Fragments is a collaboration between psychologist Zoe Valentin and artist Rosemarie Auberson. The book is inspired by Valentin’s time working at a care facility in Seine-Saint-Denis, in suburban Paris, with displaced foreign young adults.
In this environment, Valentin was confronted with language barriers and cultural differences; words could be misinterpreted, gestures misunderstood. These challenges in communication – the foundation of her work – catalysed a journey to find the ‘essence of language’. Making notes on small non-verbal cues, such as colours, glances and smiles, she began to develop small poems. Each tells a story, regaling the energy and life she observed in her interactions with a vivid elegance.
Valentin’s words and Aubserson’s abstract shapes and swathes of colour unite to form a rich, coherent language, which speaks both to the head and the heart; the reader is propelled from the position of mere witness and into the conversation, bringing their own interpretations and emotions. The intricate book design by Virginie Fouin pays reverent attention to the simplest details, such as the red binding and soft cover with a flap which, when unfolded, reveals more artwork.
The book will be released in December 2019 as a run of only 350 copies, with 50 copies numbered and signed by the author and artist. Profits will be donated to Centre Primo Levi, which offers psychotherapeutic care to adults and adolescents who have been victims of political violence in their country of origin.
Words: Libby Borton