This exhibition examines the close, collaborative relationship between writer Penny Rimbaud and typesetter and publisher Christian Brett, co-founder of Bracketpress. This independent radical publisher of books, pamphlets and limited-edition prints, co-founded with illustrator Alice Smith in 2005, has published a number of Penny Rimbaud’s poetry pamphlets and full collections, including And Now It Rains and companion piece The Universal Other (of which I am one and a part).
Brett’s collaborations with author, artist and activist (and former member of the English art collective and punk rock band Crass) Rimbaud employ many expressive and conceptual typographic tricks, creating visually exciting designs for some very challenging texts. Although 26 years apart in age, there appears a shared language, much of which goes unspoken, that informs and permeates their work together. Along with published material (novels, essays, poetry and music), the exhibition also includes working designs for as yet unpublished works.
Tricking The Impossible draws on extensive archive material from the Bracketpress archive held at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, and is being shown in the Special Collections Gallery on the third floor of the Sir Kenneth Green Library. The exhibition is part of RANDOM Archive, a collaborative project with Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre exploring text and type.