The Telephone Book

Prix de Rome
The nomination for one of the final prizes of the Prix de Rome in Graphic Art in 1998, and the possibility of realizing a three-month long project, triggered a long planned telephone book project, based on a fascination with listening to other peoples phone talks. The English language forced Zwierzyñska to choose London as base for installing a surveillance listening-device in a call box. Unfortunate fate upset this plan of taping strangers’ phone conversations and the project transformed itself into a short-term film library search for thousands of film- and theatre scripts and scenario’s, which included phone dialogues. These were later to form a ‘telephone book’ directory of phone conversations - not numbers.

Using just one side of the conversations, naming them and dividing into associative or thematic chapters in a way the original Yellow Pages are divided; then combining the texts with photo-illustrations, archive images and earlier made works produced a 3000+ page yellow book. It resembles the British Yellow Pages, photocopied - mostly in black & white on yellow paper reserved worldwide uniquely for the Yellow Pages.

The book won Zwierzyñska the 1st prize Prix de Rome and was then exhibited at Arti et Amicitiae where it was stolen during the show’s private view.

"The Visitors Guide. The Best of…Listen®" a 64-page miniature version of "Listen® The Telephone Book" was intended as a supplement to the “Gouden Gids’ (Dutch ‘Yellow Pages’) and was to be a commercial give-away publication of 100.000 copies.


books & projects


expo 200 Years of Prix de Rome