Walter Benjamin: Recent Writings

September 22nd, 2013

Walter Benjamin was an influential philosopher and art theoretician, best known for his 1936 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. In 1986 — many years after his tragic death — Walter Benjamin reappeared in public with the lecture Mondrian ’63–’69 organized by the Marxist Center in Ljubljana. In recent years, Mr. Benjamin has been an associate of the Museum of American Art in Berlin, giving interviews and publishing articles internationally.
Recent Writing collects nine essays by Walter Benjamin written between 1986 and 2013. Augmented with interviews and an extensive bibliography, these texts cover art, originality, museums, and art history, among other subjects.

Posted in Art, Books

Labyrinth. Four times through the labyrinth

September 21st, 2013

The starting point for this transcript of four lectures, all held in Leipzig in 2010, is a public art work that Olaf Nicolai installed in Paris in 1998. By exploring and combining a broad spectrum of topics that relate to the theme of the labyrinth, Labyrinth. Four times through the labyrinth serves as both, a reference system to Nicolai’s work as well as an independent source book dealing with labyrinthian matter ranging from the minotaur to the floorplans of IKEA.
Exhibition and Book Presentation with Olaf Nicolai, Jan Wenzel & Sadie Plant – who translated the German version into English – September 21, 8.30pm, Pro qm, Berlin.

Posted in Art, Books, Exhibitions

The Truth About Hollis

September 21st, 2013

In the mid-1990s, Stuart Bailey interviewed Richard Hollis as part of his undergraduate thesis on Modernism in the UK. He subsequently became Hollis’s assistant, working with the designer at his home over a period of two years.

The talk The Truth About Hollis – September 26, 7pm, Artists Space, New York, as part of Richard Hollis exhibition – centers on Bailey’s insight into Hollis’s approach to graphic design, and the impact felt on the discipline due to social and technological developments. Stemming from Hollis’s writings on the historical shift towards visual communication as marketing, Bailey expands on how the material qualities of Hollis’s work can serve as heuristics towards a deeper understanding of his discipline.

Posted in Graphic Design

The Billboard Book, project (New York)

September 20th, 2013

The Billboard Book, project (New York) by Jonathan Monk, designed by Benjamin Critton Art Dept., published by Three Star Books, is exhibited on and around the grounds of Moma PS1 on the occasion of the New York Art Book Fair, until September 22, & onwards as is pertinent. It has been previously executed in Paris and London.

Posted in Art, Books, Graphic Design

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

F B S P – This is not a most beautiful books award

September 19th, 2013

Fernand Baudin Students Publications / F B S P is a research project dedicated to contemporary forms of editorial practices. Initiated by members of Prix Fernand Baudin Prijs – Prize for the Most Beautiful Books in Brussels and Wallonia, it links the Belgian student’s context with the international independent publishing scene. It aims to create a common space between students and professionals, research and practice, thinking and making – through events, workshops and research publications. September, 25, 6pm, F B S P will launch its first publication This is not a most beautiful book award at Théophile’s Papers, Brussels.


September 19th, 2013

Using Google’s “Search by Image” function, Artist Emma Souharce processed every single one of the 813 images in Hans-Peter Feldmann’s legendary Voyeur. The result, Voyeur, is half generated, half edited, and certainly most entertaining when read parallel to the original, which delivers a spot-the-difference type of fun.

Posted in Art, Books

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

Willem Sandberg, Portrait of an Artist

September 13th, 2013

After the Second World War, Willem Sandberg (NL, 1897–1984) transformed the Amsterdam Stedelijk museum into a dynamic centre for modern and innovative art and culture. He did this with exceptional creativity and in close collaboration with artists and architects.
Sandberg had distinct ideas about heading up a museum for modern and contemporary art, about the importance of art, about dealing with artists and about his work as typographic designer, but also about social responsibility and community.

The book Willem Sandberg, Portrait of an Artist – designed by Rutger de Vries – is based on interviews with Sandberg (from 1971 and 1981) and offers first-hand insight into questions such as: what does the task of museum director entail; how does art criticism work; what is the essence of being an artist; what does the ideal museum architecture look like; and what is the role of art and the museum in society?

Posted in Art, Books, Graphic Design


September 13th, 2013

They remember only the photographs* is a publication / exhibition – September 13-28, Bétonsalon, Paris – resulting from the collaborative work between the Ecole du Louvre students and the University Paris Diderot – Paris 7. Entrusted to graphic design studio Syndicat, the project focuses on scientific research and operates as a reflexive process in progress.

* “The problem is not that people remember through photographs, but that they remember only the photographs.” in Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, New York: Ed. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003, p. 79.

The arrival of photography and its role in reproducing art works, or understanding artistic practices has blurred our points of reference. Moreover, today it would seem that the modern and contemporary art archive is freeing itself from its purely documentary status. As a result of art’s conceptual and processual evolution, notably dating from the 1960s, document’s status borders on that of artwork, particularly thanks to photography.

This exhibition-publication aims to materialize a reflection not only on the practice and production of the documentary image, but rather and foremost on the archive, its uses, the diffusion and reception of these photographs. It strives to question the journey of the photos and the circulation of artwork and artistic practices, through the use of different supports (photographic printing, printed photographs, books, catalogues, magazines, revues, invitation cards, posters, post cards, digital images…)… Download press release.

Lost & Found archive

September 13th, 2013

Karel Martens, 2004

Bart de Baets, 2007

tunctunctunc, 2007

Roel Wouters, Job Wouters, 2008

Sam de Groot, 2011

Since 1997, when Lost & Found was started, over 90 sessions of stray images and sound have been organised. Artists, writers and musicians present work in progress, experiment or present work that doesn’t fit into their oeuvre (yet). A specific and unique stage for diverse and hybrid works which don’t fit comfortably into galleries or museums.
The collection of Lost & Found invitations was exhibited at Stedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam, Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum and Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. The Netherlands Institute for Art History took the flyers into their collection.

Posted in Art, Graphic Design


September 8th, 2013

Libraryman is a publisher of photo books, design studio and producer of short films.

Posted in Books, Photography

Dear Lynda… – Archives: Best Practice

September 8th, 2013

Dear Lynda… uncovers Lynda Morris’ ongoing contributions to contemporary art since the 1960s as curator, writer, art historian, and patron. The exhibition – September 21 to November 16, 2013, Eastside Projects, Birmingham – presents her encounters and close collaborations with a remarkable group of artists of our time through artworks, publications, posters, invitation cards, and correspondence taken from her personal archive and collection. The roster of collaborators and accomplices includes Gilbert & George, Konrad Fischer, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Richard Hamilton, John Baldessari, Art & Language, Marcel Broodthaers, Andre Cadere, David Lamelas, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jeff Wall, Gustav Metzger, Jeremy Deller, and Lucy McKenzie. This body of material reflects the social, political, and cultural context of Morris’ activities concerned with issues of perception, conceptual art, and resistance in art and politics.

In relation to the exhibition, Extra Special People has invited artist and archivist Karen Di Franco – September 21, 11am, part of Archive This, An Afternoon Symposium – to lead a practical toolkit session on working with archives. Archives can take many forms and scales: some are formed of digital files, some of physical objects; some hold internationally significant information while some house nonsensical fragments. They can speak of personal relationships and institutional processes, of historic moments and current trends.
In this informal event Karen will give tips for best practice when working with physical and digital archives and will share some of her experiences of developing exhibitions and publications from various collections and archives.

Posted in Art, Books, Exhibitions

Books of Copies

September 3rd, 2013

Books of Copies, a project by San Rocco, is an online database comprised of images that can be copied in order to produce architecture. As such, Books of Copies are receptacles of a collective form of knowledge that can provisionally be called “architecture”. Books of Copies are organized according to a precise set of rules and are produced by a multitude of producers. Books of Copies are based on an inherently derivative and collective effort, starting with the zero-degree act of accumulation of formal knowledge, namely “collecting”. Exhibition, September 10 – October 2, 2013, AA School of Architecture, London.

Dirty Art Department

September 2nd, 2013

The Dirty Art Department offers itself as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action.
It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, and the holy and the profane.
It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and other people and ourselves.
It’s a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings, or galaxies.
The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it seeks however to reject the Kantian division between the pure and the applied arts.
Since ‘god is dead’ and ‘the spectacle’ is omnipresent, it sees the creation of alternative and new realities as the way to reconsider our life situation on this planet.
The Dirty Art Department is open to students from all backgrounds including designers, artists, bankers, skeptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and the curious.” Jerszy Seymour

Posted in Art, Design, Education


September 2nd, 2013

Allen Ruppersberg, Free Poetry, 2005-2006

The exhibition PAGINATIONS & MACHINATIONS – with Joseph Grigely, Dorothy Iannone, Aaron Flint Jamison, Allen Ruppersberg and Mrzyk & Moriceau, September 14 to October 31, 2013, Air de Paris, Paris – presents works whose form is a hair’s breadth short of that of the book. Destined to be brought together – like these pages – they relate an encounter (Dorothy Iannone), which maybe happens in the Air de Paris space (Mrzyk & Moriceau) or when the visitor is invited to trigger things there (Allen Ruppersberg). So different strategies – of assemblage, binding, reproduction and printing – are summoned up by these forms of existence of the page. Forms which, far from being static, are variable, like Joseph Grigely conversations (pigment prints, book, sticker). The work on show here by Aaron Flint Jamison reminds us of the origin or the mechanically printed destiny of the others in the show: of pages and machines, of intersecting stories, brought together by physical acts even as they themselves relate acts of separation and reunion, of disappointment and happiness, of connections that are disconnected then reconnected and reread.

Posted in Art, Books, Exhibitions