Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Three Advertisements for Bank Austria Creditanstalt (2006)

A long, long time ago I was contacted by Glass Film GmbH Hamburg to translate (German into English) three treatments for three short Bank Austria Creditanstalt commercials entitled, respectively, Birth, Batman and Hamster. The translated texts were delivered, the invoice got paid, and the project became one of many of which the eventual fate or development remained unknown to me.
But now, thanks to the marvel known as the internet, I know what happened with at least two of the three treatments: Birth and Batman became actual commercials, directed by the award-winning commercial director Christian Aeby, and, I assume, were broadcast somewhere.
You can watch them below.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Robert Combas – JOKE'R (Exhibition Catalog)

(SBN 10: 3925782559 / ISBN 13: 9783925782558) This catalog was perhaps my second translation job for DIE GALERIE, Frankfurt, which is now one of my oldest regular clients. The gallery, as I mentioned in my blurb about the Man Ray catalog, offers "a sophisticated exhibition program combining the Classical Modern and selected contemporary artistic positions". Needless to say, Robert Combas belongs to their stable of contemporary artists.
The texts of the hardcover catalog, by Peter Femfert ("Preface"), Beate Reifenscheid ("The Laughter of Death") and Maurizio Vanni ("Joke'r"), are presented in three languages (German, English, Italian). The exhibition itself ran at DIE GALERIE from 17 January to 10 March 2007, whence it moved to a space in Massa Marittima, Italy, and then finally ended at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz (26 January 2008 — 9 March 2008).
Online at the Ludwig Museum website, they say the following about the artist: "Robert Combas was born in Lyon in 1957 and lives in Paris since 1981. Together with Rémi Blanchard, François Boisrond and Hervé di Rosa he established the group 'Figuration libre', which became a synonym for the rebellious art scene in France during the 1980s and which provoked and shocked with blatant motifs. [...] In 1983, the famous gallerist Leo Castelli already dedicated a solo exhibition in New York to Robert Combas, who is not only known as painter, draftsman and graphic artist but also appreciated for his fascinating large-sized resin sculptures. Similar to Keith Haring, for this artist there is nothing he does not paint, and it is mainly the line through which his associations takes shape. Combas is – like Haring – very familiar with the language of comics. [...] The works of Robert Combas are like Paris, the metropolis: Versatile and vibrant, bright or gloomy and brutal. Shrill colours, powerful contours and the use of a wide variety of materials are Combas' means for creating works which vary from comical to grotesque."
An example of Combas' work (not in the catalog)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Women by Women

By Peter Delius and Jacek Slaski (128 pages / Prestel Publishing / May 2003, Munich, Berlin, London, New York / ISBN-10: 379132862X / ISBN-13: 978-3791328621)
This is perhaps my earliest credited translation in a publication, a job procured over a decade ago by way of a friend of a friend of a friend. I translated the introduction (by Sophie Hack and Stephanie Kuhnen) of this book on photographs of women taken by women that was compiled by two men, Peter Delius and Jacek Slaski. My name obviously turns up in the credits somewhere, as it often appears linked to this publication online. Back then, in the early years of my translating career, it didn't occur to me to make a complimentary copy of the given publication a conditional aspect of the payment, so I've never actually seen the real book.
Over Amazon, where customer reviews are almost all laudatory, the book is described as follows: "Devoted to nude and erotic photography by women photographers, this work illustrates the emotional force and sensual beauty of the female body as seen through the feminine lens. The volume features the works of some important contemporary female photographers – including Bettina Rheims, Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin, Sylvia Plachy, Sally Mann and Ellen von Unwerth. More than 100 images explore themes such as introversion and extroversion, the private and the public. The book examines the distinctly female aspects of erotic photography, and what emerges is a profoundly sympathetic relationship between viewer and subject. And, as a number of these women artists have worked as models themselves, their perspective on this role adds another layer to the volume."

Friday, 3 April 2015

Jan Winkelmann/Berlin

Today, the author and curator Jan Winkelmann is the founder and managing director of ArtEngine, but once upon a time he had a gallery in Berlin-Mitte, Jan Winkelmann/Berlin.
From 2006 to 2008, I translated the press releases to a number of the art exhibitions he presented, including the following:

Katarina Löfström —

Plamen Dejanoff —

Volume II —

 Carsten Fock —

Dennis Loesch / Berlin —

Tilo Schultz —

Dennis Loesch —

Nina Tobien

Stéphane Dafflon

Benjamin Valenza

And speaking of "nothing belongs to me", all the above photos were taken from the gallery's website, which is still online.