The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 17, No. 3

Notes on Design

by Agnès Varda

The guys of Zoetrope: All-Story started to write in 2010 to invite me to design an issue.
     I answered, delighted, but said we must postpone the game. They wrote again. My office put the letter aside, told me about it, asked me if I would do it. Sounded exciting, I thought, but I was over-busy with the documentary series Agnès from Here to There, then I had to finish work for an exhibition in the harbor of Sète, then a Swedish museum invited me . . . and so on. Stéphanie from my office wrote the Zoetrope team: “Agnès agrees to design an issue, but in late 2012.” Then she proposed an issue in 2013. I had a whole gallery in Aix-en-Provence; I did a series of portraits and filmed from a helicopter above the River Rhône. The world is on fire, in trouble, in crisis; there are crimes of all sorts; and I still do my things to show around.
     At last, this summer, I thought: They have been patient. I should find the time for Zoetrope now, organize a travelogue in images from my own collection. The lack of an honorarium and the offer of freedom got to me. Like when we were young . . .
     I considered it: Zoetrope: All-Story publishes short stories. Literature is made of big and small letters. Presenting images and big letters was my idea for this design.
     I couldn’t have anticipated that my work for this edition would end up being so incredibly synchronized with my other activities in California this fall. Some of my films have been restored by the Film Foundation, with the support of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Annenberg Foundation, to be shown at the Getty Museum, the Pacific Film Archive, AFI FEST, and LACMA. Michael Govan invited me to create an installation in a big room designed by Renzo Piano—a treat that I will savor and enjoy.
     In Los Angeles, that city where I’m known as a filmmaker, I love the idea of coming back as a visual artist . . . and a magazine designer!
     Who will come to see my cinema shack at LACMA?
     Who will buy my edition of Zoetrope: All-Story?

To view Agnès Varda's design of the Fall 2013 issue, please purchase a copy from our online store.