Olia Lialina - My Boyfriend Came Back From The War

Book Design. Special Tag: Forever

"Olia Lialina’s My Boyfriend Came Back from the War uses basic elements of HTML to relay an evocative, cinematic narrative.

The work tells the story of a young woman reuniting with her sweetheart after his return from a faraway conflict. With its use of browser frames, hypertext, and images (both animated and still), My Boyfriend Came Back from the War highlights the parallels and divergences between cinema and the web as artistic and mass mediums, and explores the then-emerging language of the net.

Lialina aptly uses the web to interrogate our understandings of the production and organization of memory, a question that structures her practice to this day. In keeping with this, she considers the numerous artistic remakes and remixes of the piece an extension of her initial investigation."


The Book designed by Manuel Buerger is a documentation of MBCBFTW's remixes (1996-2016) and the first printed collection so far. The design focuses on the details of each version, and thereby records the history of internet (computing) by showing the different aestehtics and technologies. The rhythm of the book reminds about the brutal framework of the original website. An emulation on the famous Netscape browser is available via rhizome: 1996 (800x600) feeling.

The book is published by Cristoph Merian Verlag for Lialina's solo exhibition at HeK Basel curated by Sabine Himmelsbach in January 2016.

"Olia Lialina calls the work a netfilm, because of its similarity with cinematic narrative. The grainy black-and-white images and intertitles refer to early silent movies. Of its filmic qualities, curator Michael Connor wrote of the work, 'the work adapts cinematic montage to the web ... separate frames are joined together by HTML code and the browser itself and experienced in both space and in time, employing what Lev Manovich has characterized as spatial and temporal montage.'"

> From Wikipedia

The publication is ordered by sections/letters. There are no pagenumbers - also a reference to the spatial and temporal montage of the original artwork.

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