Rita Fürstenau (5/5)

Rita Fürstenau from Germany makes beautiful prints and illustrations. As Rita’s always busy with work – she also holds illustration workshops and has her own publishing company with two friends – she has created lovely workspaces for herself, one of which is in a Swedish country house. In her blog, she tells us more about her work and life.

Hi there, this is my final guest post at this blog already, and I want to give you a peek into a project I’m working on at the moment.

I came across some curious old laws a few years ago and was astonished by the way they attempted to regulate society. For example women were not allowed to appear unshaven in public or the parents of a child could be arrested when it burped during church service. From today’s perspective the implied moral beliefs and motivations may seem strange. But I wonder: what does it say about a society when its members are not allowed by law to eat ice cream with a fork or when it’s forbidden for a husband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his thumb? Although these laws are not enforced nowadays, they have not yet been removed from the law codes. I think this also gives a hint on how discriminations against specific behaviors or social groups may not be explicitly verbalized, but are still somehow active underneath. I started to collect these texts and last winter I decided to bring together a selection of them in a leporello bearing the title “Old Songs – New Songs.”

As I mentioned last week, I enjoy creating work that does not follow a chronological story line, but works with simultaneity and a coexistence of stories. A leporello provides a good structure for this kind of storytelling, as you can unfold it to one large picture.

In “Old Songs – New Songs,” I combined the law texts with scenes of people or groups of people violating them. Every scene stands on its own and is connected to the others at the same time, as the statement in one scene always relates to the actions in of one of the other scenes.

The book will be released this fall, and we will publish a German and an English edition. We have set up a preorder on the Rotopol online store, which will run until the end of November and every preorder will come with a set of hand-printed postcards as a present. Additionally, I printed a special edition of tote bags and the first 50 preorders will get one of those as well: rotopolpress.de/en/produkte/old-songs-new-songs-english

Thanks for reading and thank you Flow team for having me as your guest blogger!

All the best,