Manystuff: Could you please present yourself and your activities?
Aron Mörel: Mörel is a London based publisher specialising in limited edition art books, working with established artists as well as emerging artists.
We see the art book as the final step in an artists work, and thus design the book around the art work with as much input from the artist.
In some cases the artist has designed the books themselves, or with art directors they know or have worked with before.
We also aim to create a book which moves away from the traditional cliché art monograph – hardback, glossy, large etc…
Manystuff: What do you think is the role of an independent publishing house? Do you feel having responsibilities and a duty? Is the act of publishing a kind of activism and what for? What about your environment you are part of, how do you identify it?
Aron Mörel: The role of any publishing house is the dissemination of information, be it poems, images etc.
Publishers are a tool or medium with the purpose of exposing the work in a specific format, in our case the book, which in its own essence is a desirable object due to its innovative design.
Independent publishers seem to have more intimacy between the artist, bookshop, and collector, in the case of our work, we also strive to create a book which in the end is an affordable work of art.
As we aim to put someone else’s work out (and not our own personal work) our main responsibility is to make sure the artist achieves what they think is the perfect book for their work.
On the other side of this process is the person who buys the book. In this case we hope that they are introduced to a new artist or body of work, and hopefully bedazzled by an amazing book!
In the case of the former, its always exciting to put out an emerging artists work!
I would assume that the work in the books is the activism and the book – the machine which drives it. Publishing as an act is also a form of activism as we aim to put the work out in order to create some form of influence.
In the case of the work of Asger Carlsen, his work Wrong questioned the truth of photography and media and in his up coming book, Hester Asger questions the nature of the traditional nude.
Our recent book The Wedding by Boris Mikhailov, broadly speaking questions the very nature of capitalism and the social/economic void it can create (this being only one aspect of the work).
In the end, any book can transform culture, from the Bible to “A Season in Hell” (Rimbaud)!
Manystuff: Some says that “Print is dead”. What resources and new kind of artistic relationships are in contradiction with that point of view? Is the increased complicity between “curator/author/graphic designer/printer/publisher/distributor” the proof of the contrary?
Aron Mörel: Print is not dead. That’s like claiming photography killed painting.
Its excessive and obtuse, it has faded in some sectors as there are alternatives e.g. newspapers, the nature of which is eternally evolving with time/events etc, or encyclopaedias etc.
People like the art book as an object. In our case you can find most of the art work on the artists website yet its as I said above, people own the art work when they have the book, especially the artists book.
I still make distinctions between many of the above terms. I wouldn’t call a graphic designer an artist… they might occasionally use similar tools and “create” yet their work is more attune to working on a brief.
I would assume a publisher in not a printer but in some cases a publisher can own a printing house, and the same with distributors.
As for a curator/editor, I would hope they can curate in anywhere fromgallery spaces, to blogs and books and not be reduced to one form of output.
Manystuff: Could you mention one book/publication, or publishing actor, or artist, or graphic designer, or printer, or exhibition, etc… that made you work in the field of independent publishing area? What inspired you?
Aron Mörel: My ultimate influence would be William Blake!
I think he is the originator of the first artist’s book by self-publishing his own work.
-the few books which he published also demonstrate the power of the book as a form of information dissemination as from the few he made he has become one of the most important poets/printmakers.
He was also at once artists, visionary, printer, distributor etc.
Further, his work is a wonderful form of visionary activism, be it the rejection of the church, state and poverty to his visionary approach to life!
Lastly, he combines text and image immaculately!
Manystuff: Could you please introduce one of your upcoming project you are now working on?
Aron Mörel: We’ve just put out a Boris Mikahailov title just in time for his major retrospective at the MoMA NY.
In the meanwhile, we’re working on a number of books by emerging artists as well as books by David Armstrong, Terry Richardson, Thomas Ruff, Craig McDean to mention a few.
I can’t really choose one as they’re all amazing!
We’re also working on a temporary space here in London focusing on independent creative organisations i.e. publishers, curators, even furniture designers, which should start onthe 20th for three weeks.