Orange Export Ltd.

June 26th, 2015

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.

Posted in Books, Exhibitions

Constellating Images

June 11th, 2015


Luis Jacob, Album VI.

After collage, the archive, and appropriation, the Villa du Parc, Annemasse, is devoting its summer exhibition, Constellating Images, from June 25 to September 20, to art practices that arrange images in constellations, images that are of different natures, provenances and periods. Appearing on the art scene in the first decade of this century, these practices are contemporaneous with the development of the internet, which has made an exponential access to images and a dehierarchized navigation possible thanks to search engines that reference and classify large bodies of information through keywords. And while similarities between the techno- logical tool (used daily) and artmaking can be seen, the choice of images in these works springs from a sensitive, differentiating selection and approach. The artists situate certain images within a multitude of signs and work to lend meaning and form to their particular grouping. Thus, from the continuous flow of images they strive to transpose, use, redefine, and extract plastic, material, and often tangible forms that are specific to contemporary art (paintings, video, installation, etc.)…

With artworks by Luis Jacob, Ryan Gander, Aurélien Froment, Alexandra Leykauf, Benoit Maire, Jonathan Monk, Sara VanDerBeek; with “The Infinite Library” by Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer, and “Unpacking my Library, (re)composition” by Christophe Daviet-Thery.

Posted in Art, Exhibitions

A Circular 3

June 4th, 2015

A Circular 3, edited by Pedro Cid Proença with Fatima Hellberg, features Xavier Antin, Patrick Coyle, Helen DeWitt, Maël Fournier Comte, Charmian Griffin, Will Holder, James Langdon, Roger Laporte, Isla Leaver-Yap, Lisa Maruca, David Morris, Jean Shepherd, Rosalie Schweiker, Stefan Themerson, and Alex Waterman. Launch June 11, 6.30pm, Cubitt, London.