Julian Rothenstein & Mel Gooding (4 stars)

Dr Clock’s Handbook (Redstone)


It’s a novel idea this, a mis-guide book. And if there’s anyone more suitably equipped to publish a tome on the magic and sparkle of the absurd, it’s Redstone, the company that unleashes David Shrigley’s books on us at irregular intervals. Needless to say Shrigley is a contributor here: JG Ballard, Flann O’Brien, Franz Kafka, Ed Ruscha, Glen Baxter, Damien Hirst, Cornelia Parker and Maurizio Cattelan all help gild this most peculiar of lilies.

Whether it’s with found photos, contrary art, spoof graphics, bizarre objects, evocative if odd poetry, purple prose or fictitious indices, each tries to explore, illustrate or just celebrate the power and glory of the absurd through the ages. Consciously rebelling against accepted order of any kind - with travel, telling the time or horticulture for three - seems like a great thing to indulge in. And the bonus Shrigley year-planner means you can do it all year if you please.

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