ReCover (with English subtitles)

Uploaded by nagledna on 02.10.2012

NAGLEDNA presents
Is it on, is it on?
RECOVER is a recollection of the bookcovers I've made during the last two years
RAYCHO STANEV visual artist and designer
and I wanted to make a comparison between contemporary art
and how being a contemporary artist really helps me in making covers for contemporary books.
Modern literature is also art in itself,
and in one way or another they share a common ground.
This gives me a very good opportunity to experiment in different areas,
not only to design books or create cover illustrations.
The way I approach each cover is very similar to the way I approach my art projects,
every single cover is a new project for me
and this is how I manage to reach much deeper and further.
If we start with reading the book which is a major part of my work,
bringing things from the text and the context out to the cover
because the cover is actually in there somewhere, in the text,
you just have to look carefully and you will find it.
By reading carefully you can see things, structure them on a more conceptual level,
and reveal them on the cover, each being there with its reason and purpose
not only because it looks good.
And then I combine them with the appropriate typography
which becomes part of the overall graphics
and together the drawing and heading form a unity which,
if separated, would look unnatural, and should always complement each other.
Actually everything has a logic of its own and yet looks very plain.
Then comes the next stage in which I describe and explain my work
because just as contemporary art needs explaining,
so do contemporary bookcovers.
I do this really carefully, I take part in each of Manol's book launches,
and I just share my experiences, ideas, airy notions,
how things have happenned and why, since everything has a logic of its own
and bookcovers are not the end in themselves.
All these explanations actually help readers very much as well,
not only to understand the cover but the book itself.
As I already said, to me the cover design is not only illustrations and typography,
it's also explaining, presenting and narrating.
And as a result of these different stages, I have a cover or an actual cover project,
which very much resembles the contemporary art projects that I do.
I like Raycho's style of work, and what impresses me the most perhaps,
is that he does every project in a strictly individual manner, not like a machine.
MANOL PEYKOV managing partner, JANET 45 Publishing
The first think I like about him is that he is not an Academy graduate,
and I think that helps a lot.
I think that in its purely aesthetic aspect the Academy schooling is very powerful,
but in philosophycal aspect it lacks a lot and is very shallow and basic.
Raycho's works evolve in many directions, they are much more conceptual.
He has a feeling for the books he works on and manages to capture their spirit.
Most covers made in Bulgaria reach only surface level,
they just don't get to essence of the matter.
If the book is called, let's say...
"The Flight of the Dog", then the cover shows a flying dog.
But what is behind this dog and this flight,
I'm making this up now, there's no such book, or maybe there is, but I'm just making it up,
is not clear,
because the artist has not reached the essence, the root of the matter.
Raycho searches for a key to the book.
It was very impressive, in "Tokyo Cancelled" he had found a sentence in the very end,
which for him was the key to the book itself, of course, we can argue if it really is,
but nevertheless it is a very interesting and really profound interpretation.
The first cover for Janet 45 was for "Love Life",
a rather strange, difficult and serious book,
written by a Dutch marketologist, not even a writer, called Ray Kluun.
He came here just a few months ago and I was lucky to meet him,
he's one of the few foreign authors I have actually met and whose books I have designed,
which is really valuable and helps a lot.
I remember how I read the entire book in just one night,
and got up in the morning and did the cover.
Of course, this was not the final version, but the main idea was there,
and I had already envisaged how things would happen.
From then on I believe I use the same approach for most of my covers.
Not that I read them in one night, no, I take more time,
but usually after finishing the book, the idea of the cover is already in my mind,
and I know which things to bring forth from the text.
And this is the hardest thing actually, to grasp the main fragments on which to base
your entire concept of the book itself.
Once you've grasped them, it all becomes easy, you just have to show them
and present them in an adequate manner on the cover.
Sometimes when I discuss the translation with the translator, I feel strange,
because I don't watch out so closely for the details of the translation,
since I have different markers,
for which I keep my senses alert and open
so that I can grasp the overall structure and bring it to the surface.
And in the end the result is good.
Raycho understands that typography IS the cover,
illustration is not the cover.
Most Bulgarian bookcover designers, nearly 90 per cent, I might say,
don't get this.
Raycho started working on each type separately,
his typography is hand-made and it is in unison with the overall feeling and meaning...
I was thinking about the Indian series, how it had keystone importance,
it gave the start of all those covers with illustrations only and hand-made typography,
which in my opinion really pushed forward the bookcovers in Bulgaria as a whole.
It was about time this happenned,
since compared to translations, where we see a serious rise during the last few years,
and things are not done like they used to be in the 1990's,
because now quality matters,
bookcovers, in my opinion,
are still not very far from what they were in the 1990's
when the entire idea of book design had hit rock bottom,
with all this easy access to picture databases,
and using computers for designing books.
So making typography by hand
and using drawings instead of photos for the covers of books
first happenned with the "White Tiger" which was the first book of the Indian series
and marked a very good line,
the whole series went on really well, with the "Interpreter of Maladies"
and the upcoming "Smell".
In just a couple of weeks I am leaving for India
which I think will be of great help to me
for my future projects,
I have such experience with the Cuban series,
and now I appreciate my trip to Cuba when working on books from the Cuban series.
When things are not done with pleasure they don't have this vibe, as the Americans call it,
there's no vibration, no... feeling, you can't feel the Universe,
you just feel some distant echo or an overtone but things in general are simply flat.
And even if you can't see them at first and all looks very aesthetic and neat,
you can feel them.
Just as Raycho himself says that the books we do together influence him,
and the other areas of his art,
working with him also influences me, in new directions,
as a publisher and as an artist,
because the publishing work is indeed artistic work, it is the work of a curator,
you have to choose the right title, the right translator, the right editor, the right designer,
to present all this in the right manner to the right public,
that is, to find your own public.
The right public is the one which will like this and feel this in their hearts.
In my opinion, real things are born in such a variety of opinions, impressions and
multi-directional creative impulses.
And people with different gifts, talents, viewpoints,
if you manage to bring them together for a common cause,
it acquires a really polyphonic sound and a new meaning,
and new ideas, new people and new directions start gathering around this cause.
And here we are in the exhibition space, where I managed to bring culture into the toilet!
Camera and editing EVGENI BOGDANOV
Who are you talking to? Who?!
It's me, I am talking. With WHO?!
With myself, to the camera, you see?<i> They're shooting something, bro!</i>
OK, but it's not gonna work here, it's not.
Well, there's nothing inside, you see!<i> Go on, go on!</i>
<i>Cathy, come here for a picture!</i>
English translation and subtitles MARIA YOLOVA