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, 26 November 2015

Karl Otto Götz

(ISBN-10: 3925782834 / ISBN-13: 978-3925782831)
This 120-page, hardcover and bilingual (German and English) catalogue accompanied an exhibition of K.O. Götz's work that ran at Die Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, from 11 September to 8 November, 2014. 
The texts were contributed by the artist Prof. Rissa (a.k.a. Karin Götz, maiden name Martin, the wife of K.O. Götz), Els Ottenhof (the director of the CoBrA Museum in Amstelveen), the German concrete poet Franz Mon, and the curator and author Ina Ströher. The translations were supplied by moi.
To quote Wikipedia (accessed 26/11/15): "Karl Otto Götz (born 22 February 1914), often simply called K.O. Götz, is a German artist, film maker, draughtsman, printmaker, writer and professor of art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is one of the oldest living and active artists who are older than 100 years of age and is known for his explosive and complex abstract forms. His powerful, surrealist-inspired works have earned him international recognition in exhibitions like documenta II in 1959. Götz has never confined himself to one specific style or artistic field. He also explored generated abstract forms through television art.  Götz is one of the most important members of the German Art Informel movement. His works and teachings influenced future artists such as Sigmar Polke, Nam June Paik and Gerhard Richter. Currently, he is living and working in Wolfenacker in the Westerwald."
Of special note (at least to me): He was the first German member of the CoBrA art group, which, in turn, was perhaps one of the first pan-European art groups.
K.O. Goetz, "Giverny V", 1988, 200cm x 260cm
(From Die Galerie's website)

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Beethoven Files / Die Akte Beethoven (2013)

In 2012, I translated was the original treatment for The Beethoven Files, another instalment of the TV series The Culture Files, which focuses on important cultural figures of the past. (See: The Kleist File.) Written by Hedwig Schmutte, this 52-minute episode was directed by Hedwig Schmutte and Ralf Pleger, and features Lars Eidinger (of Hell [2011 / trailer]) as Beethoven and Pheline Roggan as Josephine Brunsvik. The Gebrueder Beetz production was funded by the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and MEDIA and Film- und Medien Stiftung NRW, in co-operation with Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
To take the explanation of the episode as found on the Gebrueder Beetz's website: "Ludwig van Beethoven's work is legendary – and already was while he was still alive. He is famous around the world, and yet little is known about the conditions under which his music was composed. One thing is certain: he composed most of his masterpieces AFTER the onset of his deafness. When he composed his famous 9th symphony, he wasn't able to hear a thing! A deaf composer? How is that possible? 200 years after Beethoven's death, The Beethoven File casts light of one of the biggest mysteries of music history."

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Igor Mitoraj – Skulpturen / Sculptures

(ISBN-10: 3925782729 / ISBN-13: 978-3925782725)
An 80-page hardcover catalog published in conjunction with his exhibition (6 June – 2 September 2012) at Die Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, and the public display of his work on the grounds in front of the Poelzig Bau (formerly known as the IG Farben Building), otherwise known as Campus Westend of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. German texts by Cécile Schortmann and Elke Mohr, English-language translation by moi.
The Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj (26 March 1944 – 6 October 2014) was born in Oederan, Germany, to a Polish mother and a French father. He studied at the Cracow Kunsthochschule (Art School) and at the Cracow Kunstakademie (Art Academy) and, later, the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. As of 1974, his artistic focus turned to sculpture.
As The Guardian explains in their obituary of the artist: "Igor Mitoraj, who has died aged 70, was a monumental sculptor who kept his brand of classicism in fashion by combining technical ability with a certain postmodern malaise. His fractured anatomies and immense bandaged heads [...] were both accessible and enigmatic. Rupture and fragmentation became metaphors for the passing of antiquity, but could also stand for the nature of time itself, and indeed the whole human condition. A viewer of these broken forms might recall Shelley's lines: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!' The sculptures also look fabulous."
Photo by esc (found online).