The Production of The Private Life of Rag Dolls

Event Info

The Private life of Rag Dolls is based on the book, Once Upon a Rag Doll, by Aquiles Nazoa (1920-1976), one of Venezuela’s most prominent writers, humorists, and journalists. The exhibition will feature artist Faride Mereb’s research findings and photographs made during a visit to the author’s family in Caracas, as well as photographs of the original dolls and reinterpretations of the original characters. A new English version will be featured, which uses new fonts, format, and photographs, printed and produced by Javier Aizpurua, the same master printer who worked on the first edition of the book.
The panel discussion with Faride Mereb in conversation with Russet Lederman and Mirko Velimirovic focussed on the making of the book: steps of production, significance of typographic choices, methods of photographic production, paper selection, printing process, and binding. The conversation also addressed the hardship of printing the book in Venezuela. The importance of this, in that this was where the subject of the book, Aquiles Nazoa, was from, and where the idea of the book was conceived. They also discussed the conception of the project, commissioning of the dolls recreation as a means of healing, the book being printed in a small edition since there is not much funding, like there was when One Upon a Rag Doll was originally printed in the 70’s. Overall this program gave great insight into some of the economic a social issues in Venezuela, and a glimpse into Mereb’s autobiography.

Panelists include:

Faride Mereb is a Venezuelan artist, designer, researcher, and founder of publishing house Letra Muerta. Established in 2014, Letra Muerta focuses on archival books, Latin American literature and vindicating the value of the printed book. With The Private Life of Rag Dolls, she is presenting the 8th publication.

Mirko Velimirovic is a Lettering Artist, Type Designer, and Font Engineer working in NYC. Currently he contributes work to Darden studio, and open source variable font projects on Github. In 2019 through January of 2020 he was the chapter lead of Type Thursday NYC. He has guest lectured in classes on type design at SVA, and ECUAD. When he’s not doing calligraphy, he spends his time wrangling difficult software problems in FOSS and NDA font projects. The rest of the time he spends entertaining his two cats.

Russet Lederman is a writer, editor and photobook collector who lives in New York City. She teaches art writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York and writes on photobooks for print and online journals, including FOAM, The Eyes, IMA, Aperture and the International Center of Photograph. She is a co-founder of the 10×10 Photobooks project, co-edits The Gould Collection, lectures internationally on photobooks, and has received awards and grants from Prix Ars Electronica and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Sam González is the Creative Director/Co-Founder at Singular.

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