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.
A 2010 archeological study found that the prehistoric Gwion Gwion paintings in Australia, whose chromatic vividness contrasts with their age and their exposure to sun and rain, are inhabited by “living pigments.” A symbiotic biofilm of red cyanobacteria and black fungi sustains a process of permanent self-painting, while also etching the pictures deeper into the quartz wall. The texts commissioned for the reader respond, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, to an idiosyncratic temporality and economy—or ecology—of signification. Descending from an inscrutable past to the same extent that they are made now, in a radical contemporaneity, the Gwion Gwion are examined as an allegorical metabolism that generates new articulations of “art” and “life,” contamination and purity, prehistory and modernity, bacterial and human colonies, lost knowledge and scientific advancement—collaborative relations between antonyms, altered schemas of “origin” and “identity.”
InOtherWords imprint was founded by Oliver Knight & Rory McGrath of design studio OK-RM. InOtherWords creates books as collectable objects in close collaboration with artists, writers, institutions, galleries, and other cultural ventures.
Their first publication, One Language Traveller, accumulates objects created by Danish artist FOS, as if the book were a cabinet of curiosities. United on the pages of the book, the sculptures speak to each other in a new vocabulary of form. One Language Traveller is ring bound, sits in a reflective slipcase and is finished in an array of paper.
Launches, May 15, 6pm, at Printed Matter in New York; and May 20, 7pm, at Donlon Books in London.
Allan Kaprow (1927–2006) is considered to be the founding father of the Happening, of Environments and Activities: terms that he continued to redefine throughout his career.
With a wide selection of images, Posters – edited by Alice Dusapin and Christophe Daviet-Thery, published by Christophe Daviet-Thery and Walther König, designed by Coline Sunier & Charles Mazé – documents Kaprow’s posters, a lesser-known side of his work, produced between 1953 for his first show at the Hansa Gallery, New York and 1996 at Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal.
Most of these posters were designed by Allan Kaprow and are characterized by their aesthetic quality, the earliest ones in particular a combination of hand-lettered text and drawings and the later ones of photographs and typographic text in a minimalist style.
More than merely advertising Happenings or Activities, these posters act as scores/tools for the participants to the Happenings and as everyday objects that blur the boundaries between art and life.
Launch May 5, 6pm, Librairie Yvon Lambert, Paris.
Paper Planes, by Sjoerd Knibbeler, consists of 16 paper models of aircrafts that have never made it past the drawing board. Sjoerd Knibbeler was able to recreate these models based on information, technical drawings and ‘artist impressions’, which he predominantly found online. Some of these aircraft designs are over 80 years old and if they have failed as physical aircrafts, they still fly around the world as ideas – in the virtual form of data. In this publication these models are combined with texts and drawings, and turned into a 4 meter long leporello, which folds back to an A4 book with a hardcover sleeve.
“I asked architects to send me important images that show the basis of their work. Images that are in their head when they think. Images that show the origin of their architecture. In this book we find 44 individual “musées imaginaires”. The most unique architects living today each present up to ten images to explain the autobiographical roots of their oeuvre. The images are explanations, metaphors, foundations, memories and intentions. They are poetic and philosophical avowals. They reveal a personal perspective on thoughts. They show the roots of architecture and expectations concerning projects. Conscious and unconscious. The biographies are written by the architects themselves. The images are small, legible and interpretable as icons. As individual collections, they present a personal view of an individual world, while as a whole they provide a universal view of the perceptible origin of contemporary architecture.” The Images of Architects, edited by Valerio Olgiati.
With Architects David Adjaye; Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus; Alejandro Aravena; Ben van Berkel; Mario Botta; Alberto Campo Baeza; Adam Caruso and Peter St John; David Chipperfield; Preston Scott Cohen; Hermann Czech; Roger Diener; Peter Eisenman; Sou Fujimoto; Antòn Garcìa-Abril; Go Hasegawa; Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron; Steven Holl; Anne Holtrop; Junya Ishigami; Arata Isozaki; Toyo Ito; Bijoy Jain, Studio Mumbai; Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Atelier Bow-Wow; Christian Kerez; Hans Kollhoff; Winy Maas, MVRDV; Peter Märkli; Jürgen Mayer H.; Richard Meier; Glenn Murcutt; Ryue Nishizawa; Valerio Olgiati; John Pawson; Cecilia Puga; Smiljan Radic; Richard Rogers; Kazuyo Sejima; Jonathan Sergison and Stephen Bates; Miroslav Šik; Àlvaro Siza Vieira; Eduardo Souto de Moura; Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown; Peter Wilson, Bolles + Wilson; Peter Zumthor.
© BBella Bas & Robin Lopvet for Cosmos Arles Books
Offprint London, May 22-25, Tate Modern (Turbine Hall), London
Multiple Art Days #1, May 22-24, Maison Rouge, Paris
MISS READ 2015, June 26-28, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Cosmos Arles Books, July 6-11, Rencontres d’Arles, Arles
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.
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? …
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.
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.
In The Canyon, Revise The Canon – Utopian Knowledge, Radical Pedagogy and Artist-run Community Art Space in Southern California – is the last book published by Shelter Press and edited by Géraldine Gourbe.
Before the onset of the social and cultural backlash that was brought on by the Reagan administration in the early eighties, Southern California was ripe territory for the genesis and development of emancipation movements for and by African Americans, Chicanos, pacifists, Marxists, feminists and homosexuals. Starting in the late sixties, these revolutionary waves particularly influenced practices such as performance art, video, installation and collaboration, which led to the construction of alternatives like artist-run spaces, non-profit spaces and artist-run community art spaces. In Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego, collaborative public action was constructed around utopian knowledge which was then redirected towards universities and art schools that favored the emergence of radical pedagogies. These other manners of experimental thinking, doing and teaching permitted artists to deconstruct certain canons that were inherited from European tradition and art history, and provoked a reexamination of “the American way of life”. In the Canyon, Revise the Canon.
Presentation by Géraldine Gourbe, April 2, 2015, 6:30pm, ICI Curatorial Hub, New York.
Bookspace: Collected Essays on Libraries focuses on the current development of library spaces as public institutions through the perspective of architects, writers, librarians, and readers. It addresses the architecture of modern public spaces, and the development of library collections in the age of digital information, in order to discuss the larger social context of libraries as institutions. It provides an insight into their management and how their functions are changing.
Nathalie Du Pasquier started drawing as soon as she met her husband George Sowden in 1979 in Milan. She was introduced to the world of design and shortly after, in 1981, became a founding member of the iconic postmodern design movement Memphis. From 1981 to 1987 she didn’t stop drawing. Every day she would draw a whole new modern world, from very small items like jewelry to entire cities. This world only existed in her head but would eventually be developed into real pieces for the Memphis exhibitions.
Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously is the first and definitive compilation of all the unpublished drawings from those years, which had been sitting in the drawers of Nathalie’s studio for over 30 years. Organized by the smallest objects to the biggest and divided into chapters, each with a text by Nathalie, it has been carefully edited and designed by Apartamento magazine’s co-founder Omar Sosa together with Nathalie Du Pasquier.
Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously is an excellent reference for future generations and a welcome document of an important period in modern design.
Spanning over fifty years, Ed Ruscha’s artistic production has been variously discussed under the rubrics of Pop Art and Conceptual Art. However, the remarkable diversity of Ruscha’s work eschews categoriza- tions whether historiographical or medium related. Ruscha’s example has been seminal not only in the field of painting, but also in printmaking, photography, graphic design, experimental filmmaking as well as architecture. It is this versatility and the interdisciplinary nature of Ruscha’s art that the International Symposium, March 11 & 12, 2015, at Centre Pompidou in Paris, intends to address.
With Ed Ruscha, Robert Dean (Studio Ruscha, Los Angeles), Lisa Turvey (Studio Ruscha, New York), Cécile Whiting (University of California, Irvine), Anne Mœglin-Delcroix (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Briony Fer (University College, London), Linda Norden (Malmö Art Academy, Lund University), Michel Gauthier (Centre Pompidou, Paris), Elizabeth A. Kessler (Stanford University, Palo Alto), Margit Rowell (art historian, Paris). The symposium is convened by Benoît Buquet (Université François Rabelais de Tours), Jean-Pierre Criqui (Centre Pompidou), and Larisa Dryansky (INHA/Université Paris-Sorbonne).
Stephan Keppel’s photographic work originates from marginal phenomena related to architecture, interiors and suburbs. He collects and arranges images and objects in order to engage them in a long-term relationship, resulting in a process which engages photography, reproduction and other supporting media. Entre Entree is a project about the Parisian suburbs and the city’s ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique, wherein Keppel conceives a fragmented and claustrophobic urban landscape, manifested through numerous black-and-white images of concrete facades, vegetation and the textures, shapes and materials that together form the entity of the city. Signing of the limited edition, March 5, 7pm, Le Bal, Paris.
Fantasies of the Library is a sequence of pages wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns—rather surprisingly, but with growing conviction— that the library is not only a curatorial space, but that its bibliological imaginary is also a fertile territory for the exploration of consequential paginated affairs.
Fantasies of the Library inaugurates the intercalations: paginated exhibition series conceived as a curatorial-editorial space enabling explorations of the book as a form of exhibition architecture in relation to other aesthetic practices in the Anthropocene.
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.
The Thing Quarterly is an object based publication. Each issue is conceived of by a different contributor. The object is reproduced, wrapped, and shipped to the subscribers.
Artist and graphic designer Brian Roettinger‘s issue 25 for The Thing Quarterly, Reproductions, is a massive catalogue raisonné that collects, documents and indexes the majority of his design work produced to date. The works, which are reproduced in black and white from photocopies, are not presented chronologically, nor is it clear, upon first inspection, which project is which: an early version is shown, sometimes just a sketch, and in some cases, the final printer proofs. Unlike a traditional monograph, Roettinger’s reimagined interpretation is a testament to the process itself, and underscores the poles of his approach, which is both visibly chaotic and meticulously organized. Launch, January 30, 8.30pm, Ace Hotel, Los Angeles.
198 Wood Joints (an inventory) is the first ever published compilation of wood joints technics of that size, presented in the guise of an impressive axonometric series created and realized by Elias Guenoun. The book ends with a postface by the author (an architect and architecture theoretician) depicting the origins and ambitions of the project. 198 Wood Joints is not only a useful and practical technical collection for wood workers, it is also a formal object with state of the art graphics (by the reknown French graphic designer Philippe Millot) recalling Conceptual Art series of the 70s in the US, such as Sol LeWitt cubicle permutations artworks for instance.