Tree of Codes, the book and the ballet


In 1912, Stéphane Mallarmé’s L’après-midi d’un faune (1876) inspired the ballet The Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes.

In 2015, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (2010) inspired Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes, performed by fifteen soloists and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and Company, with music-scapes by JamieXX and visual-scapes by Olafur Eliasson.

In a few weeks, Tree of Codes comes to New York City. The publisher Visual Editions writes “Making Jonathan Safran Foer’s vision a reality four years ago, with the help of the incredibly talented Sara De Bondt, not to mention the only printers in the world who would do it, Die Keure in Belgium, and Jon Gray’s cover design, has been a big emotional part of Visual Editions: a benchmark for how far we, through the collective creative power of ambition and can-do-ness, can push the boundaries of how we read and what a book as an object can be.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes ([London]: Visual Editions, 2011, c2010). Artist’s book with a unique die-cut on every page of the story. Publisher’s note: “In order to write The Tree of Codes, the author took an English language edition of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles and cut into its pages, carving out a new story.” Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2011-0591N

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), L’après-midi d’un faune (Paris: A. Derenne, 1876). Copy 57 of 175. Prints by Édouard Manet (1832-1883). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2011-0088Q