Still is the last official record by Joy Divison after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. It is an attempt by the record company to sweep up any unreleased tracks along with a live recording of Joy Division’s last concert. It was released partly in response to the number of Joy Division bootlegs that had appeared and the title alludes to this; the original bootleggers used stills to distil liquor during the prohibition era. The British Designer Peter Saville designed the sleeve but misinterpreted the word ‘Still’ as a synonym for ‘quiet’ and went for a subtle and subdued design approach: Simple white lettering and a cover intentionally left bare, leaving the surface to collect dust and traces of their owners over time.
I have been collecting copies of Still since 2007. Each unique record is housed in a custom built acrylic case whose design is based on cartons used for shipping records in Germany (Instead of a straight envelope records are usually posted in a 30cm x 14cm angular box, in order to comply to certain postal restrictions).
The resulting sculpture allows for multiple readings between the transitoriness of life, the standstill of presence and the finality of death