Unreasonable Silence, Candida Powell-Williams
common-editions, 2019
London

Design of artist book Unreasonable Silence, by Candida Powell-Williams.

Unreasonable Silence explores the cultural heritage of tarot cards. Candida Powell-Williams’ interest in the absurd led her to consider mysticism within storytelling, crossing it with the mundane materiality of objects. Her research informed the creation of a performance at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 2018, where she re-animated the tarot in a three-dimensional space, which gave rise to the creation of her very own 78-card Tarot deck. The design draws on Powell-Williams’ research into the history of tarot, using the historic Marseille deck as a reference for the typeface, which was reformulated and simplified to create a new alphabet. Juxtaposing the typeface with Powell-Williams’ contemporary aesthetic nods towards the collapsing of past, present and future – as occurs during a tarot reading. The deck is accompanied by small guide, as is typical of tarot packs. Here, however Powell-Williams has adopted the format as an artist’s book, which unpacks the meanings of each card, details Powell-William’s research and includes vignettes written by the artist.

Written by Candida Powell Williams
Essay by Antonia Shaw
Edited by Nadine Monem
89 x 127mm, 78 cards, booklet 54pp
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