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Malicious Damage

Malicious Damage

Malicious Damage

Ilsa Colsell

Roland Brauchli, London / Basel

Grafos SA, Barcelona

Donlon Books, London


Around 1960, the British playwright Joe Orton and his partner Kenneth Halliwell stole countless books from London libraries ; the pair would alter the covers with surreal collages - often of homosexual content - and then return them. This volume with a hardcover and a strikingly pleated clear plastic dust jacket documents the story through essays, photos and a selection of the collages. The book begins with a fold-out police photo of Orton and Halliwell's flat, the walls completely covered in cut-out pictures. It is a successful introduction to the theme and the whole book is very well structured. The grey paper used for the text sections recalls the contemporary newspaper coverage of the case and the dust jacket is reminiscent of libraries. Several design details seem a little crazy or even bizarre, but it all matches the unusual content.

Videos: Körner Union & Maximage, Lausanne / Zürich
Jury reviews: Tan Wälchli, Berlin/Zürich