Siglio Advocate 2021

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Images from The Hotel by Sophie Calle, two twin beds with pink bedding in a pink room

This year’s Siglio Advocate subscription is four books—three new fall titles that I’m supremely excited about, and one backlist title to get ahead of time, while you wait!

This fall Siglio is publishing three gorgeous hardcover artist’s books that tell very particular kinds of stories, each in their own inimitable way: The Hotel by Sophie Calle, Rock of Eye by Troy Montes-Michie, and Call and Response by Christian Marclay and Steve Beresford. Advocates will receive them in the fall before they’re available anywhere else. (A bit more about each book below.)

WHY SUBSCRIBE (and why subscribe now)? Not only do Advocates get benefits — including substantial discounts and free shipping (see left) — they make a direct contribution to the health and longevity of the press by making an early commitment to the year’s list. A subscription is a vote of confidence: it helps us pay our deposits for printers and impending production bills, while also fortifying the project of Siglio as a whole in ways that, while less concrete, are no less essential. A subscription says: Yes! To readers who are drawn to books that are deeply resistant to algorithms, easy categorization, and seven-word tag lines. Yes! To books by artists and writers that are truly risk-taking and worth taking the risk for.

This year is Siglio’s thirteenth year of fiercely independent publishing. Since its inception, Siglio has seen publishing itself as an act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile (see the Siglio manifesto “On the Small and Contrary”). Siglio Advocates are essential to fulfilling this mission, so thank you for subscribing!

Lisa Pearson, publisher



The Hotel by Sophie Calle


In 1981 Sophie Calle took a job as a chambermaid for the Hotel C. in Venice, Italy. Stashing her camera and tape recorder in her mop bucket, she not only cleans and tidies, but sorts through the evidence of the hotel guests’ lives: each room a fragmented portrait of someone she may never actually see, certainly never know. She methodically photographs the contents of closets, drawers, and suitcases, examining the detritus in the rubbish bin and the toiletries arranged on the washbasin. She eavesdrops on arguments and love-making. She retrieves a pair of shoes from the wastebasket and takes two chocolates from a neglected box of sweets, while leaving behind stashes of money, pills, and jewelry. Her thievery is the eye of the camera, observing the details—whether revelatory or quotidian—that were not meant for her, or us, to see. This is the first manifestation of The Hotel as its own book in English (the work was previously included in the now out-of-print Double Game), and Siglio has collaborated with the artist on a new design that features enhanced photographs as well as specific attention to the beauty of the book as an object. Check out Calle’s other Siglio publications: The Address Book and Suite Vénitienne.


Rock of Eye by Troy Montes-Michie


To tailor a garment by “rock of eye” is to rely on the drape—on experience over mathematical measurement—in the fitting process. It is a kind of drawing in space—a freehand, an intuition, a trust of materials. In this tactile and sensuous artist’s book, Montes-Michie’s beautiful collages, drawings, found and woven images, many sourced from vintage erotic magazines, center the Black male body and trace the social history and form of the zoot suit. Born in El Paso, Montes-Michie’s works reflects his experience growing up along the U.S.-Mexico border. In Rock of Eye, Montes-Michie’s stitches suture histories and geographies; they establish thresholds for crossing; his needle hits rock. Including essays by Tina Campt and editor and curator Andrea Andersson, with an interview by Brent Edwards, and an afterword by Cameron Shaw, Rock of Eye is a co-publication with the Rivers Institute, published on the occasion of Montes-Michie’s solo exhibition at the California African American Museum in early 2022.


Call and Response by Christian Marclay and Steve Beresford


Known for his ability to locate music and sound in the most unexpected contexts, artist Christian Marclay began photographing the emptied London streets when the world shut down in the spring of 2020. He found the quiet—the absence of all the city sounds—both haunting and peaceful. On his daily walks, he began to imagine that there might be music in the landscape. He snapped a photo of an iron gate adorned with decorative white balls as it reminded him of a musical score. He sent it to his friend, the composer Steve Beresford, and asked: “How would this sound on the piano?” Steve responded a few hours later with a recording. He took more photographs which inspired more music. This volume, reminiscent in shape and material to a music composition book, presents twenty calls (photographs) and twenty responses (scores). In his introduction, Marclay writes, “I realized that all my pictures were of enclosures: gates, fences, windows, closed stores. A view of the world behind barriers.” Their dialogue in image and sound breaks through those barriers, connecting across a locked-down city, reflecting the world at-large and the imagination within.