Master printer Deborah Barnett announces Someone Editions’ The Birth of Venus, Cock-Swallower, a limited edition imprint featuring David R. Carlson’s restoring of the myth of creation, and Rei Misiri’s dynamic renderings of the goddess through graceful, always dynamic and bold brush drawings.
Through a masterful subversion of the sources, David R. Carlson recreates the birth of Venus as a goddess who, in a very modern way, creates herself. He does this by referring himself to the original depiction by Hesiod of Venus as born from the dismembered male gods. Carlson takes the original Greek spelling of the Venus’ name, “penis loving” and in the process restores her power. Centuries of misspelling, or misreading the original spelling as “laughter-loving” had given Venus a kind sort of beauty that obfuscated her power as created and creator. David Carlson further brings into the narration of Venus’ birth, elements of the story as told by Ovid and his close contemporaries, and in the process creates a poem of extraordinary beauty.
For his part Rei Misiri brings the renewed goddess to life through his own brand of traditional calligraphic techniques married to dance movement and street art. His mastery at calligraphic expression has proven instrumental in the shape and form of the chapbook as designed by Deborah Barnett.
Designed by Deborah Barnett, in Toronto Canada in 2018, putting to use traditional letterpress techniques and materials and the latest iterations of digital technology. The type, Mason Sans, designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, is employed for the titling. The text is set in the Absara family of fonts, designed by Xavier Dupré in 2005. The paper is Canaletto Bianco felt for the pages, and vintage Fabriano for the cover. The chapbook is hand sewn in an edition of 52 signed and numbered copies.
someone:elements The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus, Cock-Swallower comprises the entirety of someone:elements, the defining umbrella for the four elements that make up Someone Editions’ adventure in print making, celebrating water, air, earth, and fire. The series Editor is Beatriz Hausner.
David R. Carlson is the author of many outstanding publications, including English Humanist Books 1475-1525, Chaucer’s Jobs, scholarly books on John Gower and Thomas Elyot, and a vast and astonishingly diverse body of work in the areas of Book-History and Renaissance printing, including Wyatt, Skelton Barclay, Erasmus and More. Important also in Carlson’s bibliography are his works on Middle English romance and historiography, Anglo-Saxon literature and Late Antique poetry.
Rei Misiri is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist. Originally from Tirana, Albania he finds in urban art and dance an outlet to embrace his identity. He combines visual art, dance, and film to bridge the gap between street culture and high art. Misiri’s dynamic juxtapositions of traditional calligraphy and contemporary street art have been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts, the Scope Art Show and the Versace Mansion during Art Basel Miami (2018), and many other institutions.
Deborah Barnett brings to limited edition chapbook publishing her roots in visual art, a background in professional graphic design and deep expertise in limited edition publishing, where her focus is the exploration of innovative connections: traditional letterpress meets new media. As one of the founders of Dreadnaught, the legendary Canadian letterpress printing collective, Barnett is ideally positioned to make Someone Editions a leader in the field. Deborah Barnet is a Master’s candidate at OCAD University and College Printer at the John M. Kelly Library.