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.
Reproduction of the floor piece Le Tapis (fair use) by Pierre Leguillon, consisting of a collection of graphically striking record sleeves designed by artists, surrounded by postcards from a large variety of art institutions showing objects on a monochrome background. On the backside all sources and credits are collected as found on the originals. Printed and hand folded in an edition of 600 copies. Published on the occasion of Leguillon’s solo exhibition The Museum of Mistakes: Contemporary Art and Class Struggle at Wiels, Brussels.
Iron-cooked ham and cheese sandwiches, cailles en sarcophagi, explosive pissing beef balls; low, high, accessible, obscure, comical – food, like art, is served up in various guises, but whatever form it takes, it shares the common traits of being a stimulant as well as a necessity for living. Food and art also share a common space at the heart of Hato Press’s practice. Each day they serve up a communal afternoon meal, creating an opportunity to down tools and enjoy the moment. Now, with the book Cooking With Scorsese – a black-and-white trailer for a full colour feature to be published soon – they welcome you to join in this homage to both food, and to films that celebrate eating in all sorts of compelling ways.
Grapus [ \gra-´pUEs] is a French graphic design collective founded in Paris immediately following the student protests of May 1968. The group saw life as a field for experimentation, putting the new political, social, and cultural debates into graphic form for public discussion. At first Grapus designed posters for local chapters of the Communist Party; twenty years on, they were chosen to design the corporate identity of the Louvre in Paris. By the late 1980s, the collective’s productive days were over. In its heyday it had attracted many highly committed graphic artists both from France and abroad. After receiving the Grand Prix National des Arts Graphiques, the group decided to disband in 1990. For the book What, you don’t know Grapus?, Léo Favier set out in search of the former members of the collective. The twenty-six interviews in his book tell of the utopian working methods and heated disputes that were at the heart of this collective way of life. Launch, December 4, 2014, 6.30pm, Le Monte-en-l’air, Paris.
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.
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.
< o > future < o > is conceived by François Aubart, Jérôme Dupeyrat, Charles Mazé, Camille Pageard, and Coline Sunier. < o > future < o > continues and enhances the activities of Pyramide, Diapason, Roue crantée with online and printed publications. It is part of the activities of Bat.
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.
Offprint Paris, November 14-16, 2014, Beaux-arts de Paris, is an art-publishing fair featuring discerning publishers on art, photography, design and experimental music labels. This year’s edition showcases more than 130 publishers, from over 20 countries (all participants now announced on the website), selected by Yannick Bouillis, Charlotte Cheetham and Maxime Guitton.
Best known for his oversized, dead-pan portraits, his unmediated shots of commonplace interiors, and his seemingly straightforward photographs of architecture, Thomas Ruff has quietly approached many familiar genres, and proceeded to discreetly reinvent them.
For his Zeitungsfotos (Newspaper Photographs) series, Ruff found images in newspapers, and then re-photographed and enlarged them to isolate the photographs from the text, allowing Ruff’s viewer, now no longer a reader, to make assumptions about the photograph without any information to support the viewer’s inferences.
The book Zeitungsfotos – Newspaper Photographs consists of 400 reproductions from German newspapers that Ruff collected over the span of 10 years (1981–1991).
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.
Depuis quelques années ont fait leur apparition dans le monde du design des objets étranges : des objets dysfonctionnels, énigmatiques, compliqués. Ces objets relévent d’une posture que les designers anglais Anthony Dunne et Fiona Raby ont défini Critical Design (design critique) : un design spéculatif, réflexif, qui ne veut pas proposer des solutions, mais plutôt poser des questions, qui veut défier les affirmations rapides, les préjugés et lieux communs sur le rôle des produits dans la vie de tous les jours. Un design qui ne se veut pas affirmatif, c’est-à-dire soumis aux impératifs des systèmes de pouvoir, mais au contraire critique. Cette “attitude” n’est pas nouvelle, mais a, au contraire, une histoire, qui longe la frontière entre art et design.
L’objectif de Strange Design — du design des objets au design des comportements n’est pas de reparcourir cette histoire de manière exhaustive ou linéaire, mais plutôt d’en envisager quelques épisodes afin de dégager les outils critiques dont ils sont porteurs pour l’histoire du design — comme une sismographie qui indique les résurgences de la crise d’un modèle.
Rencontre et signature le 21 octobre, dès 18h30, au Lieu du design à Paris.
One Hand, and the Other, a book by Emil Salto, published by Cornerkiosk press.
There’s a hand and there’s another and then there is the other. Echoes of year-old sunlight exposing hand gestures, a soft shadow against changing background, and a brilliant rectangle entering the frame and fixating the narrative.
October 4, from 6pm at castillo/corrales, Paris, on the occasion of the release of PNCI, Pensée Nomade Chose Imprimée (1989-2013), Michel Aphesbero and Danielle Colomine, the artist duo behind the legendary magazine 4 Taxis, and the non-less legendary studio Pensée Nomade Chose Imprimée that they organized with Jean Calens at the Bordeaux School of Fine Arts, will put together a small exhibition made of archival footage, publications and paraphernalia from the 25 history of the most Situationnist and punk-rock teaching experiment ever conducted.
American popular culture and the environment of the “art world,” combined with a sly use of puns, codes, inside jokes and signature wit mixed with piercing perceptiveness, comprise the frame for much of Ray Johnson‘s work. Using his own brand of semantic structure, Ray Johnson creates complex and multi-layered portraits—of himself and of other subjects.
From October 7 to November 1, 2014, Karma, New York, presents an exhibition of previously unseen work by Ray Johnson. A comprehensive publication will be released in conjunction with the exhibition, which includes 296 color illustrations of collages, drawings, interventions and other ephemera.
Since the invention of photography, architecture has proved a worthy subject for photographers and, in turn, photography has played an important role in how architecture is communicated. Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, a book by Elias Redstone, examines a critical relationship between the two practices today through the work of fifty international well known and emerging artists: Annie Leibovitz captures the construction of Renzo Piano’s New York Times building; James Welling revisits Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House; Walter Niedermayr shifts perspectives on SANAA’s sculptural designs; and Thomas Ruff tests the limits of Mies van der Rohe’s geometries…
Divided into five chapters, the book covers collaborations between photographer and architect, global urbanization, alterations to the natural landscape, reappraised Modernist icons, and imagined environments. Presenting a unique study of outstanding work in contemporary architectural photography, Shooting Space not only offers an exciting survey of photographers at the intersection of two genres, but will reward the reader with a considered survey of our built environment.
Book launches, October 9, from 6pm, at Yvon Lambert Bookshop in Paris, and October 20, from 6pm, at Bookmarc in Los Angeles.
The best American book of the 20th century, a project by artist cooperative Société Réaliste, and designed by Project Projects, consists of the first sentence of the first best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the second sentence of the second best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the third sentence of the third best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the fourth sentence of the fourth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the fifth sentence of the fifth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the sixth sentence of the sixth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the seventh sentence of the seventh best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the eight sentence of the eight best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the ninth sentence of the ninth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the tenth sentence of the tenth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the eleventh sentence of the first best-selling book of 1901, as listed; and so on up to the end of the century, to the thousandth sentence of the tenth best-selling book of 1999.
As ‘The Best American Book of the 20th Century’ travels through the textual materiality of an entire century of mass-produced literature, it suggests intertextual relationships between the narratives of American fiction. Since a multitude of changes in time and culture converse in the book, the project transverses the usual, formal standards of language, questioning power dynamics between reader and writer.