Jean Rouch, known for his ethnographic films, is the author, together with Pierre Ponty and Jean Sauvy, of the children’s book “Le Petit Dan” (1948). The colour drawings are by Oumarou Osmane.
This book was on my bookshelf classified under the theme “Africa”. In fact, it is the only book in this small collection that formed the basis for the book “Canon” (2014), which I don’t know how I got. I usually have a good memory of where and when I bought books. As the oldest book in the book collection, it is also at the beginning of “Canon”, the book about books about Africa. Detailed photographs of its cover were used for the cover design of “Canon”. It therefore occupies a special position in this series.
The book tells the following story: After the death of his father Haouta, little Dan is brought up by his sister Sara. She has promised that Dan will never be sad and therefore cannot refuse her little brother any wish. In the course of the story, Dan will set fire to their house, destroy all the food supplies, gouge out the king’s son’s eye and almost kill his sister by mistake. The story turns when he kills an evil dragon. This heroic act returns him to the king’s favour. At the end of the story, he is the heir to the throne, betrothed to Hawa, the king’s youngest daughter, and lives a happy life from then on.
The cover design shows the schematic representation of the sculpture series “The African Quarter” (2009-2019) . An artist’s book of the same name with the construction plans of the 19 sculptures, each named after street names in the African Quarter in Berlin-Wedding, was published in 2019. In these works, the individual elements of Gerrit Rietveld’s “Berlin Chair” (1923) were repeatedly recombined and painted in different RAL colours.
Edition Ex Libris No. 34