A very special object, fragile and powerful, with the ability to be continuously reinvented by the reader… Photographs from Xenia Naselou are randomly inserted into the UPO, the infinite crashes between text and images are a unique reading experience. Handle with care.
HOW DID WE GET THERE?
When we created the first UPO we thought we would be spoilt for choice the next time. In the event we fell into a benign trap: a UPO is a real brain-teaser! So, we searched. We thought that we had found a really fine photographic project, right there, next to us, on the banks of the Seine. Then we hit on the idea for UPO 2, virtually as you have it before you today: about thirty photos inserted randomly over double-page spreads. Thus each of the UPOs is unique and the photographs take pride of place. A fine dark river crosses each of the double pages, sensual and sombre, printed on something evoking bible paper. Meanwhile the texts – whether they are in essay or poetic form – are short and sober, confined to the margins, cut into pieces in order to be better appreciated. However, the photographer wasn’t keen on our dark river, she found it too omnipresent, too dark, too strong. So, as we were caught by this river, we reversed the initial idea: instead of creating a graphic design to be an accompaniment to an artistic project, we set off on a search for photographs which would complement the magnetic and unwedded design of Rejane Dal Bello.
Today, sadly, many subjects are in tune with the theme of a dark river. Xenia Naselou is a photographer born in 1989, and she lives in Athens. Xenia uses her camera to observe the people, places and things which she loves. Xenia was getting ready to go to the Greek island of Lesbos, to photograph refugees. We helped her modestly and together we created this UPO, a conjoining of serendipities. I am proud of having kept my promise to Rejane Dal Bello: her dark river has been published; and I’m bowled over by the power of these elements brought together almost by chance. We all need to reach out to touch these traces of human misery and to handle them with care, like a form of extraordinary punishment. I am counting on all of you to make this fact known; because we need it. - Publisher