playing solo at this prestigious event.
he Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig 2023 goes to the Leipzig publishing house Spector Books. The prize will be awarded by Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung on 20 June 2023 at 5:30 p.m. in a ceremony at the German Book and Type Museum of the German National Library. The laudatory speech will be given by Dr Maike Aden, art and music scholar, and Florian Ebner, art historian and head of the photography department at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The event will be musically framed by me.
The Schriftmuseum will present the prize-winner with a cabinet exhibition entitled “Spector Books: Handapparat. Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig 2023”, a cabinet exhibition will be on display in the foyer from 21 June 2023 to 28 January 2024.
The jury states: “For 15 years, the young book city of Leipzig has had an address that is as furious as it is brash. Its name is Spector Books and it is anchored in the region in as many ways as it is appreciated and networked far beyond national and linguistic borders. Since 2008, Markus Dreßen, Anne König and Jan Wenzel have been building a publication cosmos in which the spectrum of publishing practice and processes is constantly being explored anew. In around 800 books so far, the publishers have made it possible to experience in an experimental and inspiring way what it means to make books in an age of advancing digitalisation and dwindling resources.
The design is often rough, sometimes fast-paced, sometimes level-headed, but always precise and aware of its means and its power. Every single publication by Spector Books is distinctive, not infrequently irritating and challenging in the most productive sense, a place of stage and preservation, of friction and encounter, but also a place of reappraisal and pain, as the volumes “Uncovering the Year 1990” (2019) and “Babyn Yar: Past, Present, Future” (2021), most recently awarded by the Stiftung Buchkunst, demonstrate. With Spector Books, the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig is being awarded to a young but already internationally renowned and multi-award-winning publishing house that understands the book, together with its haptic, visual and content material, as a tool of knowledge and is able to grasp the phenomena and phantoms of our present like no other. It doesn’t get more contemporary than this.”
Since 1959, the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig has been awarded in memory of Johannes Gutenberg to personalities and institutions that have “rendered outstanding, exemplary services to the promotion of the art of the book” (excerpt from the statutes).
The prize, endowed with 10,000 euros, is part of Leipzig’s tradition as a historical centre for print quality and the cultivation of book arts. Since 1993, it has been awarded annually in alternation with the prize of the same name from the city of Mainz. In addition to special artistic, technical or scientific achievements in the fields of typography, book illustration, book art editions and book production, merits in the dissemination of the free word are also to be honoured.