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In 2008, the artist Michael Stevenson (born 1964) self-published a slim book called Fables to accompany his project Lender of Last Resort at the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands. It consisted of a series of nine texts in fable form, each of which suggested further allegorical readings on a tableau in the show. All were coauthored by Stevenson and the Berlin-based art critic Jan Verwoert. The Lender of Last Resort project was developed around the idea of the bilateral loan contract, and this new edition of Animal Spirits expands upon this theme, reexamining it in the light of today's ongoing global financial crisis. The stories were written in a loose Exquisite Corpse manner, and were co-illustrated by the artist and his mother, Margaret Stevenson, in a similar fashion. The stories themselves all address arrangements between two parties or what could be called informal bilateral contracts.
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