27 Square Meters, 1001 Nights

Exhibition Review

  • "Yona Friedman: 1001 nuits + 1 jour"

  • mfc-michèle didier, Paris
  • 05 Jun 2014 - 03 Sep 2014
  • 1001 nuits + 1 jour

  • By Yona Friedman
  • 286 pages and 4 cover pages, limited edition of 75 copies and 25 artist’s proofs
  • mfc-michèle didier, Paris, 2014
  • Certificate signed and numbered by the artist, €1,700
Yona Friedman, from 1001 nuits + 1 jour (2014), artist’s book. Produced and published by mfc-michèle didier. ©2014 Yona Friedman and mfc-michèle didier.

Yona Friedman, from 1001 nuits + 1 jour (2014), artist’s book. Produced and published by mfc-michèle didier. ©2014 Yona Friedman and mfc-michèle didier.

My studio on the Boulevard Pasteur was small (27 square meters),” reminisces the 91-year-old Hungarian architect Yona Friedman in the preface to 1001 nuits + 1 jour, his new artist’s book. Describing this tiny Parisian atelier, he explains, “I didn’t repaint the walls, but covered them with drawings … of my secret, imaginary world.” In 1968, when Friedman relocated to a more spacious apartment, the drawings were taken down. He recently rediscovered them in a drawer, “older and aged, both the drawings and myself, even more moving than before.”

The charming and spirited exhibition “1001 nuits + 1 jour” (1,001 nights + 1 day) presented both the book and a group of reproduced drawings in a scatter hang. The book, a playful rather than precious object, enables its owner to recreate Friedman’s original décor or to invent a new one. As in a children’s sticker book, each drawing has been pre-cut by laser and can be easily detached from the page (and, if needed, painlessly slipped back into position), dovetailing nicely with the notions that are central to Freidman’s work.

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