Identity & series design

SecMoCo were invited by the artist editors Rachael Cattle and John Hughes to devise the identity and series design for JOAN, a new publishing project focusing on contemporary interdisciplinary writing supporting feminist, queer, and idiosyncratic voices, and innovative fictions. The design has expanded and adapted to include a collaborations imprint JOAN X (image no.10 above).

To date JOAN has published the work of Jenna Collins, Karoline Lange, Lucie McLaughlin, Sam Cottington, Zara Joan Miller, Volker Eichelmann, Paul Becker and Joanna Walsh

Published by JOAN, London, UK; series 1 launched 2021. 182 mm x 128 mm + 90 mm flaps; black & white/colour images; paperback. Printed digitally by P2D Westoning, UK.

Stockists include Donlon Books, ICA Bookshop, Cafe OTO, Broadway Books and TACO!, London; Desperate Literature, Madrid; Good Press, Glasgow.

Bergen Kunsthall, Norway


First edition published by Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, 2017, on the occasion of the exhibitions ‘The Noing Uv It’, Bergen Kunsthall, 9 January – 15 February 2015 and ‘The Showing Uv It’, Simon Ling, Bergen Kunsthall, 27 February – 5 April 2015. Curated by Martin Clark and Steven Claydon. Editors: Martin Clark, Steven Claydon; 230pp; 230x236mm; 148 images; 2-colour soft cover with embossing. Texts by Martin Clark, Steven Claydon, Timothy Morton, Martin Herbert, Russell Hoban and Martin Westwood.

This was a treat; SecMoCo had the opportunity to work with Martin Clark and Steven Claydon again on the documentation for an exhibition, the themes and implications of which both had been formulating and discussing for a number of years.The design itself saw many changes, with on-going conceptual and formal reappraisal, ending up with a rigorous, thorough-going, appropriate solution.

From the gallery:
‘The Noing Uv It’ is an exhibition about objects and their image, matter and its memory, and the revealed and concealed nature of “things.” Addressing the possibility of a latent primitive consciousness in materials, it includes work by over 30 international artists, as well as a number of other objects, technologies and artefacts.

Curated by Martin Clark and Steven Claydon.
Artists: Michael Dean, Trisha Donnelly, Alex Dordoy, Michaela Eichwald, European Space Agency, Cerith Wyn Evans, Florian Hecker, Roger Hiorns, Russell Hoban, Yngve Holen, Jenny Holzer, Richard Hughes, IBM, Edward Ihnatowicz, Mark Leckey, Simon Ling, Sarah Lucas, Allan McCollum, Robert Morris, Jean-Luc Moulène, Matt Mullican, David Musgrave, Seth Price, Magali Reus, Hannah Sawtell, Paul Sietsema, Michael E. Smith, Haim Steinbach, Rudolf Stingel, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel, James Welling, Martin Westwood, Bill Woodrow.

David Spero

It was an absolute pleasure to work intensely over a long period with one of the UK’s foremost photographers David Spero, on a book that not only showcases fine examples of his work, but is also a vitally important historical document and resource.

Photographs by David Spero, design: David Spero and SecMoCo. First edition published by David Spero, UK, 2018; edited, and with texts by, David Spero and other contributors; 290x240mm; 256pp; 148 4-color images; casebound with 4-colour dust jacket. Printing, binding, scanning and pre-press: Henry Ling Ltd at the Dorset Press, Dorchester. Scanned from C-type analogue prints.

From the afterword:
[…] To acknowledge the structures and ways of living depicted by the images in this book, and to allow them space to exist, prompts questions about values and modes of living and their environmental impact that many would rather ignore. The threat of human impact on the planet is preferably denied, in order to maintain a consumer utopia with its comforting illusions of limitless consumption. To those like myself who are inspired by these dwellings and the way of life they embody, the images suggest a comity with nature that seeks to create a future in which human beings are a complementary part of the natural landscape within a modern context. A future where human dwelling
is once again more integrated and in harmony with the planet’s ecosystem.

For more information:

Identity: print and digital

Working closely with the informed and discriminating Ben Hillwood-Harris, SecMoCo has developed a lasting identity for Artwords, perhaps THE go-to outlet in London for all print pertaining to contemporary visual culture. The work carried out includes brand application across various media including shop signage, advertisements, stationery, bags, publicity material, giftwrap and also book designs for Artwords Press (Documenta 11 by Matthew Arnatt and Matthew Collings; A Prague Night by Pavel Pepperstein).

The brand was further extended with the design of the Artwords website incorporating full e-commerce (

Shopfront photograph: Coleen C. [ @yelpColleenC ]

Kunstmuseum, Basel

This publication represents the first monograph on the work of the Turner Prize nominated British artist. Designed to accompany her solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum, Basel and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

First published by Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland, 2012; edited, and with a foreword by, Nikola Dietrich; texts by Kirsty Bell, Sabeth Buchmann and Pablo Lafuente; 260 x 200 mm; 216 pp; 138 color images; softcover with open binding, front flap incorporating a dual language booklet for texts (German and English).

After many discussions with the artist around how work such as hers may be adequately represented on the printed page, the opportunity arose to carry this out through the kind auspices of Nikola Dietrich at the Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel.

The publication was to accompany the exhibition, but from the outset the motivation was to create a stand alone publication. Although any desire to provide an ‘equivalent’ to the work via the book would be clearly misguided, through the structuring and division of aesthetic content, distribution of the combination of differing papers, semi-wayward cropping of the images, concealing/intrusion of the captions, and finally the nearly-fragile collating, binding and finishing, the finished object might hopefully go some way to reflecting the spirit of the artist’s lightness of touch, conceptual rigour and approach to image making (or rather, lived experience and its representation through images).

Exhibition context (from the gallery press release): “The furtive eye of Lloyd’s camera records scenes of urban life, among other objects, illuminating the modern city as a site of voyeurism, fetishism, and sexual ambivalence. People engaged in everyday rituals and routine gestures of self-projection draw the artist’s interest, as do architecture, advertising, and the play of lighting effects on different surfaces. […]The selective gaze paints a picture of urban fascination permeated by a dynamic choreography of static and moving sequences. Such effects of perception fused in pictorial montages are most obviously achieved by virtue of mirror reflections, split screens, and rotation […]. In some instances, the viewer cannot infer the material reality of the surfaces. […] They are reduced to pure surface and materiality. Yet Lloyd’s practice is not limited to the filmed image; the installation, with monitors, flat screens, and projectors elegantly and meticulously set out in the room, also acquires a strong presence. The visitor is inevitably confronted not only with the pictures, but also with their manifestation”.

O[RPHAN] D[RIFT>]:Cyberpositive


First edition published in 1995 by O[rphan] D[rift>]/Cabinet Editions (with support from Nick Land), on the occasion of the exhibition/installation at Cabinet, Brixton, London, in 1995.

Edited by Maggie Roberts; 448pp; 130×200 mm; 1x B&W image; 2-colour soft cover;
ISBN 0-952-58240-6; Anti copyright.

Design: O[rphan] D[rift>]/Secondary Modern (SecMoCo as was).

. Asked– Alec Dippie, Fred Evans, Simon Josebury, Suzanne Karakashian, Tom Louichon, Nick Land, Suhail Malik, Rob Maze, Ranu Mukherjee, Dan O’Hara, Sadie Plant, Maggie Roberts, Kurt Vildgren.
. Unasked– J.G Ballard, Georges Bataille, Greg Bear, Hakim Bey, Kathryn Bigelow, William Burroughs, Pat Cadigan, Mike Davies, Manual DeLanda, Maya Deren, Giles Deleuze, Marguerite Duras, Philip K. Dick, Mark Downham, William Gibson, Felix Guattari, Stanislau Lem, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Mike McGuire (juno reactor), Mute Magazine, Thomas Pynchon, Anne Rice, Serge (total eclipse), Stelarc, Neil Stephenson, Tsuyoshi Suzuki (prana), Unnatural Publications.

Having worked on the design for many of the Cabinet projects since its early formation, SecMoCo was pleased to have the opportunity to design, layout and produce– along with with Maggie Roberts, Suzanne Karakashian and Ranu Mukherjee– what has proven to be a highly prescient publication. Published in the same year as the hyper-stimulation of the second Virtual Futures conference (May 25–28, University of Warwick) it can be seen as an indicative marker of the creative and intellectual work going on in that particular historical moment – to theorise the political and cultural implications of the very dawning of a highly networked global information system and the human–digital relationship within it.

The publication has been subsequently reprinted by Cabinet. Here, below, is the information on this from the Cabinet website, where you can buy copies of the reprint and you can also find images of the exhibition/installation in 1995.

‘0(rphan)d(rift>) cyberpositive is an experimental sci fi novel, collectively authored by a group of asked and unasked contributors and edited by OD’s Maggie Roberts. It was published in 1995 with support from Nick Land and Cabinet Editions, serving as our manifesto and as the catalogue for the debut exhibition of the same name. It came together in the spirit of much of our visual work, bringing together processes of sampling and looping as well as the Burroughs cut up technique, referring to a breakdown and reordering of language from a post apocalyptic POV.’

0(rphan)d(rift>) cyberpositive
448pp. 13 x 20 cm
Published by Cabinet Editions / Openmute
Reissue 2012 and 2015
ISBN 13: 9781906496807
£15.00 (2019 reissue)
For orders please email


SecMoCo were delighted to be approached by the judicious Darren Pih (Curator, Tate Liverpool) with the offer of a dream job – to design the catalogue to accompany the exhibition GLAM: The Performance Of Style (at Tate Liverpool, UK and later Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany). Through an ambitious collection of works and artefacts, it’s drive was to conceptually locate the early 1970’s glam pop style phenomenon in the context of the high /low cultural interchange within the artistic milieu of the time.

The design of the catalogue was an attempt to convey this shrewd engagement with the period whilst resisting the (admittedly very tempting) urge to indulge in the use of glitter, kitsch and overtly ‘bad-taste’ fonts. To revert to such a swift design short-hand would have been to do a disservice both to the the complexity of the creative activity of the time, and this contemporary re-appraisal of it. The design also included a detailed illustrated timeline of the art, culture and politics of the time.

First Published September 2013 by Tate Publishing, UK. Edited by Darren Pih; 215 x 255 mm; 192pp, thread sewn; 4-colour images throughout; 4-colour, 8 page soft cover (inc flaps)

Context from the Tate website:
GLAM: The Performance Of Style is the first book to fully examine the serious cultural influence of one of the twentieth century’s most excessive and exciting pop movements. ‘Glam’ emerged in the early 1970s and remains one of the most instantly recognisable but critically derided stylistic phenomena of twentieth century art and cultural history. Known mostly through the music of the era… the style was also evident in other art forms through its acquaintance with theatrics, artifice, myth and androgyny.

Covering a range of subjects including fashion, music, film, gender in performance and postmodernism, the book moves beyond a nostalgic reception and will reveal the under-acknowledged exchange between avant-garde art and the extravagant style, tracing the glam sensibility to performance and installation art, and to painting and sculpture’.

Context from Noddy Holder (Slade), reviewing the exhibition for The Guardian 20.02.13:
‘You can see Marc Bolan’s leather hat in a glass case. I couldn’t believe how small it was: I knew he was a small man, but this hat is really tiny’.

Film and Video Umbrella

Through the investigative and informed eye of it’s Director Stephen Bode, SecMoCo is privileged to have worked on many projects for Film and Video Umbrella, London, UK. FVU commission, curate and produces artists’ moving-image works and presents them in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners. In 2014 Duncan Campbell won the Turner Prize, this publication was to accompany his first major solo exhibition in Scotland, the screening of the artist’s ‘Make It New John’ – the story of John Delorean and his famous car- at Tramway, Glasgow. This design was bought about in close collaboration with the artist, resulting in a publication that feels adequate to both his contemporary lightness of touch, and the ambition of the depth of historical research involved in the making of his films.

First published by Film and Video Umbrella, London, UK, and Tramway, Glasgow, UK. Edited, and with a text by, Stephen Bode; additional text by Martin Herbert, plus an ‘in-conversation’ between the artist and critic, Melissa Gronlund; 230 x 170 mm; 88pp; 45 color and 19 b&w images; paperback, flapped cover

Context, from the FVU introduction to the film ‘Make It New John’:
Following the huge box-office success of Back to the Future in 1985, John DeLorean wrote a letter to Bob Gale. According to the recipient, it read, in part, ‘Thank you for keeping my dream alive.’ Gale was the producer of that Hollywood film, a vehicle for Michael J Fox. Delorean was the creator of the iconic, gull-winged DMC12 sports car that was used as Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown’s time machine in the movie, but which by the mid-80s wasn’t really a vehicle for anybody.

Three years earlier, the DeLorean (as it is widely known, being the only vehicle produced by the short-live DeLorean Motor Company), has ceased production after just 9,000 cars had rolled off the assembly line at the DMC factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. The car is a vexed and paradoxical symbol, at once desirable – mostly, as its architect acknowledged, thanks to a teen comedy made when the DeLorean was unavailable – and an index of failure.

[…] This association of vehicle and film is one that virtually everybody makes first, but there’s also a panoramic back-story to consider. This is confirmed – to the extent that such a slippery endeavour can be said to confirm anything – by Duncan Campbell’s Make it new John (2009), a film that traces the rise and fall of DeLorean, man and car.

Its fifty minutes of archive material and self shot footage refract the messy, paradoxical, couldn’t-make-it-up tale of a Shakespearean character who lived an outsize life, the Detroit-born son of a Romanian immigrant who became a wunderkind engineer at General Motors and who, through projects like the Pontiac GTO, reshaped American idealism (the pioneer spirit, mobility as birthright) as it is incarnated in cars. It is also, to some degree, a partial window on an American Icarus who was also a Lazarus – a maverick who believed his own myth, fell to Earth and was born again at Universal Studios.


Steven Claydon, Firstsite

Culpable Earth is a monograph on the work of British artist Steven Claydon and was published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at firstsite, Colchester, UK (4 February – 7 May 2012). It features over 300 illustrations and previously unpublished texts about and by the artist, alongside an extended interview between Claydon and Martin Clark, Artistic Director, Tate St Ives.

The first major solo exhibition by Claydon in a UK public gallery was organised here by the acutely discerning Michelle Cotton, Senior Curator at firstsite. SecMoCo worked closely with her and the artist in the process of designing the accompanying publication, gaining a valuable insight into Claydon’s interests and preoccupations. The work draws on, engages with, and employs a huge historical resource of art, literature, design, politics and theory (for example, he is perhaps the only contemporary British artist investigating and drawing from the texts of the Pre-Socratic philosophers). From the outset Claydon’s intention was to adopt the layout and style of a particular 1960′s Italian architectural journal, (one that used the formal discipline of the then popular ‘Neue Grafik’ or ‘Swiss’ style of design), the task then was to ‘pour into’ that template documentation of his work to date, plus a generous selection from his wide-ranging research, and an illustrated and indexical chronology.

First edition published by firstsite March 2012 in an edition of 1,500 copies; edited by Michelle Cotton; texts: Martin Clark, Steven Claydon, Michelle Cotton and Patrizia Dander; 242 x 212mm; 144pp thread sewn; 260 colour and 45 b&w images; 2-colour softback cover, plus 1x metallic printing

Context from Michelle Cotton: ‘Over the last decade Steven Claydon’s sculpture, print, painting, film and performance have been worrying away at the taxonomies and values integral to the Western canon. His exhibitions with their hessian grounds, stacked pedestals, frames within frames, portrait busts and eccentric artifacts both emulate and debunk the nature of the museum’.

And from the firstsite website: ‘Claydon describes his work as being concerned with the ‘passage of materials’, namely, how materials journey from raw matter into cultural artefact. In doing so, he raises questions about the value of everyday objects. The artist sees objects as being ‘culpable’, in the sense that they reveal something about society at large. However small his starting point, a mass of atoms or a grouping of coloured pixels, Claydon combines materials and concepts in endlessly complex structures.

Claydon’s sculptures often present highly crafted objects in bespoke structures that visually reference museum displays. He brings together objects recalling historical artefacts – such as portrait busts, pots and vessels – cultural ephemera and geological samples, skilfully mixing different cultures and periods of history. Ancient technologies are combined with modern, electronic equipment and traditional craft skills are presented in digital video installations. Through these combinations, Claydon creates new, hybrid objects.

Merging reality with fiction, and appearing at once meaningful and useless, Claydon’s works oscillate between an idea of truth and fantasy, seeming to offer a fragmented image of a future civilisation’s past’.

Pavel Pepperstein

The first novel designed by SecMoCo – for Artwords Press (the publishing arm of Artwords Bookshop)- is a strange, poetic and philosophical thriller written by Pavel Pepperstein, one of the most influential artists of Russia’s new generation (here translated by Andrew Bromfield). The post-communist critique, along with the comprehensive and yet quirky comic book-like illustrations seemed to suggest an (almost oxymoronic) ‘upmarket samizdat’ style and dynamic tension was required.

First edition published by Artwords Press in an edition of 1500 copies, London, UK, 2014; 178mm x 111mm; 208 pages, 114 B&W illustrations; casebound with dust jacket

A Prague Night, Pavel Pepperstein’s metaphysical novel, takes place on Walpurgis Night, the ancient Central European spring festival when winter is ceremoniously brought to its end through the celebration and re-enactment of myth. Ilya Korolenko, a hired assassin, a top-flight killer who shoots from any distance and never misses, is in Prague to hunt down and kill the disgraced oligarch Orlov. Korolenko is a romantic, nostalgic for an idealised Russia of the past, who despises the corruption, greed, and idolisation of wealth that western capitalism has brought to his country. Having made his kill in the cathedral of St Vitus, Korolenko heads to a conference on Prague Spring and 1968. There he meets the seductive and radical Ellie Warbis, daughter of Americans whose lifestyle she hates, who proposes sex as brotherhood and sisterhood in the struggle for freedom. Together they attend a party thrown by her wealthy tycoon father, which proves to be a gateway to the wild festivities and transformations of the night of the witches…

Sample translation by Andrew Bromfield
On May 1, 200.., a certain individual arrived in Prague. I was that individual: Ilya Korolenko, attractively clean-featured and inconspicuous, with a dreamy look in my eyes and hair spiralling into a passionate, babyish twist over my forehead. In terms of intimate predilection, in terms of my mission, I am a poet, sometimes I put a few words together and revel in their magic, their incongruous voodoo, I am one of the few who still tend this once-sacred flame, which only recently was a raging conflagration of forest fires, but has now been reduced to the glowing dot on the last cigarette of a dying giant. But that, of course, is not how I make my living. For many years now I have been a hit man, a top-flight killer. The weary killer drinks his Miller. I always work alone. How did I happen to get into this line of work? It’s all a matter of eyesight. Fate gifted me with exceptionally keen, virtually telescopic vision. Which means I naturally possess phenomenal accuracy: I shoot from any distance and never miss. In my very young days I used to win places and prizes in shooting competitions, and I enjoyed buggering about in rifle ranges. You might say I ought to have put this gift to a worthier use. Perhaps, but this was what fate decreed.
I must admit, however, that I love my work. My services are expensive, and the individuals I am contracted to kill are characters stained with the filth of multiple heinous crimes. I’m the kind of boy who likes to take an interest: before I press the trigger I find out everything there is to find out about my mark. And I only accept a contract if I get a sour kind of feeling in my heart – yes, this is one life I want to cut short, yes, I want to be the author (or the co-author, if you happen to be religious) of the full stop that will mark the end of this particular individual’s biography. I have inserted quite a number of these precise little dots, and I don’t regret a single one.
I’m not in the least bit cruel or malicious; on the contrary, I’m jovial and benign. Which is what the angel of death should be like, surely? And I have another, entirely intimate reason for doing this work. I have already told you that I am a poet, but before I embarked on the Way of the Hit Man, I hadn’t written any poetry for a long time, far too long. At that point something had stopped, come to a complete standstill inside me: I felt that all my brain’s mellifluous murmurings, everything that set my heart weeping and laughing, was wrong. Not right somehow. Although I’m quite capable of playing the narcissist, I had enough wits to realise that all my feelings and all my pleasures were of no significance whatsoever. In general, though, it wasn’t a matter of anything being wrong with me. Not with me.
Anyway, I hadn’t written any poetry for a long time. I must confess, though, that I wasn’t suffering in the slightest, I didn’t try to summon up my muse or my demon, I lived for my own delight, soaking up the bitterness and sweetness of existence, but there was something standing idle inside me, some poetic mechanism that remained unused; it was as if I were nothing but a small carved-wood table, supporting this iced-up, non-functional device. I lived merrily and modestly. I drank. Delightful damsels occasionally bestowed on me pleasures beyond all comprehension. I liked reading and sleeping. The circulation of money bypassed my pocket, which was almost always blithely empty. Youth. Almost, eternal. But capitalism was waxing ever stronger all around me, constricting space, gnashing its fangs, squeezing my throat. I realised I couldn’t carry on living that way, like the grass of heaven, in that happy-go-lucky, roly-poly-bubbly, poetically nonchalant style.
My handsome, absolutely unmemorable face – yes, that is yet another strange aspect of my being, my face is quite impossible to remember (which, naturally, is helpful to me in my work). Even I can never remember my own face, and every glance in the mirror is an encounter with a stranger.
I am the great-grandson of the great writer Korolenko, who wrote Children of the Underground. I am also one of them, a child of the underground, I am a son of the deep-earth Soviet world, a child of its final tremors of farewell. That great world, the cradle of my childhood, no longer exists, it has been extracted at the surface, its overlying strata have been stripped away, its subterranean oceans have been drained and the great damp shadows that filled them have been burned off by the pitiless sun of Capital. That diseased sun is expanding, swelling catastrophically, as everyone knows, and at its heart, clearly visible, is a black hole – the anti-future, the cosmic burrow of non-existence, into which our little golden apple is trundling quite cheerfully.
My father, a child psychiatrist, was killed by one of his patients, an insane little girl. I was four years old at the time. My mother, an officer in the KGB, is now past seventy but, strangely enough, she still works in the special services – I don’t know what the old woman does for them. I grew up with my grandmother and grandfather, surrounded by books. I was keen on poetry, mathematics and the social sciences. No one, apart from myself, ever took any care for my upbringing. I trod a free road, following wherever my free mind led me. It led me along the lanes of jolly, dirty parks and the corridors of museums, over the dry clay paths of southern mountain slopes and through the black rooms of friends.
Quite often, when drinking in congenial company, if a decent rod happened to come to hand, I would amuse myself by firing at the empty bottles and glasses. I fired at playing cards too, and maps – a satiny map of the world taken from an atlas is hung on a tree, it writhes and rustles like a flag in the wind, I stand at a distance, looking off to one side, someone shouts out: “Moscow” – and I fire immediately, on the turn, without taking aim, and you can be sure the bullet has pierced the heart of our homeland.
The nineteen-nineties decreed that several of my friends turn to a life of crime, and some of them rose to significant heights in those wicked worlds – it was they who offered me a job, having been impressed by my phenomenal accuracy.
They offered me very good money to shoot a certain individual. This individual stopped at absolutely nothing in his business affairs, he bore the ignominious stains of every possible kind of filth, and he was comprehensively protected, the kind of bird that could only be brought down from a great distance, during the few seconds between getting out of his car and immediately concealing himself behind the backs of his bodyguards on the steps of his own bank.

At first I refused. They tried to persuade me, they even showed me a secret film about him, taken with a concealed camera, but the sight of tortured cooperative entrepreneurs made no impression on me. It was clear enough anyway that the client deserved to die. I refused again. I couldn’t be bothered somehow.
But then one day, as I was wandering round the old Moscow courtyards I had loved since I was a child, I approached a certain little house that I adored passionately. I had looked at that house for as long as I could remember, on summer evenings and winter evenings, and it had always been uninhabited, with its windows solidly boarded up. Dilapidated and mysterious, the tiny mansion was hidden away in the dense blackness of impossibly beautiful trees, and the gaze of its stucco fauns and nymphs, whether covered in poplar fluff, petals or snow, was imbued with a delicate, enigmatic humour; eternal youth shone in their faces, and ironical dust accumulated in the dimples on their cheeks. Yes, they were young and happy, those ancient dryads and bacchuses, those little nereid girls hurtling along on dolphins above the deep, indifferent windows. I had never seen anyone go inside or come out; left to its own devices, everything here had frozen in its own freedom and mystery. Oh, how I love places like that! They are the reason why I have stayed on this planet.
But now I saw that the house was surrounded by a new fence of corrugated steel, and an expression of fright had appeared on the faces of the nymphs; the little house itself, in fact, was gazing out from behind the fence like a prisoner. Yes, it had been condemned. And the beautiful trees making up its magical retinue had been condemned too: a huge billboard towering over the steel fence depicted the new building that would soon rise up here: a ghastly-blue wedge shape with spectacular square windows and a pseudo-classical portico. A bank. I read the name of the bank and immediately recalled who owned it. The next day I called my acquaintances and accepted their offer.

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