Invisible Countries, Brownrigg’s recent commission for Sylph Editions is the 30th edition in their Cahier series. In Invisible Countries, 7 short fables are paired with the work of celebrated British visual artist Tacita Dean. Published in collaboration with The American University of Paris, this series highlights works that link explorations in writing, translations and visual arts. Past Cahier series includes works by Muriel Spark, Lydia Davis, and Javier Marias. Based in London, Sylph Editions publishes fiction, monographs, theoretical essays, limited-edition art and photography books, and focuses on alternative and experimental writing.
From Sylph’s website,
A woman travels to seven ‘invisible’ countries, and from the moment of arrival is surprised, challenged, disturbed by what she discovers. In the brightly coloured and somewhat sinister world conjured by American novelist Sylvia Brownrigg, what is standard – passing through customs, checking in to a hotel, pronouncing words in a foreign language – becomes fraught; the traveller’s urge to escape and seek adventure vies with her sense of melancholy and anxiety at feeling unmoored. Brownrigg explores border-crossing, cultural misunderstanding, touristic voyeurism and naïveté, as her visitor attempts to navigate the environments she encounters. Accompanying the text are images by the celebrated British artist Tacita Dean which extend the traveller’s journeys into spheres that turn almost uncanny in their combination of abstraction and realistic detail.