Recording from Villa Grisebach on December 15th, 2020: Leanne Shapton (New York), Niklas Maak and Daniel Kehlmann talking about ghosts:
In 2009's Important Artifacts and personal property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, including Books, Street Fashion and Jewlery, the Canadian artist, author and publisher Leanne Shapton told the story of a couple's failed love story from beginning to end in the form of a fictional auction catalogue with personal items, letters and photos. This wonderful book, which is presented to us by the protagonists only with relicts and memorabilia, already had something ghost-like. Her new Guestbook, recently published in German by Suhrkamp Verlag, explores the equally glimmering and unsettling experiences that haunt people in their lifes that they are also afraid to talk about. Shapton has composed numerous such stories and memories into a multi-layered cabinet of curiosities, transforming the classic ghost story into something entirely new.
Since Leanne Shapton lives in New York City, we will zoom her over to our fireplace on 15th December.
The multi-award-winning art and architecture editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's features section, Harvard guest professor and author had already been on the road with Leanne Shapton Durch Manhattan (Walking through Manhattan) in 2017. Together they present a highly individual view of New York (through his writing and her watercolours). His dystopian novel Technophoria, published this year, depicts an eerie, downright creepy vision of our near future as glassy people in a hyper-digitized world.
The German-Austrian writer has also won many awards. His 2005 novel Measuring the World became one of the most successful German novels of the postwar period and his novel Tyll was on the bestseller list for months and made the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize. Daniel Kehlmann also has a soft spot for the uncanny, the ghostly as we can easily tell in his first stage play Geister in Princeton (2011), his Frankfurt poetic lectures Kommt, Geister! (2015) or his haunting tale You Should Have Left (2014), which has just been made into a movie.
© 2020 Leanne Shapton