Utopian Tales: Fairy Tales and Fables from Weimar Days is a recent work produced by the University of Lincoln’s Caseroom Press in collaboration with American Folklorist Jack Zipes. The final piece, an Artists’ Book, contains 30 stories, which have been illustrated by 60 different artists, illustrators and designers.
Previously, students on the course were asked to work on a series of Fairly Odd Tales all written by Kurt Schwitters. This became The Merzbox. This Assignment aimed to extend this concept by including the Utopian Tales as they are all drawn from the same period in time and the same political background.
To this end, each student was given two stories from the book (one long, one short) and were asked to respond to that text respectively through two routes:
The first route required that the format, size, function, structure, content and construction of this route was entirely open to the student. The final response to the story could use the text in its entirety or could take isolated elements of the story. This could be a photographic or an illustrative narrative, it could be a book that communicated the message through it’s physical presence or method of manufacture. The student was able to decide which of your two stories they worked with.
For the Second Route, the format needed to be 380 x 287mm and no deeper than 67mm (as big as the Merzox), and it had to use all the text from your longer story. Apart from that, the only restriction was creativity and ambition.