Things that work

2016, Amsterdam. A drawing, collage book made in collaboration with Steven Lenoir. The book was for sale in the art book shop San Serriffe in Amsterdam and in the Galerie Emmy Miltenburg, Schiedam.

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It is a book about growing up and finding oneself in absurd social contexts and trying to orientate in it.

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“The book Arta Balina produced in the summer of 2016 is wonderful pile-up.

As an object, it’s modern and old-school at the same time. It’s got 3mm thick (but ridiculously light) pages that got lasercut texts and images. But it also has low-tech pages with an air of old stencilmachines and copiers.

As a production, it’s both meticulous and raw. The laser cutting is so precise it turns even a quickly made notation into a ‘definite version’ of itself. On the other hand the book also features torn paper as backdrop, fuzzy photographs and under-and-over saturated printing.

As for its content, it’s both carefree and painfully observant. The drawings are quick, but deal with universal and lasting issues. The size and nature of the pages almost suggests a children’s book, but the content touches on subjects one can only get to by having lived quite a bit.

It results in a book of delightful complexity and contradiction.”

Maarten de Reus
tutor Gerrit Rietveld Academy


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