Roma Publications 1998 – 2014

September 17th, 2014


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.

NY Art Book Fair 2014

August 20th, 2014

September 26–28, 2014, Printed Matter presents the ninth annual NY Art Book Fair, at MoMA PS1, New York. Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines. Last year, the fair featured nearly 300 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions and independent publishers from twenty-six countries. NYABF14 is also full of programming and special events.

CATHÉDRALES by Laurence Aëgerter

July 6th, 2014

The starting point of Laurence Aëgerter’s facsimile Cathédrales, is the 1949 catalogue Cathedrals and churches of France, published by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Tourism. The artist placed the book by the window in her studio and allowed the incidence of natural light to impact a reproduction of the façade of the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Bourges. She photographed the book every minute during two hours, obtaining 120 photographs of light variations upon this unique image. The play of shadow and light of the Gothic architecture in the orignal photograph, is superimposed by a new shadow that slowly glide on the cathedral and, imperceptibly but irreparably, swallows it up. Aëgerter’s photographs contain thus three stratified layers of times : the 12th century, 1949 and 2012. Cathédrales presents a photographic sequence and as we turn the pages, we are aware of the temporal dimension of this visual exploration, a metaphor of transcience.

Posted in Art, Books, Photography

The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook

July 2nd, 2014

The photobook is a thriving medium for encountering a group of images, and the preferred presentation of many photographers. This form of publishing responds to the basic structure of photographic production, and is growing despite digital distribution of images.
The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook, an installation by Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar, both artists and owners of Spaces Corners, transforms the museum into a playful hybrid space for encounters with the photobook: part reading room, part bookshop, part library, part event space. Encounter a rotating selection of photobooks and intimate events emphasizing contemporary trends that give the medium its character.
On view at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, until July 28, 2014.

Thomas Mailaender – Cyanotypes

June 10th, 2014

Invented by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a means for blueprinting, the cyanotype process is a simple and inexpensive printing method characterised chiefly by its cyan-blue hue. It was first popularised as a photographic printing technique in 1843 by Anna Atkins, a botanist who employed the practice to illustrate her collected herbarium specimens. Attributable to its affordability and amateur procedure, the cyanotype subsequently became a prevalent photographic process into the turn of the century.

Cyanotypes is an innovative exhibition – June 10 to 28, Roman Road, Brussels; June 14 to 26, MAD Agency, Paris – by the French multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender whose appropriation of this traditional technique serves not to comment, nor to foster a significant yet outmoded genre in the history of photography. Rather his cyanotypes challenge and satirise the clichéd legitimacy and parameters of today’s art. Imbued with humorous and bold content, Mailaender’s cyanotypes manifest images taken from the artist’s Fun Archive, a personal collection of absurd and anonymous pictures drawn from the Internet.

De: Stockholm

May 6th, 2014

De:, a project by Rollergirl, is a series of exhibitions and publications, presenting a cross section of all styles and genres of current international photography. For each installment, the work of talented young photographers from one cultural capital is presented in another major city. Introducing their work to new audience and catalyzing cultural exchange. The first edition was De: Amsterdam, showing photography from Amsterdam in Lausanne, 2006. The following edition was, De: Paris, presenting Paris-based photographers in Amsterdam, 2011.
De: Stockholm, the third edition of the project , printed using only 3 spot colors Red, Green and Blue, will show a selection of images made by Stockholm-based photographers Brendan Austin, Thobias Fäldt, Marcus Harrling, Linda Hofvander, Inka and Niclas, Klara Källström, Björn Larsson, Hanna Ljungh, Märta Thisner, Lars Tunbjörk, Erik Undehn. Opening and book launch, May 22, 6pm, ArtLigue, Paris.

ISIA Urbino / Werkplaats Typografie Summer School 2014

March 11th, 2014

Since five years, two schools with a course in Graphic Design, Werkplaats Typografie (ArtEZ), Arnhem, The Netherlands and ISIA Urbino, Italy, joined together to set up an international Summer School. The sixth edition will take place from July 20th till August 1st in the renaissance town of Urbino.
The supervisors during the two week workshop will be Karel Martens, Armand Mevis, Maureen Mooren and Leonardo Sonnoli and the call for application is dedicated to (young) professionals and students in the field of (graphic) design, and surrounded practices (like writing, photography, illustration, publishing), or art, architecture and theory related practices.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, what your background is, what your interests are, how much experience or education you had. This Summer School offers an opportunity for anyone who is talented, inspiring and a non-conventional thinker and maker. Candidates, with an authentic, open and critical mind, who are interested to learn, to explore and re-think their own work in a unique context and who don’t mind working over summer are welcome to apply.

Jaap Scheeren Cut Shaving – The Xerox Edition

February 24th, 2014



‘Fresh anarchy’ is a way to describe the work of Dutch photographer Jaap Scheeren. With his own, slightly absurdistic, style he investigates the coherence between reality and photography. By doing so Scheeren developed a visual world in which he follows its own intuition, logic and rules. Always with a humorous twist. Jaap Scheeren Cut Shaving, The Xerox Edition combines for the first time all of Schereen’s work. The publication explores ways of reproducing photography, photo books and visual archives, resulting in a a fresh and anarchistic publication that is not just documenting Scheeren’s oeuvre, but also becomes part of it.

Posted in Art, Books, Photography

Verities N°3 – An Issue of Class

January 3rd, 2014

Verities is an independent biannual publication of thought, observation and reflection, giving equal focus to visual arts and literature. Verities explores new ways-of-seeing the most ordinary and overlooked situations, revealing the arresting and irrational in the everyday.
Verities N°3, An Issue of Class: “The irony of covering the subject in the medium, so often used to sell the inaccessible lifestyles of the few to the masses, does not elude us. So here is our attempt to discuss class in a time when class-consciousness has declined, inequality has become the norm, and disempowered people everywhere are invisible within their own national cultures”. With David Harvey, Dick Hobbs, Allan Sekula, Simon J. Charlesworth, Jonathan Olivares, Sut Jhally, Otto Snoek and Matthieu Lavanchy, Zaynab Dena Ziari, Kate O’Brien, Helen Cocker and Ziella Bryars.

The Third Rail

December 13th, 2013


© pictures from ROLU blog

The Third Rail is a non-profit quarterly publication devoted to a discussion of art, politics, philosophy, and culture, featuring critical essays and reviews, interviews, literary arts, and artist center spread projects.

Posted in Art, Photography

Storytelling with vernacular photography

December 4th, 2013

Over a period of 10 years Erik Kessels has made many books and exhibitions out of the passion for vernacular and amateur photography. In the lecture “Storytelling with vernacular photography” – December 11, 5.30pm, Tre Oci, Venezia – he will highlight his latest projects and publications and give an insight in collecting and editing the photographs often found online or on flea markets from all over the world. Another subject of the lecture is the role of images in the time we live in and how you can look at these in other ways than simply consuming them.

The last instalment in Erik Kessels’ long running found photography book series, In Almost Every Picture #12, tells the story of a Moroccan wedding filmmaker with a knack for self-promotion. Larbi Laaraichi lives in Fez, where he’s been capturing the happiest days of people’s lives since the early Nineties. While videoing their big days, he also ensures that he gets a shot of himself in action. These images plaster the walls of his shop.
As well as amateur advertisements, these pictures tell the story of Larbi himself. Kessels has ordered the portraits chronologically, hinting at changes in Larbi’s life in almost every picture. We see changes in Larbi’s fashion taste, from the extremes of turn of the century stripy shirts to more demure contemporary clothing. And we see Larbi’s career path through his equipment: proudly wielding an old-school video camera to (a decade later) atop a stepladder with a slick, space-age camera.

Posted in Books, Photography

Any Part, Any Form – Radim Peško

December 4th, 2013

Any Part, Any Form is a follow up to London-based graphic designer Radim Peško’s Informal Meetings, a collection of photographs made during travels and wanderings to different places. This volume brings back found compositions and situations where seemingly unremarkable encounters between space, architecture and water suggest their own stories.

Centerfold Editions

November 19th, 2013

Centerfold Editions is Xavier Fernández Fuentes‘ publishing imprint, aiming to focus on artist’s multiples, short-run editions and specific printed matter.

Simples Pleasures

November 18th, 2013

Simple Pleasures is an artist book by the Los Angeles based photographer Zoe Ghertner. Between the two bright red card covers, Ghertner has composed a group of measured still lives. The brightly colored painted wooden shapes and their equally colorful backgrounds playfully tease the viewer’s sense of scale, dimension and space.

Posted in Art, Books, Photography

Offprint Paris 2013

November 12th, 2013

Offprint Paris is an art publishing fair for emerging practices in art. Over four days, it gathers institutional and independent publishers from all over the world featuring publications by contemporary artists, graphic designers, photographers, publishers, bookdealers, museums, art schools, curators and antiquarians.

The Significance of the Photographic Image in a Filmic Context

November 4th, 2013

The Significance of the Photographic Image in a Filmic Context, by Paulius Petraitis, will be launched November 7, 2013, 6pm, at X Marks the Bökship, London.
Most recent debates about the impact of digitalization on photography either advocate a rupture between analog and digital, or deny that there are any differences at all. The present project, however, wants to emphasize the continuity of several cultural aspects without denying the differences between the two ways of image-making. Paulius Petraitis’ text follows a trajetory around a less focused relation in film and photography and adds both to the so-called “classic” understanding of photographic images, as well as rejecting any rupture in the current cultural perception of photography.

Posted in Books, Photography

La Dérive during Offprint Paris 2013

November 3rd, 2013

LA DÉRIVE – Chapter I, November 17, 2013 – during Offprint, an Art Publishing fair – November 14-17, Beaux-Arts de Paris – invites the visitors to take various paths within the large and rich landscape of independent publishing in art and design. As advocated by La Dérive (in English Drift) of Guy Debord, the program is built around several specific ambiances, highlighted: the main idea being to let go of expectations and habits and to just wander among pleasant encounters… With contributions by Ramaya Tegegne, Erik van der Weijde, Jan Wenzel, Postdocument, De Stihl, and Etienne Robial.

UPCOMING ART BOOK FAIRS

October 8th, 2013


© Arnaud Desjardin, The Every Day Press

LE BAL Books week-end, September 6-8, 2013, Paris
The London Art Book Fair, September 13-15, 2013, London
MISS READ, September 19-22, 2013, Berlin
NY ART BOOK FAIR, September 20-22, 2013, New York
The Tokyo Art Book Fair, September 21-23, 2013, Tokyo
Unseen Book Market, September 26-29, 2013, Amsterdam
Vancouver Art/Book Fair, October 5-6, 2013, Vancouver
Salon Light #10, October 5-6, 2013, Paris
Third Issue, October 11-12, 2013, Frankfurt
OffPrint Paris, November 14-17, 2013, Paris
KIOOSK vol.2, November 16-17, 2013, Kraków
Sprint, November 29-December 1, 2013, Milano
Rookie Book Fair, December 7-8, 2013, Poznan
LA ART BOOK FAIR, January 31 – February 2, 2014, Los Angeles
Fahrenheit 39, March 7-9, 2014, Ravenna

The Looking Game

September 20th, 2013

The Looking Game is the first installment of “The Subnarratives”, an ongoing project by Mirko Smerdel and M.F.G. Paltrinieri. Taking the shape of a series of case studies, the aim of the collaboration is to investigate the characteristics and nature of photographs as documents and the relationship with the story they tell.

The Looking Game explores the once-secret archive of pictures taken by Rodney Alcala, serial killer and amateur photographer, active between the late 60s and the 70s and imprisoned in the Death Row since 1980.
The book provides an unusual take on the photographic medium starting from the connection between Alcala’s pictures and the alias he adopted while on the run from the police: John Berger, as the famous British art critic and author of the groundbreaking TV documentary Ways of Seeing. Is this only a coincidence? Did Alcala know about John Berger?
The Looking Game, set up a series of connections between Berger’s words and some of the images taken from Alcala’s archive of pictures creating a work that calls into question the act of taking pictures as well as the reproduced image starting from the question: “What makes these pictures so unsettling?”

Talk and booksigning, September 27, 7pm, micamera – lens based arts, Milano.

Posted in Art, Books, Photography

Incredibly small photobooks

September 18th, 2013

For several years, Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have organized evenings for friends in which they share the strangest photo books in their collections. The books shown are rarely available in regular shops, but are picked up in thrift stores and from antiquaries. The group’s fascination for these pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books. It’s only in this area that it’s possible to find images with an uncontrived quality. This constant tension makes the books interesting. It’s also worth noting that these tomes all fall within certain categories: the medical, instructional, scientific, sex, humour or propaganda. Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have made a selection of their finest books from within this questionable new genre. Incredibly small photobooks is the second volume (after Terribly awesome photobooks) showing this amazing collection.

Posted in Art, Books, Photography

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