The Malady of Writing – A project on text and speculative imagination – is a collection of books, opuscula, pamphlets and single pages written by artists that together constitute a singular library.
While traditionally a distinction is made between art books and theoretical/critic/biographical texts written by artists, what we have here are fictional texts: academic fiction, literary fiction, political fiction and poetic fiction. Books that are produced – and often published – by artists but that are not artists’ books. These are a different sort of novel and fiction, works that would not likely be successful in the literary world, given that success in that world mainly depends on two factors: the channels for distribution and the experimental nature of the texts.
The circuits of distribution determine the presence of books in the places where one regularly goes to find a novel. These projects are possible because the artists themselves, small/independent publishing houses or art institutions/centres decide to publish them. There are no literary agents and, therefore, they live on the border of – or, rather, in parallel to – the major companies that specialize in publishing literature. On the other hand, with these texts the reader engages in an exercise of reinventing language and writing that is necessarily related to the artist’s production. These books are read by those who are interested in contemporary art, regardless of whether this is the intention of the artist . . .
Participating in this project Fia Backström, Stuart Bailey, Becky Beasley, Julian Beck, Erick Beltrán, Kim Beom, Bernadette Corporation, David Bestué, Iñaki Bonillas, Ashley Booth Klein, Thomas Boutox, Kristian Byskov, Mariana Castillo, Daniela Castro, Heman Chong, Keren Cytter, Dexter Sinister, Tim Etchells, Chris Evans, Matthias Faldbakken, Richard Foreman, Uqbar Foundation, Justine Frank, Ryan Gander, Dora García, Goldin+Senneby, Hadley & Maxwell, Karl Holmquist, Daniel Jacoby, Miranda July, Hassan Khan, Viola Klein, Bitsy Knox, Irene Kopelman, Zak Kyes, Lea Lagasse, Guillaume Leblon, Arvo Leo, Melissa Lim, Rita McBride, Jorgen Michaelsen, Helen Mirra, Jonathan Monk, Fabio Morais, Valérie Mrejen, Marc Nagtzaam, Ingo Niermann, Miguel Noguera, Ahmet Ögüt, Terje Overas, Sener Ozmen, Adrian Piper, Falke Pisano, Olivia Plender, Seth Price, Roee Rosen, Joe Scanlan, Ashkan Sepahvand, Frances Stark, Michael Stevenson, Rupert Thomson, Sue Tompkins, Jalal Toufic, Nickel van Duijvenboden, Jan Verwoert, Oriol Vilanova, Marc Vives, Rodolfo Walsh and Adrian Williams.
Curator: Chus Martínez
picture : Adrian Williams “The Right Triangle”, 2008
until April 25th, 2010
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona