The Written Image: Eda Temucin

From the May/June 2016 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

It’s like an instance of déjà vu: A vivid orange sunset looks awfully like the hardback cover of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian, or a painting of choppy waves calls to mind the jacket of Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. Artist Eda Temucin is constantly on the lookout for such visual likenesses, and when she finds one she adds it to a project she started on her Instagram account (@eda.temucin) that pairs book covers with modern photographs or art pieces. Temucin selects minimalist artworks, all from the platform Minimal Zine, that employ a color scheme, pattern, or style evocative of a particular book cover. Some are eerily similar, like a photo of the corner of a yellow room that looks almost identical to the cover of Picador’s 2009 edition of Eva Hofmann’s Time; others are more visually resonant in sensibility, like a photograph of a wall and ferns that echoes the cover colors of Annie McGreery’s Ciao, Suerte (Nouvella, 2015). Temucin, who is studying product design in Germany, started the project this past February after noticing that a photo she took was strikingly reminiscent of the cover of Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage, 2008). “I noticed that the electric cable on my picture had the same shape as the shadow falling from the wall on the book cover,” says Temucin, “and that the white dove sitting on the rooftop [in] the photograph matched the white rocking horse on the book cover.” Are these visual similarities just happy accidents—“crazy coincidence” in Temucin’s words—or do they point to larger trends in today’s aesthetic? Either way, her pairings show that book-jacket designs often go beyond simple enhancement of the content that lies within.