“Kaisa and Christoffer Leka’s Imperfect is at least as much an object as it is a book, at least as much an experience as it is a story. The book, enclosed in a beautiful box, tells about a bicycle journey across the United States and opens up slowly and slightly cumbersomely one page at a time.
I mean that literally. Each page has to be opened up with a paper knife. Something I don’t do particularly skillfully. My hands are those of a humanist, so each time the result is the same: Imperfect. Perhaps a bit ugly, but ugly in a beautiful way. The aesthetics of the tears make the book unique, in this case to such an extent that the artists might frown upon seeing it.
The effect is naturally a deliberate one. The story depicts a journey progress slowly, mile by mile, blister by blister. The scenery changes, the people change, but the rhythm of each day and the goal remain the same. Keep on keeping on.
The pages reveal themselves slowly and force the reader to slow down. The arduousness, the ever so slight physical exertion mirrors that of the Lekas’ journey.
On a conceptual level this is genius. I truly appreciate this kind of dedication. Even though I can’t but be amused by the perfectionism with which a book called Imperfect has quite evidently been designed. The package has been realized incredibly carefully and laboriously in a manner that’s typical for the Lekas. The story consists of old photographic postcards that Leka has collected during the previous year and that Kaisa has used to draw about each day’s feelings and experiences. The cards have been carefully picked and even the stamps serve to emphasize the mood.
There are some glimpses of imperfection, though. Some of the cards apparently never arrived at their destination. The font used in the book, Cheltenham, is according to the Lekas ”far from perfection but makes up for any such deficiency with a most charming personality”. The book also doesn’t really have a proper cover.
The charming ensemble makes the repetitiveness, inherent self-centeredness and – dare I even say this from the comfort of my couch – uneventfulness of the story feel appropriate. The Lekas have published quite a few travelogues but have managed yet another time to surprise their audience.”
Ville Hänninen, Sarjainfo