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Gewinner is Volker Renner’s smallest book to date but, at 384 pages, not the slimmest. It’s coming out on occasion of the visual arts working fellowship from the City of Hamburg that the artist received in 2018. Like a flipbook, it shows photographs of people who won money in Las Vegas, symbolized by an oversized check. The artist clipped the photos from a casino’s promotional brochure and arranged them in order. But the pictures don’t dance the way they would in a normal flipbook. Defeating the expectations we bring to the format, they don’t tell a story of hitting it big and living happily ever after. Only the letters behind the pictures spell the word G-E-W-I-N-N-E-R, or “winners.”
The small book comes in a slipcase designed as a facsimile of the casino brochure. It’s a case of “misleading advertising,” just as, in all likelihood, every one of the winners in the pictures will come out a loser: in the end, it’s always the casino that wins. As in his earlier book Wie war Las Vegas, Renner explores the manifestations of the “fake” and the ways in which expectations are dashed. Including his own: whether a fellowship is really the jackpot, that is the question this book raises.
Published by Volker Renner and Textem Verlag
Flipbook 90 x 45 mm
Slipcase 170 x 230 mm