(Art)Books we love | Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge

“This book is a modern day approach to Jean-Paul Sartre’s take on Existentialism with a twist – both witty and contemplating. The visuals beautifully substantiate the texts with bold, direct, and articulate artistry! A perfect combination!”

(Greg Gorman, Photographer)


This is the first thing I’ve ever read about the book “Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge” [the 100 most important things]. If somebody is so enthusiastic about a book, a book which was crowd funded and made by the Institute of Contemporary (IFZ), I just need to have it. I love books and I am interested in the unique ones. I would call it a true art book, not just because it was published by Hatje Cantz, a well known German art book publisher, but because it has such an intellectual approach and a beautiful minimalistic design. Those are two features a lot of art books have in common, at least when they have an academic background. The book sure is beautiful, it has a great cover, the design is perfect and made by Studio Langesommer. If you’re interested in book design you have to like it.

But I am still very uncertain about the book itself. The institute’s project behind it tried nothing less but naming the 100 most important things in the world. Not at all an easy approach I would say, but still, I expected something else but I can’t name it. I read it and it has great texts, there is one for everything on the list, even with a lot of humor and some poems. I especially liked the little essay about why an art gallery is not one of the most important things. But all in all it left me unsatisfied. It really is about Existentialism. One of the most important things is fire, well agreed, but what now? I just don’t get it totally, but I am still in love with the project and the idea. It’s a bit like a piece of art which doesn’t really get to me but leaves me unsatisfied and therefore thinking a lot. It’s good to feel challenged by a book or an idea. That is something we’re losing a lot in the digital age because we rely on google so much.

I guess this is a book you have to check out yourself to know if you like it. I can’t really suggest anything this time. I will give it to a friend who loves philosophy and I will read Sartre again. It’s been a while since I had to at university. Maybe I need the book back again afterwards 😉

The Book

Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge

#artbook | Die 100 wichtigsten Dinge

#language | German

#publishing house | Hatje Cantz

#ISBN | 978-3-7757-4114-9

#pages | 256

you can get your copy here.

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