Cyprien Gaillard NIGHTLIFE
Printed in Sri Lanka
Black and white laser printing on 50 gsm poster paper
Silkscreened hard cover
Three volumes in a slipcase (silkscreened with glossy varnish)
Volume one is 328 pages
Volume two is 362 pages
Volume three is 368 pages
Total of 1058 pages within the three volumes
The three books are 41,5 cm x 29 cm /
Slipcase: 41,5 x 30 x 7 cm
Edition of 100 copies
All copies are signed and numbered inside the slipcase
In 2012 Cyprien Gaillard went on a trip to Sri Lanka and visited the city of Kandy located at the geographical center of the country. Kandy is also where the artist printed a few copies of an artist book: “NIGHTLIFE”. Three Star Books in 2019 is publishing it in a revised and augmented three volume version.
2012 “NIGHTLIFE” is the compilation of more than 180 large black and white analog night photos of mostly plants from around the world arranged by the artist in a cinematic sequence.
As Gaillard was wandering through the streets of Kandy, the artist noticed the delicate quality of the paper used for the posters that saturate the city walls. Most street posters in Sri Lanka are printed on a thin 50 grams paper (coated on one side and offset on the other).
After tearing a fragment of a poster off a wall as a paper sample, Cyprien Gaillard entered the first print shop he found and asked if they could make him a large book of his night photos (a project the artist had initiated a few years earlier) and bind the volume according to their local standards.
The Kandy print shop used a laser copy printer but as the thin paper and the copy machine were not compatible, a problem quickly occurred: as the poster paper went through the printing rolls, an irregular white crack randomly appeared along the pages creating a kind of lightning strike across the black and white saturated night images.
The combination of the intense black and white photos, the use of thin poster paper, the waxy effect from the laser printing on the coated paper surface, the white random fractures on the pages, and ultimately the cracking sound created by the bound sheets as the pages were turned produced an effect that seduced Gaillard immediately.
On the original cover, which was designed together with the printer, Gaillard mentioned a press name he had created for that occasion in order to give “NIGHTLIFE” a provenance: the “ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS PRESS - PERADENIYA SRI LANKA”.
The few copies of the original “NIGHTLIFE”, were distributed by the artist among his friends and seven years later, Three Star Books is happy to propose a new and augmented version.
When Cyprien Gaillard came to visit Three Star Books in Paris in 2019, we concluded that the only way to get the same feel and aspect as the original book was to print 2019 “NIGHTLIFE” again in Sri Lanka.
As the artist did not recall where he printed the original book and in order to keep a low carbon trace, we decided to locate printers in Kandy using Google maps and street view.
After a few days of unfruitful searches and a lack of answers from local Kandy printers, one company finally answered us using WhatsApp; text messages became our communication medium. We had to explain to the new printer our desire to print in Sri Lanka in order to keep the original book quality, get the printer to locate the paper we were looking for, the type of printing and binding etc...
Communication was not easy at first but when common trust became reciprocal between our Paris studio and the printer’s shop in Kandy, the production of our first dummy book started.
The urgency that characterizes the production of “NIGHTLIFE” reminds us of the desire that Mario Merz expressed when he wrote “Voglio Fare un Libro Subito” in 1986. There is a long tradition of self published books among artists. Three Star Books is proud to add its imprint to that very unique project.