Offprint Paris 2015

November 4th, 2015

Offprint Projects is an independent publishing fair and forum that focuses on specific thematic areas in numerous locations; featuring publications on art, photography, design, experimental music, open culture and activism. Focusing on discerning practices in these fields, we aim to offer members of these communities a context in which they can maintain their integrity, their critical voice and their social role while dealing with external factors (the market, urbanism, press and communication). Acknowledging the qualitative and unique publishing practices, Offprint also seeks to bring a larger and dedicated audience into contact with these publishers, both online and offline. Crossing over between disciplines is an integral part of this process. From its origins, as an arts organization supporting artist projects as well as mounting the annual Offprint Paris publishing fair, Offprint stands for the legitimacy of our field and its discourses. At the same time, however, it aims to reconnect the arts with society; putting aside a market imperative for novelty in favour of art-based projects with broader social concerns. We strongly dismiss any use of art as a strategy for social discrimination. Finally, Offprint operates chiefly as a non-profit, with participants motivated by ideals, in order to promote invention and experimentation within the art world – and beyond.
Offprint Paris 2015 showcases more than 125 publishers from some 20 countries, from November 12 to 15, at Beaux-Arts de Paris.

PERFECT DOCUMENTS – Chaise Musicale

November 3rd, 2015

Thomas Mailaender and Ivan Mietton have the pleasure of announcing the creation of their publishing house: Perfect Documents.
Perfect Documents’ originality lies in the choice of its production as all the selected objects have the particularity to be “forgotten” objects. Until till now they remained buried in the state of project and were never fabricated for reasons that history will reveal for each new production. Sometimes left in the state of non-conclusive prototypes, these pieces are real historical documents that Perfect Documents aims to present to the public. Finally, these forgotten projects are the testimony of creative experiments by artists known to evolve outside the sphere of design in different activities.
The Chaise Musicale by Boris Vian, first piece of the collection highlights this concept.

The story behind the production of this chair by Perfect Documents is quite a singular one. Whilst flicking through the illustrated biography dedicated to Boris Vian in the BIZARRE magazine (éditions J.J. Pauvert at a bookstand in Paris), Thomas Mailaender discovers published a drawing and a photo of the writer’s chair. Curious of the form of this chair, the two founders of Perfect Documents got in touch with the Boris Vian estate to know more about this object without knowing that it was still there in the writer’s apartment in between his photographs, his jazz records and the pataphysics diplomas of the famous writer.
From Boris Vian’s original drawings that Perfect Documents was able to consult in the archive of his estate, and thanks to the numerous anecdotes told by Nicole Bertolt in charge of the artist’s artistic heritage, we discover that Vian had imagined a chair in the shape of a star, with slightly elevated seat in order to leave room for his large legs when playing the lyra-guitar. He then set out and made the chair using lengths of pine wood assembled by nails and held together by hemp rope.
Perfect Documents produced a facsimile named “Chaise Musicale” (musical-chair) in the Ateliers Antoine Daniel as an homage to the passion the artist devoted to music.

Posted in Art, Design

Tennis by Peder Alexis Olsson

November 2nd, 2015

Tennis, by Peder Alexis Olsson, is a poem in the form of a book, a border, a constellation, a figure, a chart of self-explanatory data, a power structure, a conflict, an apparatus, a grid, a sous rature, an inner and outer limit, a zero point, etc., which consists solely of a graphic representation of the lines of a tennis court, including the net, in the scale of 1:1. Throughout Tennis the narrative of the line is broken up in various paths, following the court in its entirety as it unfolds over 772 pages.

Tennis comes with an appendix including Peder Alexis Olsson’s notes for a lecture, “A Genealogy of the Line”, on the rules, history and language of Tennis, as well as an essay by the artist Yara Flores, “Harold and the Janus-Faced Line”, on the split personality of lines in the works of children’s book author Crockett Johnson.

Posted in Art, Books

LIVING PHOTOGRAPHS – Arthur Mole

November 2nd, 2015

In 1917, as the United States were entering World War I, the English photographer, Arthur Mole (1889-1983) created a new type of iconography, which proved useful to the promotion of American nationalism. With the help of his colleague, John D. Thomas, he created sprawling photographic compositions of American society’s symbols and emblems, by assembling and positioning thousands of men into the chosen shapes along the ground. The compositions included the American flag in the shape of a shield, the emblem of the Marines, the Statue of Liberty, and a profile portrait of Woodrow Wilson, among others.
The book Living Photographs brings together these avant-garde propaganda photographs, which Mole called «living photographs» even though the individual is rendered invisible in favour of the crowd.
The book also contains a section which showcases a series of reframings and enlargements of images contained within the photographs. By modifying the scale of the photographed bodies, which at times renders the images almost abstract, these reframings invite the reader to reinterpret Mole’s photographs.
The book is accompanied by Louis Kaplan’s essay titled «Photographic Patriotism: Arthur Mole’s Living Photographs».

Posted in Books, Photography