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"Gerhard's like a Communist. You have to go into the salt mines with him. If you're willing to go there then you're like brothers in arms and he'll do what needs be." Robert Polidori
Concentric Circles chronicles the time between 26 August 2008 and 27 January 2009 at Steidl Publishers. The book is the first to document the printing and publishing house, and is a window into the processes, experiences and bustle of Dustere Strasse 4, Gottingen.
Comprising a log of hundreds of entries, Concentric Circles retells and records events as they unfolded in their unpredictability and urgency - Gunter Grass tapping tobacco into his pipe while refining the typography of his book Die Box, Gerhard Steidl deciphering the arabesque faxes of Karl Lagerfeld, the sudden breakdown of the printing press. These daily entries are enriched by interviews with, and original texts by, some of Steidl's most important collaborators including Lewis Baltz, Jim Dine, David Bailey, Roni Horn, Karl Lagerfeld, Juergen Teller, Tacita Dean, and Joel Sternfeld. A circle owes its symmetry to its centre, from which every point on the circumference is equidistant. What, then, is the centre of Steidl's concentric circles, in all their different guises? Perhaps the initial idea from which a book grows; Gottingen, where every Steidl book is crafted; or Gerhard Steidl himself, who founded the company 41 years ago and continues to determine the substance of its creations - the nature of its circles?
Steidl's concentric circles are in flux: new circles of progress and difficulty constantly emerge, while others dissolve. Look closely and the seemingly empty rings of space between circles are actually imbued with traces of past activities - the memory of circles that once were.