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This book presents over a hundred calling cards of artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, graphic designers, illustrators etc.) from the 18th century to the present day. The facsimiled cards are slipped like bookmarks into a book by several authors on the history of the use of calling cards, the social context in which they were produced, and related historical and fictional narratives. The often unexpected graphic qualities of these personalized objects, each designed to capture an individual identity within the narrow confines of a tiny rectangle card, implicitly recount a history of taste and typographic codes in the West. But this calling card collection also lays the foundations for a microhistory of art, inspired by the Italian microstoria, or a looser narrative that breaks free from geographic contexts and historical periods. We can imagine how social networks were formed before the advent of Facebook, and how artists defined themselves in the social sphere, whether they were students or teachers, dean of the art school or museum curator, founder of a journal, firm, restaurant or political party, and so on.

Superimposed on this imaginary or idealized network formed by chance encounters is a living network of students of art or history, historians or anthropologists, librarians, archivists, gallerists, museum curators and artists themselves, the network upon which this pocket museum is constructed. The sheer variety of perspectives and stories brought together here makes this book a prodigious forum for discussion.

The carded artists include Rosa Bonheur, Irma Boom, Constantin Brancusi, Antonio Canova, Sonia Delaunay, Guerilla Girls, Walter Gropius, Keith Haring, Ana Jotta, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Henri Matisse, Annette Messager, Félix Nadar, Francis Picabia, Adrian Piper, Man Ray, Edward Ruscha, Sophie Tauber-Arp, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Piet Zwart et al.

With texts by:
Damarice Amao, Stuart Bailey, Géraldine Beck, Christian Besson, Véronique Borgeaud, Marie de Brugerolle, Manuel Cirauqui, Garance Chabert, Kyrill Charbonnel, Yann Chateigné, Caroline Couteau, Jean-Baptiste Delorme, Carla Demierre, Corinne Diserens, Eva Fabbris, Patricia Falguières, Arthur Fink, Sophie Gayerie, Nicolas Giraud, Victor Guégan, Nastassja Haidinger, Dean Inkster, Aurélie Jacquet, Vincent Jolivet, Moritz Kung, Quentin Lannes, Charlotte Laubard, Pierre Leguillon, Anaël Lejeune, Charlotte Magnin, Nicole Marchand-Zañartu, Valérie Mavridorakis, Aurélien Mole, Mike Moore, Émilie Parendeau, Corine Pencenat, Mathias Pfund, Carrie Pilto, Fabien Pinaroli, Raphaël Pirenne, Paolo Pires do Vale, Jeanne Quéheillard, Fabienne Radi, Vincent de Roguin, Paul-Louis Roubert , Margot Sanitas, Gilles Saussier, Necmi Sönmez, Klaus-Peter Speidel, Friedrich Tiejen, Rebecca Topakian, Gesine Tosin, Xiaoda Wang, Yusuké Yamamoto and Célia Zuber.
Co-published by HEAD – Genève (Geneva University of Art and Design) and Edition Patrick Frey under the patronage of the Museum of Mistakes
Editors: Pierre Leguillon with Barbara Fédier, professors, and a group of students from Head-Genève, Geneva School of Art and Design – Department of Fine Arts