Gabrielel Hartmann, bon say publisher

tanGO - artist book

Year of publication: 2019

handmade artist's book, 2019, A4 landscape, 98 sheets of black construction paper, 98 half white pages alternating between top and bottom, book rings or book screws.


Further information

Text samples, tables of contents, bibliographical information, sources of supply (not all elements available at the same time)

Gendai-Haiku & word play by Gabriele Hartmann

engtanzhiq & 11dance pun
paired to a hybrid contemporary style


Ralph Günther Mohnnau writes:

… Returning, where I had filled up with light, air and sun for a few days, your show surprises me with the literary delights. I have to say, I am impressed with the energy and creativity with which you have lived out your literary talent. In particular, the heavyweight “tango - hiqundwortspiel” touches me, into which I immediately plunged and enjoyed the many forms and topics.

It can make you almost dizzy. So far I did not know this form of monosyllabic, written "verses", their contents, which are not always immediately recognizable, give the whole thing an - as I can say - almost enigmatic painting. So far, I only knew single-line “haiku” from the work of Taneda Santôka…

Ralph Günther Mohnnau


and a review by Rüdiger Jung

A bibliophile volume - but not only because of that, a feast for the synapses! It welcomes us on the front page:

hi word game

and says goodbye with the more detailed imprint on p. 98:

engtanzhiq & 11dance pun
paired to a hybrid contemporary style

Argentina or Finland? Gabriele Hartmann's alternative is different: tight dance or elf dance.

tight dance

First of all, the tight dance arouses erotic associations, whereby it is exhausting for words and demands quite a lot from readers. Not only the punctuation marks, but also the empty beat between the words is missing. In other words, the words cannot be read without reading them to the letter.

why not nothing (p. 6)

Of course, the (refuted!) Ontological proof of God by Anselm from Canterbury resounds. But also the ancient Thaumazein, the amazement as the basis of any philosophy. As it were in psalm key, the following:

why-my-life (p. 7)

“Japanese mono no aware” is the keyword for the fact that beauty is cheaper than the price of impermanence. Unfortunately, human beings are in the process of extremely accelerating the transience of creation. Anthropocene is the term used to describe the earth age, which was shaped by humans (quite destructively). Gabriele Hartmann finds a compelling poetic formula for this:

ursuppeeinerwürztnach (p. 16)

Close your eyes and by no means is the magic formula - no matter how otherwise the Triassic see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing:

three monkeys all sense of being (p. 48)

Even if the narrow dance is accompanied by a minimalism of linguistic means, the explosive power is suitable for swirling different worldviews - for example western teleology and the cyclical east:

end time the cards reshuffled (p. 56)

Pages 61 to 97 belong to the elf dance:

11 dance

Fairy tales can be fairytale - think of the "fairy tales"! In contrast to the trolls, the elves stand for lightness and swing. And of course the word games as a sign of homosexuality cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, I would like to take the elves equally as a reference to the number. It is not for nothing that the carnival begins at the eleventh eleventh at eleven o'clock. The elf is a metaphysical number. The twelve, the three times four of God and the world, stands biblically for perfection (examples: the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples of Jesus). One thing less, the eleven (the disciples after the loss of Judas) 'stand for the opposite: the imperfection and the questioning of all certainties. So no elf dance without a moment of foolishness! In fact, in the elven dance words are read against the grain, which of course always reveals deeper layers.

NOTHING (p. 90)

is by no means a manifesto of nihilism. Rather baroque complaint (and warning) from Vanitas. The vanity of the three majuscules stands before the eyes: the person who sets himself apart from his surroundings, his living space and, at worst, destroys both. A me in haiku? why not - if it doesn't forget what its life is based on! The warning has a specifically Christian variant:

kIrCHe (p. 92)

Humility is the attitude that God gives in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of John the Baptist: "He has to grow, but I have to lose weight" (John 3:30). Sometimes a turn in the order of the letters is enough to make a whole theory sensible - and on top of that to transform it into art:

kamasuART (p. 85)

Based on the extent to which the Kamasutra has an erotic connotation, this gives the purest formula for the fact that the culture owes itself to the lack of instinct (or its sublimation). I particularly like the last elf dance:

standstill (p. 97)

We usually come across “standstill” as a problem indicator, “ill” as an English word reinforces this impression. Gabriele Hartmann brushes the words against the grain with elven ease, and I know that "standing still" is neither "sick" nor "crazy"! Breaks (also creative!) Can be as vital as the elf dance as an alternative to the tight dance!


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