Part one, 2011
Link to the catalogue of The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2010 on Part one:
Reprint of the 2010 Part one book of which the entire edition was exclusively reserved for the Part one installation. For the first time individual copies are available.
Text by Robin Waart:
Part one is literally about beginning. It consists of an ongoing collection of pages, mostly torn out of novels, featuring only the words Part one / Part 1 / Part I / part one etc. Arranged as a compilation of commencements: an endless book ; simply because it doesn't really stop or start, because it never stops starting.
We start things all the time. A train of thought, conversations, love affairs. Often we don't even know how and when until it has already happened. It's like lying in bed, trying to catch the moment when sleep comes over you. In fact to start something describes much more of a process than just an onset.
This is what Part one is about. About collecting and not being able to track down where and when a collection starts, about failing to predict the moment it will stop. Because there is no such thing as completeness, because collecting always involves repetition. And because if you keep on repeating something, tracing it back to its origin becomes more and more difficult. Actually origins are afterthoughts, reconstructions, myths. Sisyphus pushing his stone up a slope, all the way up, until it rolls back down, must keep starting over and over again. His task is both hopeless and hopeful, but he has grown used to not knowing either the beginning or the end of his travails. As if there is not just one start, no "the" beginning, but always one more.
Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) was the first to add an element of hope, determination, even revolt to his punishment and the absurdity, making him the hero of repetition. In The Plague (1947), again, Camus tells the story of a novelist who spends his whole life and career writing the opening line of a book, and then dies. Here the romantic notions of the "fragment", the "unfinished" and the "absolute" come into mind. The beginning and the end coincide.