And ordinary sorrow

by Stéphane Querrec
design by Jayme Yen
soft-cover, 52 pages
published by New Laconic, 2017
4.32 x 6.875 inches
ISBN: 978-1-946760-00-5

I sought
or both at once
late at night

And ordinary sorrow is an elegant artist’s book. The cover is glossy black, with only a mysterious, silver hand-placed mylar sticker to draw you in. It is small, yet dignified; evoking a sense of privacy, yet asking to be held.

Author Stéphane Querrec delivers moments of quicksilver thought and feeling. Three unnamed narrators call out, seduce, elude, complain, and confess from within a world of murky interiority.

And ordinary sorrow draws on traditions of the poetry of lament—which stretches back to the oldest oral literature and is found in all cultures—while recasting the form in a virtual, eerie, and contemporary space.

What we have here are consciousnesses asking unanswerable questions, a troubled look at existence, a stream of emotions breaking one after the other like sea waves battering the shore—regret, longing, turmoil, lust, growing old. From within the margins of mental space, the anonymous voices speak to all without addressing anyone in particular. They exist incognito.—Stéphane Querrec

We spoke with Querrec about his unique practice and book here.


Stéphane Querrec writes voices. His films, videos, texts, and multimedia installations in public space are elements of a conceptual inquiry into the nature of speech and the construction of identity.

Born in Biarritz, FR and now based in Berlin, DE, Querrec has exhibited at museums and institutions internationally, including Espace Culturel George Émile Lapalme, Montréal, CA, basis Frankfurt, DE, and Tanzquartier, Vienna, AT.