Wanja Jonathan Schaub, “am Anfang ist Kaputt”


Cover: title letterpress printed on black 142 g/m² fabric


Page spread : mould-made paper with embedded seeds


Book after eight days being watered by dripping unit


Body of the book after three months; dried out


Book in protecting slipcase.


Artist: Wanja Jonathan Schaub (Jerusalem, Israel)

Title:  am Anfang ist Kaputt (2011)

Medium/technique(s): mould-made paper

Edition size: 2

Dimensions, open: 65 x 19 x 6

Dimensions, closed: 29 x 19 x 7


Artist statement:

The book am Anfang ist Kaputt (In the Beginning is Kaput) is a garden. It is a story about the end in the beginning. The moment of translation, when we leave a known alphabet and read through a new one. I like to read gardens as reading books, this one maintains the ability to grow a garden a collection of stories. In an Anfang ist Kaputt I try the symbiosis of the two, book-garden.

The graphemes of the book are seeds and the soil of a garden is translated into paper. The beginning contains the most potential and in order to realize it we have to give the book up.

am Anfang is Kaput contains my collection of seeds, which I gathered over years from different plants and places. The seeds were embedded in mold-made paper and the sheets I bounded into an edition of two books. The book in it’s dormant stage can be read as a seed it self. The work was part of the exhibition “The Museum of the Contemporary” at Mamuta art and media center, Jerusalem and was presented as follows: The first book of the edition was watered by an irrigation system, a dripping unit, which kept the book wet for 3 months. In short time, the seeds sprouted, the flora evoluted and the book started to rot. The second book was placed on a reading table.