A-Z (Lars Arrhenius) · March 18th, 2006
Lars Arrhenius’ A-Z was first shown at PEER gallery (London) in 2002. The gallery also produced a book that borrowed its design from the popular London street guide. In this work, 18 characters evolve in scenarios through more than 250 illustrations arranged horizontally, vertically and diagonally against the backdrop of the London map and intersect in an apparent randomness.
The book adopts the non-linear grid reference format of a street atlas, thus highlighting the city’s fragmented nature. Like in Debord’s Naked City, The narrative potentiality of the city gives ground to a rewriting of the map, overlaying social narrative with geographical narrative. Despite holding imaged storylines and being bound, Arrhenius’s A-Z cannot be read as a book; it has no actual beginning of end. The reader is led into turning pages, back and forth, ‘up and down’, to follow each story, ‘traversing’ the map rather than following it.