What is “s.t. s.t.”?
Probably the best way to define it is “a paper sculpture in the form of a book”.
Who is the author?
Ilya Grishaev, a talented young contemporary art artist born in Perm, currently living in Saint Petersburg.
What is it about?
Well, it depends on the reader, actually. It is not a book in a conventional way. It does not have words. Only illustrations, which, as you can see, are not printed on the pages. They are free to move around. You can take them and arrange them the way you like on the pages of the book or outside them.
Are these illustrations from a fairy tale?
No… or maybe yes. Again, each reader interprets them differently: pictures of people, animals, mutants, objects, amorphic abstractions. Most importantly, they escape predefined narrative codes. In other words, each time you open it, the book tells you a different story.
How were these books made?
It is quite a complex process. It all starts with the drawings that the artist makes on a simple piece of paper - drawings that follow Grishaev’s signature technique: a combination of automated and controlled drawings. The selected images are then scanned and the result is subsequently digitally adjusted for printing, or, to be more precise, to be laser cut.
Who helped the artist?
No one. Grishaev was in charge of all the stages of the process, including the most difficult ones: operating a laser cutting machine – which, incidentally, might be quite dangerous sometimes – and gluing the pages together to make the final book.
Black is the color that best reflects the idea of “absence” – absence of words, absence of a plot, absence of clearness.
Again, there is no intention to build a metaphor of anything. It just looks pleasant for reading.
What does the title mean?
Only the artist knows it. It is like with the illustrations. Everybody can decipher it the way he/she wants.
Why a book then?
To answer this question it suffices to have a close look at the illustrations. These black shapes are the product of the process of writing, rather than drawing. A book is therefore their optimal home.
Enjoy your read