The Crooked: Typefaces for Baseless Rumors

Collection :

Monographs & Artists’ Books

Editor(s) :

Bea SchlingelhoffJulien Fronsacq

Author(s) :

Bea Schlingelhoff

Cover type :


Dimensions :

125 x 195 mm

Pages :


Pictures :

366 colors

Price :

CHF35 / €40 / £35 / $40


Editions :


Publication :

March 2024

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"What is the sound of one hand?"

Published on the occasion of her exhibition at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva (February, 29–March 30, 2024) following her Prix de la Société des Arts de Genève award in 2023, this artist’s book by Bea Schlingelhoff gathers together 366 capping phrases used for kōan practice. A fundamental part of Zen Buddhism, kōans and their associated capping verses are surprising and often perplexing riddles used as meditation tools. Selected by the artist from different sources including Victor Sōgen Hori’s landmark book Zen Sand (2003), she proposes one phrase for each day of a leap year. 

Featuring a combination of phrases hand-drawn by Schlingelhoff, and others digitally set in a specially-created typeface, this volume offers a manual for meditation, self-consciousness, paradoxical thinking, and intellectual speculation, as exemplified in such riddles as “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?”, “Appearing like spirits and vanishing like ghosts,” or “Close your mouth and say one word.” As instilled in the title of the publication and in tune with Schlingelhoff’s practice, the artist not only invites us to think about the contents of the phrases, but also to reflect on such a practice in our contemporary times.

Designed by Studio SMS (Amsterdam, Zurich), the publication also contains a short introduction about the principles of this Zen practice, and an index that includes the French and German translations of all the selected verses.

Born in 1971 in Waiblingen (Germany), Bea Schlingelhoff lives and works in Zurich. She is a graduate of CalArts (Los Angeles), and studied in Bremen and at the Whitney Program, New York. Her recent solo exhibitions include Soft Mine Win, Cherish Gallery, Geneva, 2020; No River to Cross, Kunstverein, Munich, 2021; and Accounting Confessions, n.b.k., Berlin, 2023. Both reflective and political, her practice engages with feminist and critical approaches to the history of institutions. Her works strive to remember women’s forgotten biographies and to dissolve patriarchal frameworks, as well as tracing the persistence of fascist structures. A central aspect of her work is the intuitive engagement with the history of the exhibition sites where she exhibits, making their socio-political (power) structures, their history and ideology intelligible. The artist, whose oeuvre also includes drawing, sculpture, and typography, discloses these structures through site-specific interventions: additions, changes, and subtractions on architectural as well as structural levels.

Published with the Société des Arts, Geneva. The Prix de la Société des Arts de Genève is a biennial prize awarded since 2009 to a Swiss artist or an artist based in Switzerland. Former recipients include Francis Baudevin, Christoph Büchel, Gianni Motti, Sylvie Fleury, Renée Levi, and Fabrice Gygi.