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.
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.
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.
< 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Installation shot Bremen, ROMA PUBLICATIONS 1998-2012, Research Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen, 2012
Roma Publications 1998 – 2014 is an exhibition that includes over 230 books and editions published by Roger Willems and Mark Manders in collaboration with a large number of artists, writers and designers.
A publication is typically the end point of a project or exhibition; this exhibition, however, takes the printed format as its point of departure. Books, newspapers, posters and other printed matter are combined with artworks and installations relating to the publisher’s identity inside an exhibition dimension. The informal way of bringing art and publications together in a carefully composed exhibition gives clear insight into the working process of Roma Publications, which is based on a collaborative relationship to the artists. Another interesting element of this hybrid approach is that it questions the sometimes thin line between an original and a reproduction, and thus between the exclusiveness of an artwork and the democratic nature of a publication.
The exhibition aims to present the form of the book as an extended media that can involve the exhibition space. Some of the invited artists will contribute to the fading of the distinction between paper and space, image and material, original and reproduction (the print run of Roma Publications’ issues varies between 2 and 150.000 copies). Many of these practitioners use the book and printed matter as a central medium in their work, underlining not only the important role of publications to diffuse artistic production, but also in the rethinking of the book medium as an artistic practice.
The independent art publisher Roma Publications, founded in 1998 by artist Mark Manders and graphic designer Roger Willems, works in collaboration with artists, designers, writers and institutions. For the exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani, from October 11 to December 13 in Rome, the entire in-progress list of over 230 titles will be on display, in addition to a specially created reading room in which visitors can peruse each of the publications. Several new commissions and site-specific artworks will also be included in the exhibition, together with pre-existing works, all by artists who have actively collaborated with and participated in the activities of Roma Publications. With the exception of just two artists, all of these artists will be exhibiting in Rome for the first time, some for the first time in Italy.
Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and Roger Willems. With contributions by Gwenneth Boelens, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Marlene Dumas, Geert Goiris, Kees Goudzwaard, Sara van der Heide, Arnoud Holleman, Rob Johannesma, Jan Kempenaers, Irene Kopelman, Bart Lodewijks, Mark Manders, Marc Nagtzaam, Oksana Pasaiko, Petra Stavast, Batia Suter, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Wouter van Riessen, and may others.
On Saturday 11th October, from 11am to 1pm, the Foundation will host a musical performance by Wouter van Riessen, a reading by Nickel van Duijvenboden and an informal conversation with the curators and some of the artists in the exhibition.
The Library Vaccine, from September 25 to November 9 at Artists Space in New York, is an exhibition that presents a number of discrete collections of books in order to sample art’s distinctive relationship to the book form in its singularity, and in its states of reproduction, distribution and accumulation. The exhibition addresses the book as a particular technology, and in its collective state of the private collection, reading room or library, as a social machine – registering social and personal histories, and articulating structures of knowledge and value through the relations between its parts.
Each section of the exhibition presents a collection that loosely corresponds to a decade between the 1960s and the present day, yet it does not seek to survey a recent history of books in or as art; rather it takes the tension between book-as-text and book-as-object as a starting point. The exhibition marks a movement from the egalitarian, curative aspirations of the book as distributed artwork, to these aspirations’ subsumption within broader tendencies towards collecting, archiving and the re-circulation of knowledge.
Some sections of the exhibition revolve around curatorial or editorial frameworks that highlight artists’ use of the book form, while others focus on the collection or library as a holistic entity. In these contexts the act of collation emphasizes shifts between the private and the common, the artwork and the artifact. The roles of artist, publisher and collector are seen to overlap, and the sequenced content of both the individual book and the massed collection provides sites for the production and articulation of meaning. In each instance, the mode of physical display of the books is considered as an extension of their individual or collective character.
With The Defaced Library Books of Kenneth Halliwell & Joe Orton; Edition Hansjörg Mayer; Vigilance: An Exhibition of Artists’ Books Exploring Strategies for Social Concern, after an exhibition curated by Lucy R. Lippard and Mike Glier; The Colin de Land Library; Everything is About to Happen: An ongoing archive of artists’ books selected by Gregorio Magnani; & The Library of Helen DeWitt.
“Hypergraphy” is an artistic practice developed by the Lettrist avant-garde in the 1950′s. They defined it as “introducing into alphabetic writing not only the art of painting, but the graphics of all people or social categories past and present, as well as the graphics or anti-graphics of every individual imagination”.
By means of a timeline drawn by artist Roland Sabatier, the exhibition Rules of Hypergraphy – a project by Paul Gangloff, September 26 to October 5, Extrapool, Nijmegen – shows how the Lettrists situated hypergraphy within the history of writing and painting. It further assembles works by turntablist Marc Matter, (typo)graphic designer Karl Nawrot, graphic designers Our Polite Society and sound poet Jörg Piringer, each of them exemplifying uses of signs and letters that goes beyond writing.
The accompanying publication works as a subtext for the exhibition. It provides further insight into the concept of hypergraphy, but also prolongs the investigation by taking a detour into the relation between the Lettrists and the punks.
La revue Initiales esquisse les contours d’une galerie de “portraits en creux” en s’organisant autour de “figures-source”, existantes ou fictives.
Le quatrième numéro de la revue s’intéresse à l’utopie “réalisée” de Monte Verità, première colonie artistique d’Europe et communauté “contre-culturelle” avant la lettre composée d’artistes, de mystiques et d’anarchistes qui attira Mikhaïl Bakounine, D.H. Lawrence, les Dadaïstes, Hermann Hesse, James Joyce, Isadora Duncan, Suzanne Perrottet, Paul Klee, Gerhart Hauptmann, Max Weber, Ernst Bloch, etc.
Initiales M.V. pour Monte Veritá, du nom de cette colline du canton du Tessin en Suisse où s’implanta, en 1900 et jusqu’à la fin de la Première guerre mondiale, cette communauté d’artistes et anarchistes pré-hippie.
Un collectif donc, à rebours du travail de décryptage d’une figure unique, puisqu’ici, de l’écrivain Herman Hesse au pyschanalyste Otto Gross, en passant par Dalcroze et Laban, deux théoriciens de l’art chorégraphique, les danseuses Mary Wigman et Isadora Duncan ou encore l’économiste Max Weber, c’est toute une galerie de portraits qui s’offre à nous. Et autant de personnalités diverses, réunies temporairement, le temps d’un projet qui connaîtra ses heures de gloire avant une descente aux enfers parfois mal interprétée.
Autre enjeu majeur, la disparition relative de cet épisode qui échappa longtemps aux radars de l’histoire de l’art, jusqu’à sa redécouverte, à la fin des années 1970, par le commissaire d’exposition Harald Szeemann. Et donc une réflexion plus générale sur la question et la matérialité de l’archive. Installé à Tegna, à quelques kilomètres de Monte Veritá, Szeemann fondera successivement, en 1978, 1983 et 1987, trois musées documentant les vestiges de l’ancienne communauté – dont l’un d’entre eux, construit sur le site de l’ancienne Casa Anatta accueille depuis 1981 l’exposition permanente “Les Mamelles de la vérité”. Curateur et théroricien culte, Harald Szeemann sera l’une des figures à hanter ce projet éditorial. Le contexte politique, économique et idéologique de cette période, qui présente bien des similitudes avec notre époque, constituera également un angle de lecture.
The Novel That Writes Itself is a finished whole of a novel in progress, initiated in 1978 by the Conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg.
It all begins with the end of a story, the one about the Colby Poster Printing Company that shut down in December 2012, taking with itself an emblematical graphic identity into history. A Colby poster can be easily distinguished from others and bear the stamp “from L.A.”. Multicolored posters with unexpected gradients of flashy, typically Californian colors, the Colby posters, covered with outrageously bold characters, do not respect any typographical rules. Allen Ruppersberg was one of their most faithful and regular customers.
It begins also in 1978, when Allen Ruppersberg has an idea of a work in progress which he would call The Novel That Writes Itself, and which he would make in the shape of a fictionalized autobiography where he would talk of his adventures as a young artist, which he is at the time.
In parallel to this project, he starts to produce aphorisms or enigmatic questions printed on multicolored posters. These posters, the famous Colbys, start to show up at his exhibitions around the middle of the 1980s. He realizes in 1990 that in fact “the novel had written itself” without his knowing. By then, 50 posters had been produced. The Novel That Writes Itself is thus given substance to by Colby Posters through which he shows not only how the characters of his autobiography evolve but also an array of his projects.
The pages of The Novel That Writes Itself, a work whose essentially romanesque nature requires the shape of a book, break away one by one to be put on the walls of galleries or museums. This novel by Allen Ruppersberg takes, in its provisional form, the shape of a renewed installation, enriched with each new presentation. In the footsteps of El Lissitzky who declined the traditional structure of a book by turning its pages into posters, Allen Rupersberg takes a similar approach.
The Novel That Writes Itself finishes to write itself in 2013 with the closing of the Colby Company. Time has come, perhaps, to bring back the classic format of a novel. Allen Ruppersberg, however, has chosen to compensate the constraint of a book by giving it the independence of a poster. The binder holds together a number of separate pages who can keep their original poster-like nature.
Exhibition from September 12 to October 4, 2014, mfc-michèle didier, Paris.