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Through The Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping by Derek Jarman

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 6th, 2023. Artwork published in
November 2022
.
Through The Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping by Derek Jarman 1
Source: twitter.com Prototype Publishing. License: All Rights Reserved.

Through The Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping is the only piece of narrative fiction by English artist, film maker, and gay rights activist Derek Jarman (1942–1994). Written in 1971, it was recently published for the first time through House Sparrow Press, an imprint of Prototype Publishing. The publisher describes it as –

a surreal, fabular, lyrical work – a literary fairytale acid-trip road movie hybrid – the energies and details of which influenced much of his later work across media. The story serves as a foundational text, laying out many of the themes, images and styling of Jarman’s work in painting, film and design whilst also being haunted by the then emerging ecological crisis in its juxtaposition of the beauty of nature with the reckless consumption of modernity.

This edition features facsimile images of the story’s handwritten drafts from Jarman’s archive, a link to an exclusive audio recording of Jarman himself reading the story in full, and is comprehensively informed by a vivid foreword from Philip Hoare, a deeply researched afterword by Jarman scholar Declan Wiffen, and a warm memoir by the artist Michael Ginsborg, a close friend of Jarman’s throughout the period of the story’s writing.

For the cover design, Theo Inglis made exemplary use of Kink (2016). According to Ellmer Stefan of the Pyte Foundry, Kink is, just like the 2022 revision Kinckq, “a digital reanimation of a unique brainchild emerging from the pantographically distorted minds of North American wood type manufacturers.” Inglis arranged all text – the author’s name and the title – with one word per line, center-aligned against an enigmatically iridescent background. Lines alternate between Kink B (bent to the left) in black and Kink B (bent to the right) in white, effectively turning the reading experience into something that resembles watching a disk drop game.

Through The Billboard Promised Land Without Ever Stopping by Derek Jarman 2
Source: prototypepublishing.co.uk Prototype Publishing. License: All Rights Reserved.

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