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The Overcoat

Art by Sarah Dobai
Four Corners Books

Text by Nikolai Gogol


88 pages
290 × 215 mm
ISBN: 978-1-909829-03-9


In The Overcoat, a lowly government clerk’s life is briefly transformed by the extravagant purchase of a new coat. This new edition is accompanied by artwork from Sarah Dobai, who has taken a series of images of commercial displays, taken in London and Paris, to reflect upon the story’s preoccupation with material desire and illusion.

About the Artist
Dobai’s practice is based in photography, film and video. However, her interest in working in differing contexts has allowed her production also to take other forms such as the artist’s book and most recently performance. In broad terms Dobai’s work engages with the everyday, realism, artifice and illusion in relation to city life and cinematic or pictorial conventions.

The artist’s film and photographic works have come about through a performative and reflexive process or are made on location where the latent atmospheric qualities or its material economy animate the image. The work is often centred on the human figure, the subject being defined by their circumstances rather than by their individual characteristics. This approach intends to ground the use of fiction or narrative in the conditions of everyday life or reflexively in relation to the conditions of the production and consumption of the work itself.

About the Publisher
We make art books that have a story to tell. Whether it’s our Familiars series – in which we invite artists to reimagine classic works of literature – or our new series, the Irregulars about fascinating pockets of British visual culture, we try to find art in the most intriguing and unusual places, and publish it as beautifully as we can.

Run by Elinor Jansz and Richard Embray, we’ve been publishing since 2003. We’re always keen to hear from you – whether you’re a reader, bookseller, historian, or artist, or have an idea you think we’d be interested in.