Christopher Russell


Book, 16 x 23.5 cm, 200 p, language: English, publisher: Bedwetter, ISBN: 978-1-4507-5725-6.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/873).

Literary synopsis

Sniper takes a meandering and poetic and sometimes violent look at paired serial killers as an ultimate expression of repressed desire. Russell writes his own perverse and patchwork version of the classic love story, a tale in which the feelings of love justify all–especially when those feelings are sublimated. Sniper is told through the narrative chaos of nameless characters, past-life flashbacks, false-recollection as well as the parental and bureaucratic influence that define the psychological space of the outsider. The text's 200 full color pages are profusely illustrated with printing "mistakes," text buried under washes of color, found photographs, while also reproducing Russell's own artwork, drawings scratched into photographic emulsion, which has now become his signature style. The release of Sniper revives the Bedwetter brand, which achieved notoriety during its twelve-issue existence with a bold "destroy-to-enjoy" design strategy and an embrace of difficult literary and visual material. With Sniper , Russell has created a design and layout that plays a game with the viewer, making the process of reading another part of the literary adventure.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Writing and book design, have been a part of Christopher Russell’s artistic production for the past decade. He has worked his fictional stories into wallpaper that uses the letters of the text as pixels to reproduce dramatic historical patterns. He has created books for both gallery display and general distribution that merge the experience of viewing art with the act of reading. The two are combined in complications such as secret compartments, black text on black paper, yellow text on fluorescent paper, steel plates used as book-boards, rows of 12 pt. text extended over meter-long foldouts. More recently he has been focused on making very large (up to 1.3 meter when open), one of a kind books in which every letter of the text is drawn, as a font, with a fountain pen, and is illustrated with original drawings. These projects work with and are just as much a part of his process as the photography and drawings that hang on gallery walls.

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