This isn’t a book, it’s Studio Yukiko’s “290-page tomb” for postmodernism

Influenced by the exhibition’s title, the publication’s editorial sequence certainly doesn’t hold back from showing everything… And all at once. With opening pages displaying all of the artworks presented in each of the catalogues chapters, followed by all of their captions, “everything fits on one double page spread, a cacophony of images – the audience comprehends everything, literally everything at once” says Yukiko. The book is then somewhat of an overlapping, graphic reflection of an age in which “everything happened simultaneously” the agency explains.

Studio Yukiko’s visual embrace of eclecticism for the project was also a way to “subvert any canonical rules on book design”, the team tells us. In the true spirit of postmodernism, the studio set about “breaking any established rules about style, disregarding any attempt to measure good taste” throughout the book’s visuals. The results? A crazy mishmash of juxtaposing typefaces from different periods, footnotes and page numbers with absurd proportions and captions “almost as big as images”. Something the studio committed to in order to “reverse the widely accepted legibility hierarchy” and reject the narrow ideas of “design rationality” that so defined modernism and its monotonous aesthetics.

So what’s with the bodybuilder? We were also wondering. Working with Szymon Stepniak, Studio Yukiko created this striking series of images showing off the sheer weight and size of the bulky, eclectic catalogue referencing the style of “vintage promo images of body builders”. This decision on the art direction for the book’s campaign was apparently a nod to the likes of Jane Fonda’s aerobics and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reference to his own body as a “sculpture”, as the studio has observed that the body has become somewhat of “a material to be shaped and staged” in the postmodernist era… We’re not sure what’s more impressive – the book’s innovative, postmodernist design or this promotional photoshoot.

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