ken Campbell.

[London] : [Ken Campbell], 1996.
Physical Description:
2 v. in 1 : col. ill. ; 50 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2012 24
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"Two years ago, we went to Madrid for a weekend. On Sunday afternoon we went to a flea market and there I found a near-complete set of zinc stencil letters. Graphic designers have been using them for years; they suggest integrity and speed and informality. [But] stencil lettering is such a massive cliché. I wanted to be able to turn this around. So I bought them ... I realised that if you turned them over they would be the right way round to print, and they could be constrained in the furniture of the press ... I decided to print my poem 'Dear Judas' in stencil. The margins on the stencils and their limited number demanded that the poem be printed one letter at a time. Multiplied by 50 to gain the edition, and twice for the book to be dos-à-dos (which means it's a double book but turns in on itself, which I liked, a very Celtic thing), and that multiplied by the number of letters in the poem called for the cranking of my one-ton FAG proofer-over 66,000 times. For the poem only."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
Edition of 35 + 1 Ap.
Comprises 68 + 68 pages (dos-à-dos), multi-color printed letterpress and handwork using a raised block mounting board, lead type, wood type, zinc and polymer plates, and zinc stencils. Binding by Charles Gledhill. Some imagery is achieved through digital manipulation. Contained in a drop-backed box.
Original archival material related to this work is available in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Ken Campbell Collection, MSS 25).
Word returned: artists books by Ken Campbell, 19
BAC: British Art Center copy is no. 16 of 35, signed by the artist.
"'The Word Returned' is two books in one, dos-à-dos, back to back. The books share similar design and content. Sometimes what is on the left in one is on the right in the other; what is black in one is white in the other; what is up in one is down in the other; and what is obscure in one is readable in the other. When the books are turned they turn into their other selves: they rotate. There is no end to process unless that end is desired. A book with no beginning, a book with no ending. The Celtic custom of rejoicing at death and mourning at birth is echoed in the dos-à-dos form of the book. My poem 'Dear Judas' is dedicated to my family, those people who jump out of rocks. Other brief texts hint at Adam as Golem in the earth, and the release and return of a dying Gaul to his statue's marbled fount."--Artist's website.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Campbell, Ken -- Publisher.
Artists' books -- England -- 1996.
Dos-à-dos bindings (Binding)

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