Authors don’t write books. They write on pages or on screens, but not the ones readers will hold. Their texts need proofreaders, editors, typographers, graphic designers, paper makers, printers, binders, as well as softwares, presses, and other machines before they become books. Yet sometimes, authors do make books. Maybe this doesn’t seem so unusual today, and it has become harder to understand what it means for a text to pass from the body of the author to that of the composer setting up letters and characters, and to leave the world of language for the space of the sheet of paper. There’s a world of difference when the hand that writes also prints and the materiality of the text measures itself to the surface of the page, inscribing, covering, scratching, cutting into it.
Between the early 1970s and the mid 1980s, Orange Export Ltd. was a peculiar adventure in French publishing, where such an experiment was conducted. Raquel, who was first of all a painter, and Emmanuel Hocquard first decided to publish a book together, Le Portefeuil using silkscreen. Then they developed their imprint with a group of poets, writers and artists – friends who gathered in Raquel’s house, in the suburbs of Paris. Her studio became the workshop where the books were made, meaning: conceived, written, typeset, printed and bound, by hand, by Hocquard himself. A few copies at a time.
What’s left from that enterprise is not only an impressive collection of titles – in which feature almost the whole French poetry scene of the 1970s and early 1980s. It’s also a way of conceiving books through their making; and a passion for this physical process so strong that we end up wondering: what if this was the production line of happiness? How far are the pragmatics of publishing and the dynamics of friendship related? How to deal with a public, when you know you can only print 9 copies of a book a day? If, as Hocquard wrote, printing books meant learning again how to write, should we now, connecting Orange Export Ltd. to our screens and keyboards, learn again how to read? On view from June 26, at at castillo/corrales, Paris.
After collage, the archive, and appropriation, the Villa du Parc, Annemasse, is devoting its summer exhibition, Constellating Images, from June 25 to September 20, to art practices that arrange images in constellations, images that are of different natures, provenances and periods. Appearing on the art scene in the first decade of this century, these practices are contemporaneous with the development of the internet, which has made an exponential access to images and a dehierarchized navigation possible thanks to search engines that reference and classify large bodies of information through keywords. And while similarities between the techno- logical tool (used daily) and artmaking can be seen, the choice of images in these works springs from a sensitive, differentiating selection and approach. The artists situate certain images within a multitude of signs and work to lend meaning and form to their particular grouping. Thus, from the continuous flow of images they strive to transpose, use, redefine, and extract plastic, material, and often tangible forms that are specific to contemporary art (paintings, video, installation, etc.)…
With artworks by Luis Jacob, Ryan Gander, Aurélien Froment, Alexandra Leykauf, Benoit Maire, Jonathan Monk, Sara VanDerBeek; with “The Infinite Library” by Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer, and “Unpacking my Library, (re)composition” by Christophe Daviet-Thery.
Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture, from June 27, 2015, to March 6, 2016, MoMA, New York, considers the single-family home and archetypes of dwelling as a theme for the creative endeavors of architects and artists. Through drawings, photographs, video, installations, and architectural models drawn from MoMA’s collection, the exhibition highlights how artists have used the house as a means to explore universal topics, and how architects have tackled the design of residences to expand their discipline in new ways.
The exhibition also marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Viennese-born artist and architect Frederick Kiesler (1890–1965). Taking its name from an unrealized project by Kiesler, Endless House celebrates his legacy and the cross-pollination of art and architecture that made Kiesler’s 15-year project a reference point for generations to come.
In a time of previously unforeseen plurality, visibility and distribution, the value of the image has been elevated in its usefulness as a tool and simultaneously annihilated by its ease of multiplication and impossibility of ownership. Linus Bill & Adrien Horni seize this moment to reestablish the foundations and hierarchy of the image.
To create their raw material, they incorporate tools both analogue and digital – paper, scissors, glue, Xerox, scanner, iPhones, iPad and powerbooks, consumer printers, architectural printers and hi-end inkjet alike. Even if beginning on paper, these sketches soon become jpegs.
Eschewing the art world’s conscientious formula for creation / documentation / distribution, the artists approach their own process more like mail-order shopping. Flipping the idea of the catalogue on its head, Bill and Horni put the exhibition catalogue before the artwork, chronologically at least. The printed catalogue always precedes the works destined for the walls of the gallery or institution. The artists state that “The books are like catalogues from which we choose our next painting.”
The artist’s new book, their largest to date, Gemälde 2013 – 2017, (the years depict both the time frame of the source material and period to complete the paintings) is the foundation for the exhibition Gemälde 2015 at Galerie Allen in Paris, May 28 to July 26.
Exercises in seating is a project by Max Lamb. From April 12 to 19 in Milano, the exhibition of furnitures will illustrate Max Lamb’s continuous examination of his material landscape and manifold modes of production. The accompanying publication is published by Dent-de-Leone.
Marcel Broodthaers est un artiste polymorphe, poète, plasticien, réalisateur de films, photographe, qui a anticipé la réflexion sur les rapports entre l’œuvre d’art, le musée et le public.
Le Musée d’Art Moderne – Département des Aigles, à laquelle l’exposition à la Monnaie de Paris – du 18 avril au 5 juillet 2015 – est dédiée, s’inscrit dans le contexte de 1968 en Europe, marqué par la réflexion sur les changements de la société, de l’art et de ses institutions. Malgré lui, Marcel Broodthaers en devient l’un des acteurs majeurs. Il s’autoproclame “directeur” et “conservateur” du Musée d’Art Moderne – Département des Aigles, institution qui, durant quatre ans, entre 1968 et 1972, va interroger la valeur de l’œuvre d’art en soit et dans son contexte d’exposition. Un questionnement de la notion de musée et de son rôle que Broodthaers fait passer entre le ton de la fiction et de la réalité.
Four Eggs Theory is an exhibition – until May 10, Futura, Prague – and a book by Honza Zamojski. In an ideal world an ideal egg would be an ideally oval geometrical form with an ideally spherical yolk center surrounded by whites. After boiling our specimen and cutting it crossways, we would see a microscale model of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Both systems – the cosmic one and the human one – are closed and complementary, as the vitality of one of the parts depends on the other. Meanwhile, the space between the surface of the yolk and the shell, on a cosmic scale, is the sphere of influence between our planet its closest star. In the “Four Eggs Theory”1 the key element of illustrations is a synthetic image of half an egg – a closed system with a core and a surrounding atmosphere. This theory aims to describe an individual, though also, from a wider perspective, the cyclical and recurring process of the artistic creation of a Work. The Work is the key element of artistic Practice. At the same time, the theory described in the following text could be analyzed through an illustrating diagram. If we were to seek an analogy in our common knowledge, we ought to ask: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? …
©Hans Peter Feldmann, “Untitled”, 1976, 1976. Offset lithographie, coll. Frac Nord-Pas-de-Calais, vue d’exposition à la Villa du Parc, CAC Annemasse, photographie Aurélien Mole – Batia Suter, “Seat”, slideshow + chair, 2014, courtesy l’artiste, vue d’exposition à la Villa du Parc, CAC Annemasse, photographie Aurélien Mole.
The whole world, up to today explores, until May 30 at Villa du Parc, Annemasse, the use of the archive in contemporary art.
The constitution of archives and their presentation in museums began to appear in the art of the 1960s, taking the form of dispositifs (apparatuses) and installations, often on a monumental scale. Such works are based on the accumulation of homogenous documents whose singularity recedes behind the system in which they partake. Rather than highlighting novelty or the emancipatory virtues of the image – as in the case of collage before the war – the ambition of these works is, on the contrary, to reveal the unchanging features of our representations (stereotyped poses, banal motifs, etc.) and to emphasize their value as memorial and societal indicators…
With artworks by The Atlas Group, Bernd et Hilla Becher, Christian Boltanski, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Gérard Collin-Thiebault, Hanne Darboven, documentation céline duval, Hans Peter Feldmann, On Kawara, Christian Marclay, Batia Suter, Oriol Vilanova, Akram Zaatari. Curated by Garance Chabert & Aurélien Mole.
L’exposition Pliure est un essai sur le livre et “la somme infinie de ses possibles” (Blanchot). Elle donne à voir le potentiel du livre, en relation permanente avec le geste artistique, et de quelle façon l’art se transforme à l’épreuve du livre et le livre se transforme à l’épreuve de l’art. Dans l’exposition, le livre devient un laboratoire d’expériences esthétiques -et le canal même de ces expériences. Exposition ni rétrospective, ni historique, Pliure ne prétend pas embrasser tout un thème ou prouver une théorie mais essaie plutôt de montrer comment l’espace du livre provoque l’art.
Après le Prologue de l’exposition, les oeuvres contemporaines de l’exposition Pliure. Epilogue (La bibliothèque, l’univers), du 10 avril au 7 juin 2015 à l’École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, s’allient notamment à une sélection d’oeuvres issues de la collection de l’école, et à un focus autour de l’éditeur Seth Siegelaub.
TELLS US WE’RE NOTHING. TELLS US WE’RE EVERYTHING. FLOWS IN BETWEEN is an exploration by design & art studio RO/LU and graphic designer Dante Carlos on themes about meditation, objects, and space. March 28 to April 26, 2015, The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus.
“RO/LU: It seemed really easy to talk to you about the connections between spirituality and art. Sometimes it makes me uneasy to talk about this because spirituality has a lot of baggage as a term? Because it’s easily conflated with religion but, it doesn’t really have anything to do with that for me. There’s not a lot of separation between meditation and the work we do. They are different but, it’s nice to explore.
DANTE: The blurrier those distinctions are, the more interesting it becomes, but that’s the Gemini in me talking. But maybe we’re both comfortable and interested in talking about it because the projects we take on bleed into each other and the way we make work absorbs all the influence around us. Why should there be a distinction between something that is productive and something that is meditative or spiritual; or distinct from the rest of the universe rather than framing a part of it?” (…)
Inventory Press publishes books on topics in art, architecture, design, and music, with an emphasis on subcultures, minor histories, and the sociopolitical aspects of material culture.
Way Station extends the January 2015 exhibition by Shannon Harvey, Adam Michaels, and Levi Murphy at Grice Bench, Los Angeles. At once static and dynamic, the book presents a journey through a series of landscapes, juxtaposed with a steadily spinning furniture form—that of the primary exhibition component, a set of colorful benches featuring ergonomics designed to heighten and transform physical and mental awareness. The book provides a particularly associative experience for a reader seated on a Way Station bench, while maintaining interest far beyond this setting.
From February 11 until May 2, 2015, Tensta konsthall, Stockholm, will show Frederick Kiesler: Visions at Work an exhibition of Frederick Kiesler’s genuinely transdisciplinary work. Frederick Kiesler (1890–1965) was an architect, artist, scenographer, pedagogue, theorist and – not least – a groundbreaking exhibition designer.
From the 1920′s constructivist-inspired theater exhibitions in Vienna and Paris and the early 1930′s acclaimed shop window presentations in New York City to the legendary scenography for Peggy Guggenheim’s Manhattan gallery Art of This Century (1942) and the collaboration with Marcel Duchamp, Kiesler paved the way for a dynamic view of the art experience.
Working with the monumental ‘The Shrine of the Book’ (1965) in Jerusalem, he extracted ideas and forms from his often reproduced ‘Endless House’, a visionary bio-morphic building where, to quote Kiesler himself, ‘all the ends meet’ . Underlying much of Kiesler’s work were his thoughts on the continual interaction between man and his natural and technological environments, as defined in the theory of correalism. Although Kiesler was a member of de Stijl, a close friend and collaborator of Duchamp, André Breton, Alfred H. Barr and several other key figures in the art of the 1900′s, as well as an influential teacher at Columbia University in New York, he is something of an unknown.
The exhibition will feature models and documentations of Kiesler’s designs for exhibitions, buildings, interiors, shop-windows, etc. from various periods. The exhibition will also include prototypes, including those of his Mobile Home Library and the mass-produced so-called correalist furniture, among others. The focus will be on Kiesler’s interest in the intersection between art and life and how this manifests in his works. The artist Céline Condorelli, who has a long-time interest in exhibition design and modes of presentation, will contribute to the project.
The exhibition Pliure. Prologue (La part du feu) (Fold. Prologue (The share of the fire)), January 30 to April 12, Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, explores the significance of the book and “the infinite sum of its possibilities” (Blanchot). What can occur to a book when it is in permanent relation with an artistic gesture? How is art transformed in dialogue with a book and how is a book transformed by art? On these occasions, the book becomes a laboratory for aesthetic experiences, while leading towards such experiences by its very essence. This exhibition does not aim to be retrospective, historical, or to function as an anthology. Pliure does not claim to embrace an entire theme or to prove a definitive theory but it attempts to show how the realm of books has provoked art and continues to do so. The term “pliure” (fold) refers in part to an action (and even to a specific function in a former printing factory), but also to the trace left by this action and therefore to the fold or the crease this action imprints on the paper. As such, the fold synthesizes the act of doing and what has been done, it is at once a memory and the consequence of a gesture. With the fold, the book has two possibilities: it opens or it closes, reveals or hides. Thanks to the fold, something unexpected is the other side of the page and this is the characteristic mystery of the book.
The exhibition bring together approximately 40 works dating from the 16th to the 21st centuries: films, sculptures, installations, paintings and rare books, by Helena Almeida, Christian Boltanski, Lewis Carroll, Lourdes Castro, Geoffrey Chaucer, Rui Chafes, Claude Closky, d’Alembert, Raffaella della Olga, Diderot, Dürer, Marcel Duchamp, Olafur Eliasson, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Filliou, Jean-Luc Godard, John Latham, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, René de Lorraine, William Morris, Bruce Nauman, Alain Resnais, Ed Ruscha, Dayanita Singh, Michael Snow, François Truffaut, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Wolf Vostell, Lawrence Weiner and Francesca Woodman.
Pliure questions and enlarges our traditional perception of books and artworks, imbued with the strong belief that, as Mallarmé would say, “there is no explosion but a book.”
The ENSBA will receive the second part of this exhibition. Pliure. Epilogue (la bibliothèque, l’univers), 10 April to 7 June, 2015, Palais des Beaux Arts de Paris.
From December 4 to January 10, at Printed Matter in New York, Swiss artists Linus Bill and Adrien Horni will present an exhibition featuring a survey of their collaborative publications, as well as a newly-created wall piece. Stemming from their desire to challenge the perceived hierarchy of artistic mediums, their practice includes an active publishing element as well as sculptures and paintings that are often mutually-derived.
Linus Bill and Adrien Horni often begin their work together with the creation of a modest publication. The small-scale collages that make up the piece are handmade with paper, scissors and glue, as well as on copy machines, scanners, and iPhones. These ‘reproductions’ serve as a catalog for a show that does not yet exist. The artists then select works to scale up and re-create as full size canvas “paintings”, fulfilling the obligation of the Artist but in reverse.
In the case of their installation at Printed Matter they have engaged a similar set of concerns, though from another vantage point. Following the creation of a new staple-bound zine catalog, they have simply excerpted an image from the publication as a laser print collage with an added sticker. By maintaining the work’s size and giving the image a new context (now in an enormous frame), they re-assign the value of artwork and make it into something that is at once both an exemplary example of a wall-worthy artwork, and that seems to undermine that suggestion at the same time. In a concurrent exhibition at Nathalie Karg Gallery (Opening December 11), the small scale collages from the publication (and the framed piece at Printed Matter) are installed as the “original“ large scale paintings.
An additional survey of publications by Turbo Magazine, Horni’s ongoing publishing project, will also be on view as part of the installation.
Mark Pezinger Verlag publishes artworks ranging from one-offs to higher editions and from books towards sound works to performances.
In the exhibition 9 to 5, December 4 to 7 at Wiels in Brussels, Mark Pezinger presents Kasper Andreasen, Thomas Geiger, Katrin Herzner, Max Leiß and Astrid Seme who work in their way of publishing with a daily routine. The publications are either produced consequently over a long duration or are a document or diary of a personal day. And even the economical backbone of the publishing house is based on the ongoing performance: I want to become a millionaire.
Aspen Magazine was a multimedia magazine conceived of, edited and published by Phyllis Johnson in New York from 1965 to 1971. Aspen broke new ground in terms of its editorial concept, design approach and distribution strategy, which continues to be resonant and influential today.
The magazine featured a diverse and impressive array of contributors, from such key artists, musicians, authors and theorists as Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Allan Kaprow, Ed Ruscha, J. G. Ballard, Bill Evans, Philip Glass, the Velvet Underground and Yoko Ono. Known as “the magazine in a box”, Aspen was made up of unbound contents that included texts, flexi-discs, reels of film and other objects. It struck a chord in the 1960s artists’ publishing culture—which included publications by Marcel Duchamp, Seth Siegelaub and members of the Fluxus movement—and embraced the idea of presenting travelling exhibitions in a book (or a box, for that matter) in order to provide alternative spaces and economies for art.
The exhibition Aspen Magazine: 1965–1971, from November 26 to February 8 2015, at Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, features complete sets of all issues, with a focus on the combined edition of issues five and six from 1967, which was guest-edited by Brian O’Doherty and is referred to as The Conceptual Issue. Contributors to this issue include Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Hans Richter, Sol LeWitt, Mel Bochner, Naum Gabo, László Moholy-Nagy, Dan Graham, George Kubler, Robert Morris, William S. Burroughs, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Morton Feldman, Michel Butor, Tony Smith and Merce Cunningham. Barthes first published his influential and important essay The Death of the Author in this issue.
Printed Matter, a pioneer in the field of artists’ books and a nerve center for New York’s alternative arts world for four decades, is the subject of the exhibition Learn to Read Art: A Surviving History of Printed Matter at 80WSE gallery, New York, from December 2 to February 14.
A carefully selected amalgamation of books, records, exhibition documentation and flyers, the exhibition charts the organizational history of the New York non-profit in relation to the history of artists’ books and important movements in contemporary art from the 70’s to the present, encompassing the alternative space movement, downtown NYC counter-cultural scenes, and artist activism.
The recent evolution and democratisation of printing techniques has encouraged many artists to re-evaluate their position in relation to literature, to books, and to the page. Dedicated to the exploration of new practices within art book production, The Liberated Page will consider the page for its simultaneously poetic, structural and physical elements.
From November 21 to December 28 2014, Bâtiment d’art contemporain, Le Commun, in Geneva, the exhibition will highlight a wide range of interventions and approaches, and will discuss in particular, how artists invent new books and why their invention opens up new possibilities for the page – as well as for communication and language.
The Liberated Page will highlight the work of several contemporary artists concerned with the page, in conversation with such historic examples as books from artists Dieter Roth, Edward Ruscha, and Seth Siegelaub, bookworks from publishing houses Something Else Press and Ecart (including work by Daniel Spoerri, Robert Fillou, Emmett Williams, and Dick Higgins), an anthology by Guy Schraenen, the Mèla post card book from Maurizio Nannucci, as well as the complete Franklin Furnace archive.
On the occasion of the exhibition Architecture by Line in Lausanne, an artist’s book has been published by Nieves and brings together for the first time, as individual leporellos, the four long drawings Saul Steinberg produced for the Children’s Labyrinth, a spiraling, trefoil wall structure at 10th Triennial of Milan, a design and architecture fair that opened in August 1954. The drawings were photographically enlarged and incised into the wall.
The Line, which begins and ends with a hand drawing, is Steinberg’s manifesto about the conceptual possibilities of the line and the artist who gives them life. As the horizontal line shifts meaning from one passage to the next—water line, laundry line, railroad track, among others—it comments on its own transformative nature. The Line occupied one of the structure’s three leaves, while the other two hosted Types of Architecture, Shores of the Mediterranean, and Cities of Italy.
Types of Architecture is a satirical survey of world architecture (Steinberg was trained as an architect in Milan), from America’s log cabins to Bauhaus exaggerations to fragile skyscrapers.
Shores of the Mediterranean presents a sailor’s-eye-view of the Mediterranean coastline, filled with the ruins and renascences of successive civilizations.
The Italy Steinberg knew as a student in the 1930s resonates in Cities of Italy, as the inked line, drawn with the artist’s usual spare elegance, imagines an urban sprawl of campaniles, factories, piazzas, apartment houses, curlicued domes, and a water tank that seems to have escaped from a carnival.
Sturtevant (American, 1924–2014) has been “repeating” the works of her contemporaries since 1964, using some of the most iconic artworks of her generation as a source and catalyst for the exploration of originality, authorship, and the interior structures of art and image culture. Beginning with her versions of works by Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, Sturtevant initially turned the visual logic of Pop art back on itself, probing uncomfortably at the workings of art history in real time. Yet her chameleon-like embrace of other artists’ art has also resulted in her being largely overlooked in the history of postwar American art. As a woman making versions of the work of better-known male artists, she has passed almost unnoticed through the hierarchies of mid-century modernism and postmodernism, at once absent from these histories while nevertheless articulating their structures.
Though her work of the 1960s and 1970s may appear to be simply mimetic exercises in proto-appropriation, Sturtevant is better understood as an artist who adopts style as her medium and takes the art of her time as a loose “score” to be enacted. Far more than copies, her versions of Johns’s flags, Warhol’s flowers, and Joseph Beuys’s fat chairs are studies in the action of art that expose aspects of its making, circulation, and canonization. Working primarily in video since 2000, the artist remains deeply engaged with the politics of image production and reception, using stock footage from Hollywood films, television, and advertising to point to the exhaustion built into much of postwar cultural production.
The exhibition Sturtevant: Double Trouble, from November 9, 2014, to February 22, 2015, at MoMA, New York, is the first comprehensive survey in America of Sturtevant’s 50-year career, and the only institutional presentation of her work organized in the United States since her solo show at the Everson Museum of Art in 1973. Rather than taking the form of a traditional retrospective, the exhibition offers a historical overview of her work from a contemporary vantage point, interspersing more recent video pieces among key artworks from all periods of her career.