Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Foer and Sugimoto and Serra, Oh My!
At various points during the evening, Foer admitted the following:
- He prefers going to galleries over reading other novelists’ work
- He’s been spending time looking at MoMA’s collection of artists’ books and mulling over how he could get some of that action
- He’s more interested in expressing ideas than in staying true to the novel as literary form; the use of creative typography and photography in his new book allowed him to work in a non-linguistic manner
- He occasionally asks himself why he’s not a visual artist and tells himself that he could be if he really wanted to
One thing he didn’t admit: stealing Glenn Ligon’s shtick a couple times in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by compressing the type as it runs down the page, rendering it illegible by the bottom.
Foer also mentioned a project he has in progress that promises to be even more idiosyncratic than anything he has done to date. He is collaborating on a book with Hiroshi Sugimoto. Foer is writing the text for a collection of Sugimoto photos of Richard Serra sculptures. The target audience for this book, I guess, is people who can’t hop Metro North to Beacon to see the real things for themselves.
How did Foer get brought into this project? When he was an undergrad, before he was known as a writer, someone gave him a book of Sugimoto’s photographs. He wrote Sugimoto a fan letter, and the two developed a friendship. They’re now so tight that Foer and his wife spent their month-long honeymoon traveling around Japan with Sugimoto. I hope for the sake of Foer’s marriage that his wife likes (no, loves) wax museums and plaster stereometric models as much as he and Hiroshi do.
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, publisher’s website
- Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Mathematical Forms
- Michiko Kakutani’s review of Foer’s new book in today’s NY Times: “an admirably purposeful but ultimately mannered and irritating novel”
- Deborah Solomon’s portrait of the artist as a fey young man