Elisabeth Tonnard

The Plan



 —What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy.

My interest in white space in texts and fascination for printed materials and propaganda books from East Germany brought me to discover the Plan. The Plan is the chameleonic directive to every situation of societal life – whether it is playing sports, writing a book, or practicing for war. Always think of the Plan. Better yet: always have it in your hand.

The Plan consists of a book and a folder, together forming one object. The book contains 26 pictures reproduced from miniature books published in the German Democratic Republic during the 1980s. Each book is accompanied by an original, pre-owned GDR folder, each different and individually obtained from households in the former state. The folder comes with a foldout sheet of the Plan.

Edition of 150 copies, numbered.

Digital print, full color paperback, A5 size, 48 pages. Plus original GDR folder, A4 size, with a folded and stamped A2 sheet.


See more images here.

Published in Leerdam, The Netherlands 2016.

Priced at € 54,- plus shipping. Order through the webshop or by email.

Read a discussion (in Dutch) by Johan Velter here. Also in Dutch: a discussion by Barthold Boksem in De twinkeling van Fluxus, Stichting ARTisBOOK, Groningen, 2018.

The book is available in the collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clark Art Institute, Columbia University, Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature, John M. Flaxman Library at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago (Joan Flasch collection), Kunstbibliothek (Berlin), Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of The Netherlands, Museum Meermanno, Museum Villa Stuck, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich).

If you really want to understand what the GDR was about, you need to look at The Plan.
Joachim Schmid

Het nieuwe project (!) van Elisabeth Tonnard verenigt alle kwaliteiten en gevoeligheden: haar liefde voor het wit en de ruimte, de ironie van dit bestaan, de liefde voor de nietszeggende foto die dan alles kan betekenen, de herhaling, de subtiele wijzigingen. En tegelijkertijd is dit ook een maatschappijkritiek die het kan zonder grote woorden te moeten gebruiken, geen moralisme gebruikt (Against expression) maar overloopt van betekenis en cultuur.
Johan Velter on Sfcdt blog

Below are some installation photos of The Plan as exhibited at Noorderlicht House of Photography in Groningen (October 13 – November 4, 2018).

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

July 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm