A Dialogue in Useful Phrases, 2010
A Dialogue in Useful Phrases is a book based on “conversational phrases” that were found in Grenville Kleiser’s Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases, an optimistic handbook from 1917 providing “felicitous expressions for enriching the vocabulary.” Kleiser’s conversational phrases starting with ‘I’ were taken and placed opposite those starting with ‘you’. The ‘I’ phrases are running in alphabetical order down the verso pages, the ‘you’ phrases down the recto pages. A dialogue is formed from the random meetings of these phrases. It is a dialogue in the purest sense, a dialogue that expresses nothing other than itself. The book has a square format to indicate the empty room where such communications might be taking place.
'A Dialogue in Useful Phrases' was awarded the Juryprize of the 2011 Sheffield International Artist's Book Prize. Jurors were Maria White (Tate Library), Sarah Bodman (The Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE) and John Clark (Bank Street Arts).