Books On Books Collection – Rémi Forte

The Spectre of Mallarmé (2022)

The Spectre of Mallarmé (2022)
Rémi Forte
Paper booklet, sewn. H190 x W126 mm, 16 pages. Edition of 50. Acquired from Rémi Forte, 8 April 2022.
Photos: Books On Books Collection. Displayed with permission of the artist.

Published by Derek Beaulieu’s No Press in 2022, Rémi Forte’s images actually began life digitally over a ten-year period, first emerging on Instagram in November 2021. A foundry manager, artist and student, Forte is drawn to “vaporous, elusive abstract forms” [correspondence with Books On Books Collection, 28 April 2022]. The images are handmade with digital sensors. Whether in white on black or black on white, Forte has varied the grays in his effort to find the movement Mallarmé achieved by type, space, words.

A spectre is haunting poetry, the spectre of Stéphane Mallarmé”, Nos. 1-3, 2011-2021.
© Rémi Forte
Posted on Instagram, 14-16 November 2021. Accessed 1 April 2022. Images courtesy of the artist.

Chance and the vagaries of the publishing process account for the images’ appearing on single pages and in black on white, but regardless of that, this homage is no mapping of the Cosmopolis or NRF/Gallimard editions. It harks back to Ernest Fraenkel’s response but without any long-winded assertions about delving into Mallarmé’s psyche. But that comparison is a straw man. Forte’s response is a direct artistic act with 21st century tools.

It leaves to the reader/viewer the opportunity to see the smoke curling from Mallarmé’s cigar in his portrait by Édouard Manet, the sails of his boat, the shadows or light reflecting from the river running through Valvins or the type, space and words of Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira le Hasard moving across the page.

Further Reading

Nicolas Guyot“. 20 May 2020. Books On Books Collection.

Raffaella della Olga“. 8 December 2020. Books On Books Collection.

Ernest Fraenkel“. 30 October 2021. Books On Books Collection.

Jacques Vernière“. 9 February 2022. Books On Books Collection.

Richard Nash“. 21 April 2022. Books On Books Collection.

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