Spirale / Arabics
Ann Noël

The design for the artist’s book SPIRALE was developed to accompany the performance of the same name, performed by Ann Noël and Emmett Williams at the Sprachen der Künste festival at the Akademie der Künste on 4 February 1984. The alphabet with names of artists, Berlin squares, song fragments, streets and restaurants was created through Emmett Williams’ and Ann Noël’s habit of making alphabet lists to fall asleep at night. The artist couple prepared their word and name lists for the performance independently of each other and then challenged each other on stage. The book was never published. Now, 25 years later, Ann Noël and Argobooks decided to work on it and print it together with designer Santiago da Silva in a Berlin printing house.

For the first edition of ARABICS (1989) Ann Noël glued newspaper clippings and other printed matter into hundreds of collages. There were so many that the artist and publisher Rainer Pretzell decided to superimpose some of the denser ones in shades of grey. Ann Noël developed a printing scheme and produced the films in the publisher’s darkroom. Rainer happened to have a large stock of the yellow paper used for three of the books in the series, including ARABICS. The actual printing was done on an original Heidelberg offset press under Rainer Pretzell’s supervision by Skúta Helgason and Philipp Pape. For the new 2020 edition of Argobooks, the artist has developed a new colour scheme at the suggestion of designer Santiago da Silva.




128 pages
10 × 15 cm
German, English
ISBN 13 978 3 948678 01 2


160 pages
10 × 15 cm
German, English
ISBN 13 978 3 948678 00 5

Published by Argobooks, 2020
Printed by Gallery Print, Berlin