photo: Fabian Ramos

CLIENT: Museo Barjola
YEAR: 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY: Javier Calleja
#EditorialDesign #EditorialDirection #ArtDirection

Dimensions: 170 x 240 mm
Pages: 143 pag.
Cover: paperback that has been sewed with a spine that can be seen.
The book collects the archeology of objects which is present in the artistic practice of Jacobo Castellano and his exhibition Blind before a Backdrop.

The book has two goals. Firstly, it documents the exhibition Blind before a Backdrop  by the artist Jacobo Castellano that has been shown in the Chapel of the Trinity of the Barjola Museum. Secondly, it shows, for the first time, the archeology of objects that the artist carries out as a fundamental part of its artistic practice.

The graphic system has its roots on the pillars of the theoretical corpus of Jacobo Castellano’s work: cultural identity and memory; heterogeneity and precarity of the forms; formal banishment, re-elaboration of the languages and the formal strategies; the game as a manner to understand.

The still life that gathers part of this object archive, is the image that starts the first part of the book and is a step forward to a collection of the same documentary photography with captures of rigorous frontality. They are black and white their vast majority. These images establish a dialogue between the documentary objectivity and the game of scales and compositions; between history and the own narrative of the object and the one that it acquires for the artist once they enter the artist studio, the familiar and colloquial names that the objects acquire are also part of this one.

The compositions are surrounded by plain areas of black which is a tribute to the film industry and the grotesque esthetic of Luis Garcia Berlanga. Jacobo Castellano’s work makes a reference to it.

The object’s images alternate with the work’s images, documented in a traditional way and with white background, as a manner of veiling and unveiling that culminates in three objects that used to belong to his grand-father and this lids to Blind before a Backdrop foldout that is also the title of the exhibition main artwork. The standard, object in black and white and artwork with color is changed here. The foldout is the starting point of the Barjola Museum exhibition documentation. 

This exchange among the objects and the artist’s work, and black and white with color, is presented as an allegory of the value of creative intuition in the artistic practice of Jacobo Castellano. In other words, how the objects find the work to which they belong. This statement is already anticipated in the front page that alternates the titles of each part of the book, Soli Cessatio, in reference to the objectual part, and Blind before a Backdrop, the title of the sample. In consequence, their typography is Perpetual Tilling, a transitional font with serif and New Helvetic, neo-grotesque, which is framed in the International Typographic Style, two styles that are very well defined that talk about the intersection between vanguard and tradition.
The book gathers five art critic texts and one that has been written by the artist. Each text has its own identity, its real meaning, autonomy, and they are translated like this from a graphic point of view. The first text, Soli Cessatio uses Future typography size 10 pt., geometric sans serif that represents the European vanguardism, the chosen weight is condensed ¨ to give a convincing and compact aspect. A line spacing of 13 pt. has been used and a positive kerning to relieve the text. The Spanish and English versions present themselves in mirror that are justified on the external part of the page and with wide inferior, central, and superior margins. The fact of being a short text allows to accentuate the forms and in the search of text-treatment of the object.

Mermaid and Crow: Another Reality, uses a Bodoni 72 typography, the size is 9,5 pt. and the line spacing is 13,5 pt. The text is in the middle of the page with the left margins and the superior ones possess a broaden thickness. In addition, the typography transmits elegance and balance between rationality and feeling, this particularity, in accordance with the rhythm of the text since it’s a story, which is accentuated using a positive kerning, that at the same time, makes easier the reading. On the other side, its objective is the contrast and the formal strangeness that incorporates the justification in flag which is more brusque and less harmonic one in a certain manner.

The following text, the only one written by the artist, uses a neo grotesque sans serif typography. In this part, the design highlights the color, white typography on a black background and towards the fact that is necessary to turn around the book for its reading, this gesture wants to refer to the game, the learning, to the continuous research, which are very present in the artist´s work.

Blind before a Backdrop in the second part of the book which is designed and divided into two columns of 9,5 centimeters which are laid out in a form of mirror, with superior and inferior margins of 1,5 cm and external of 1 cm with a reminiscence to the precarious balance of the sculptures of Jacobo Castellano. A Tempos Text typography of 8,5 pt. and a line spacing of 14 pt. has been used to make its reading easier since it has a more complex form.

Notes on the “Backdrop” of the Question and Impasse have been designed with texts that invade nearly the whole page. They use the following typography Letter Gothic Std that possess a body of 8 pt. and a line spacing of 12 pt., a mono space sans serif typography that orders this big blot of text and makes easier its reading. Impasse, which refers to the decree of alarm state of Covid-19 since it coincides with the opening of the exhibition that uses a black background to evoke the current oppressive situation. The remaining parts of the text possess an 10% of black background.