Jiří Kobr / Stations of the Cross (concertina book)
The book actually came into being incidentally or, perhaps better, as a game. Sometime in 2014 I was to carve the Stations of the Cross for a certain chapel. This was a task I had always longed for, but at the same time I sensed a certain weight of responsibility. I had to prepare for it and think it through what I wanted to do. Drawn designs had ceased to be enough for me. In order to have something palpable in front of me, I made the Stations of the Cross as a woodcut. It is in two parts, each around a meter in length.
I liked the graphics, but what to do with it? How could I show it to somebody? And as I worked further on the designs and had the prints always before my eyes, I realized they were almost mirror images of one another and I had the idea of a concertina book.
I’ve always been interested in books, and I had made an attempt at creating some booklets. I also like them as things, as objects. Also, the “consumer” aspect of it attracted me, but one that did not approach bibliophilism. It could be a nice, useful book one could take to church or simply peruse in private. It could be a children’s gift.
I simply wanted to disseminate my stations of the cross…
But I was not able to do this. The key figure was Františka Loubat, a graphic design graduate of Juraj Horvát’s illustration atelier at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. I knew she was very proficient in her field and had fresh ideas and a sense of humor. It was she who transformed my woodcut and gave the entire book its final form.
We had the concertina book printed offset in a print run of 300 in 2017. There was no other reason for it than we wanted to have fun. In the meantime we called off the realization of the Ctations of the Cross for the chapel.