Softcover. Idea and concept by Oscar Guermouche, design by Sandra Praun & Oscar Guermouche. Edition of 600 copies.
The starting point of Oscar Guermouche’s work is language as a carrier of identity. He focuses on the connections between text, biography, and body based on notions such as memory, self-image, and character, often using his own body and biography as raw material. He is particularly interested in stereotypically male characters, often anti-heroes, men who are trapped in a borderland between hero and monster, and the narratives that create and recreate these men. Issues such as upbringing, fatherhood and threat are also included here.
For Eye of the Tiger Guermouche has worked only with film stills; apart from a quote from the film Le Samouraï (1967) the work contains no text. He has focused on the stare as language. The book is composed of close-ups of the eyes of 99 male characters from various films. The stills portray the characters in situations where they are driven into some sort of readiness; these stares express everything from controlled calm to furious aggression. The films were all released between 1977 and 2000, the formative years of Guermouche’s childhood and coming of age, including schooling, sexual debut and military service.
The black wooden pattern on the cover, along with the blackened edges and the deep black endpapers, are reminiscent of the installations in the form of barricades that Guermouche has created in recent years, for example the work You Made Me (ICIA, 2016) in Gothenburg. The dust jacket is made out of Swedish kraft paper, which draws ammunition packaging to mind. The metallic foiling refers to the machine as a male ideal, and to the steely-eyed stare. The black-and-white images with their graininess and deep black, give the impression of memories rather than direct depictions.
Each and every one of the 99 copies of the special edition has been signed as one of the characters in the book.
Publisher: Praun & Guermouche
Size: 17 x 19 cm (approx.)