DARBOVEN~Hanne – ‘One Century: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’ (signed)*


Artist: Hanne Darboven 
Publisher: Imschoot Publishers, Gent
Year: 1988
ISBN: 90-72191-02-2

Full colour cover, black, red and blue printing on white paper.  Artist’s book, 14.8 × 21 × 2.5 cm, [246 pages], square back sewn on.
Condition: Dustjacket with only slightest trace of use;
inside near mint
Signed copie
The work 'A Century', which exists of nearly 900 mainly typewritten A4 pages, was created in 1971. The main section (833pp) is a purely mathematical visualization of a century starting from the year 00 through 99. The whole century is divided into twelve months, each of them corresponding to the twelve months in 1971 when Darboven actually worked on the project. The months, or chapters, are separated by vignettes, numbered from I - XII, silhouettes of the kind that was popular in the 19th century, with motifs from fairy tales or folk songs.

In 1982, to mark the 150th century of Goethe's death, Hanne Darboven supplemented the Century with a section specifically dedicated to Goethe, quoting the Grosser Brockhaus Encyclopaedia, on the life and work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The book is very much about the passage of time : a century about universal validity is taken to the point of almost eternal duration, seen here in relation to the limits of human lifespan. The figures 00-99 define no more than the timespan of a century - the century is timeless. Time is enshrined in writing, is experienced in the act of writing. Chronology is no longer time calculated but time spelled out : page by page, like the pages of a book - or, in Darboven's own words, "mathematical literature". (adapted from M. Kramer)

The book groups 4 A4 pages to one A5 page - and thus condensing time.
"The artist's personal homage to the encyclopedic mind of Goethe; almost a thousand pages of counting and writing enlist her tribute." - Imschoot Publishers