It’s not very often we have a selection of vintage porn magazines masquerading as a book about the history of cinema on It’s Nice That, and for this special occasion we have Professor Fons Hickmann, founder of Berlin studio Fons Hickmann m23, to thank – he stumbled across the rare finding at a French flea market.
As a studio, Fons Hickmann m23 is principally concerned with the cultural field, so it’s little surprise that Fons’ bookshelf yielded a diverse and fruitful selection of vintage and contemporary publications for us to fawn over; from a beautiful atlas created by his namesake to a book which covers 40 years of research by theorist Siegfried Zielinksi. Dive in!
Roland Barthes: A Lovers’s Discourse – Fragments
“And the night illuminated the night.” I have read this book by Roland Barthes like no other and will continue to do so. It floats around three times, in German, English and French, from my bookshelf to the bedside table and back – they come and go, all three. Because of the unique structural composition of the book, it can be read from front to back, or not; the fragments are arranged alphabetically and the text in English and German is in a different order to the French original. It is a book for those who do not differentiate too much between feeling and knowledge – for those who consider feeling and thinking a symbiotic process. “… The voice of the incurable loving.” None of the editions are beautifully designed, the German edition can only be described as ugly. Because my girlfriend knows how much I appreciate the book, she wrapped the cover with beautiful old wallpaper – with love. “Le cœur est l’organe du désir.”
Anton Leo Hickmann: Prof. Hickmann’s Geografisch-Statistischer Universal-Atlas
A book by my namesake A.L. Hickmann. The first issue that I have in my bookshelf is from 1897: the Austrian published Pocket World Atlas. The book changed a lot, on one hand in its small size, because you no longer had to carry huge maps around, and on the other through its infographics, which also later inspired Otto Neurath, who then reduced it even more, and for the better. The first issue was given to me by my older brother and as a result I began the search for more. And every now and then I find an edition in an antique book store.
Siegfried Zielinski and Marcel R. Marburger: OVER THE HEAD: Projecting Archaeology & Variantology of Arts and Media
An impossible publication. Throughout over 40 years of research and teaching, the theorist Siegfried Zielinski used the overhead projector as his media for his theoretical lectures. The transparencies prepared by him for the lectures, some even created live during the lectures, are being collected in the Vilém Flusser Archive in Berlin and have been edited for this publication by Marcel Marburger. The book is a media archive with hundreds of transparencies and one original. The collection is gathered by hand, bound, numbered and signed. In the original that Zielinski enclosed in my edition he wrote the Adorno quote, “Who thinks can not be angry.”
Unknown: Histoire du Cinéma
I found this book at a French flea market. As a fan of French cinema I was immediately attracted to it, then very surprised by the content. A passionate collector of cheap porn magazines had exchanged the content and replaced it with his slippery, secret passion. The personal porn history of an unknown collector with classics like Liaisons Intimes and Votre Sexuellement or L’Orgasme, which had already inspired Woody Allen to make his film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask).
Hans Rudof Lutz: Typoundso
One of the most impressive books about typography, period. A standard work on the Swiss master H.R. Lutz and his students from the basics to the virtuoso.
Edward Gorey: Dracula
I like the deep black humour of Edward Gorey and I like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A favourite illustrator meets a favourite book. This is very unique, particually since I have a lot of books from both. [I have] ten issues of Dracula I think. As everyone knows the story, it’s not so important that there is not much written in Gorey’s book, it is more of a theatrical drama, the lyrics everybody knows by heart anyway.
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