07 Jan AURÉLIE AND SERGE
Third floor of a building from the 70’s: marbled floor and carpeted elevator. We enter into Aurélie and Serge’s place and wonder if we are not in a clandestine museum. Some original drawings on the wall, a shelf with a collection of robots, curious and bizarre various objects… Obviously we have entered a universe. “We like kitsch and quirky things” explains Aurélie. The main bookcase is in the living room and occupies a whole wall. We notice no novels in the bookcase. Here this is the kingdom of picture, illustration, and graphic design. We see many children books – new or vintage – , pop-ups, comics… Serge explains: “we have tried a classification by colours but it was too difficult and in the end the books are ordered by formats”. The result is very visual, rich and living. We don’t know where to start with.
Aurélie likes pop-ups and children books that she buys compulsively. She opens a re-edition of a book originally published in the 20’s. It is a craft book with masks for children. “But I am not cutting anything here!” It is an artwork and Aurélie takes care of it. On his side, Serge is always looking for incredible “object-books”. “Each book must be a stroll, a micro-exhibition”. He shows us an accordion-style book that unfold on 7,5 meters. Fascinating. Another book? He grabs one about taxidermy – surprising. Then: a postcard collection by Martin Parr – very stylish –, a holiday workbook for adults – amusing – and then… We are happily overwhelmed by all these amazing specimens mainly published by small publishers. “Independent publishers are doing an incredible work and publish books that could never exist with big publishers” explains Serge. A little sleepy head opens the door on the living room: “Here is Milo, 5 year-old”. Once we are introduced to each other, Milo tells us: “I love books about animals!”
We follow Milo in the rest of the apartment. In the office, Aurélie shows us a religious altar dedicated to Elvis Presley. “It’s a Mexican stuff!” says Serge as a justification although he recognises to have a “slight passion” for The King. He then takes out from his pocket his latest find: a small cardboard figurine of Elvis that small the singer’s perfume during his Hawaii concert of 1977. “After that he sang the third song” adds Serge, glad about his acquisition.
A FEW BOOKS TO BORROW FROM AURÉLIE AND SERGE:
Uncovered by Thomas Allen, Aperture, 2007: in this darkly delightful first monograph–also a board book–Thomas Allen selects the pulpiest of pulp paperbacks and then lovingly slices out a figure from the cover, gently folds it into position and constructs a witty and oftentimes suggestive scene around it.
Elvis Road de Helge Reumann et Xavier Robel, Buenaventura Press, 2001: this accordion-style book of 7,5 meters lenght reveals « hundreds of mini-narratives with armed maniacs, rampaging crowds, chaotic policemen, overflowing hospitals, a forest of literal tree-huggers, and hordes of shoppers”.