josef chladek

on photobooks and books

David Mondedeu - Variations on a Song

This is David Mondedeu’s forth book - well in fact I would call it more AN „Artist“ Book, as it’s (hand-made and in an edition of only one copy (which of course is a pity). The reason for this is the way the images are developed - every single image is transferred by hand/plate/ink/ print to paper (as photogravure), so it’s time-consuming on the one hand but the outcome and „feel“ is so different to the „printed“ photobook and makes each page, each image unique!

Variations on a Song (which gathers images from a time-span of approx. 12 years, taken in Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Marrakech/loosely inspired by Bach´s Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould) has some of his strongest images so far, sometimes you feel like looking at a painting, sometimes the image falls apart into structures only, sometimes it reminds me of the best of (Jap.) Provoke images from the 70s. I’m not sure if that would work in an industrially produced printed book, but as said before, it’s quite a pity this work won’t get a bigger audience due to limitation (and production cost/price) - but at least you can have a look here and on Mondedeu´s site and loose yourself in black and grey (and sometimes white)… (Josef Chladek)


Variations on a Song is an artist book, consisting of 62 free- standing, hand-pulled, polymer photogravures printed by the artist. It is loosely inspired by Bach´s Goldberg Variations, and is structured in the same manner with an Aria, Variations and an Aria da Capo. Only 1 copy has been printed.

"I think that the great majority of music that moves me I want to hear played
or play myself in a very illuminative, deliberate tempo.” Glenn Gould

On sale at ivorypress.

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