We regret that the Walter Tiemann Prize 2022 has to be suspended due to the situation. The call for entries planned for fall 2021 has been cancelled.
A look back on WTP 2020
The Walter Tiemann Prize 2020 goes to Studio Krispin Heé (Krispin Heé, Tim Wetter) for the book Kolkata – City of Print. The award comes with 5000 euro prize money. The jury awarded two second prizes worth 1500 euro each. They go to Bardhi Haliti for May 25 is now October 1 and to Simon Merz for META – Publizieren als Kunstwerk. Another seven entries were recognised and included in the shortlist.
In 2020, the Walter Tiemann Prize was offered for the fifteenth time. 140 competition entries were submitted from 15 countries. We would like to thank all applicants for their submissions and all patrons for their kind support. Special thanks go to the members of the jury: Ludovic Balland CH, Lilla Hinrichs DE, Kerstin Forster CH, Gesine Grotrian DE and Bernd Kuchenbeiser DE.
Texts by Julia Blume. Photographs by Michael Ehritt.
Studio Krispin Heé (Krispin Heé & Tim Wetter)CH DE
Kolkata – City of Print
center staple cover, glue binding, 13.3×19.5 cm, 324 pages
Krispin Heé and Tim Wetter designed the paperback-format book Kolkata – City of Print, a literary essay on various facets of the publishing industry in Kolkata, India. The book, written by Swiss author Maria Züst and enriched by a glossary of historical and cultural terms and media, introduces readers to the industry’s main protagonists, provides insights into local printing techniques and addresses the communication processes involved in book production. A comprehensive bibliography offers readers plenty of material to consider. Under the influence of the British colonial power in the eighteenth century, the city formally known as Calcutta became a center of the Bengali printing trade. This analogue printing tradition lives on in Kolkata, and find expression in projects ranging from commercial posters to artist editions.
In the book, two languages and writing systems, English and Bengali, are visually juxtaposed on double-page spreads. A rich variety of typographic means and simple graphic elements provide structure. These systems of reference are executed in virtuosic black-and-white contrast. The book is a co-production of Spector Books (Leipzig) and Lyriqal Books (Kolkata), and was printed in Kolkata using local materials, resulting in the particular colours. The lightness of the work is owed to the paper used. Kolkata – City of Print is a product of intercultural cooperation, expressed in a meaningful design that combines the contemporary and the traditional. The jury is proud to award the Walter Tiemann Prize 2020 to Studio Krispin Heé.
Bardhi HalitiNL XK
May 25 is now October 1
softcover with jacket, glue binding, 16.5×23.3 cm, 662 pages
A second prize goes to Bardhi Haliti, from Kosovo and the Netherlands, for his artist’s book May 25 Is Now October 1. Intense research into Kosovan magazines published between 1974 and 2018 form the basis for this book, which features dramatically arranged pictorial quotations. Haliti specifically references 1970s sports activities in seven cities and seven identical sports halls built in the former Yugoslavia. In 1976, one of the halls was built in Pristina and given the name “May 25”, referring to a socialist day celebrating youth. Kosovo’s independence is also reflected in the gyms’ renaming – such as “October 1”, in memory of student protests, or “Bill Clinton”, in recognition of his role in securing Kosovo’s sovereignty.
Haliti uses varying materials and colours to signal past and present and to highlight sports as an identity-forming yet competitive theme. His book also makes an excursion into the architecture of these Kosovan sports halls, not least to document, in colour, their recent refurbishment. Haliti works with repetition, and so the accompanying texts likewise refer to the halls’ similarities and their social and functional changes in meaning. The black-and-silver binding can be read as a commentary on the medium of photography as pictorial memory.
META – Publizieren als Kunstwerk
softcover with flaps, glue binding, 20×28 cm, 90/180 pages
Another second prize goes to Simon Merz, for his book META – Publizieren als Kunstwerk. It seems almost irritatingly unspectacular: an all-white, blank booklet. However, the burnishing bone provided with the book encourages readers to separate the untrimmed sheets themselves. When they do, a cosmos of texts and pictures unfolds, revealing essential ideas on the process of book production, conceptual and symbolic questions about books themselves, and thoughts on the book as a space, storage vessel, or work of art. The index refers to important publications on this subject, some of them very recent. The self-published work was originally created as a master’s thesis.
The following titles made it to the final selection round.
Das Jahr 1990 freilegen
softcover with jacket, sewn binding, 24.4×32.2 cm, 592 pages
Happy Little Accidents (Tobias Dahl & PatrickMartin GbR)DE
Im Zweifel für den Zweifel – die große Weltverschwörung
softcover, sewn binding, 12×18 cm, 448 pages