The recent evolution and democratisation of printing techniques has encouraged many artists to re-evaluate their position in relation to literature, to books, and to the page. Dedicated to the exploration of new practices within art book production, The Liberated Page will consider the page for its simultaneously poetic, structural and physical elements.
From November 21 to December 28 2014, Bâtiment d’art contemporain, Le Commun, in Geneva, the exhibition will highlight a wide range of interventions and approaches, and will discuss in particular, how artists invent new books and why their invention opens up new possibilities for the page – as well as for communication and language.
The Liberated Page will highlight the work of several contemporary artists concerned with the page, in conversation with such historic examples as books from artists Dieter Roth, Edward Ruscha, and Seth Siegelaub, bookworks from publishing houses Something Else Press and Ecart (including work by Daniel Spoerri, Robert Fillou, Emmett Williams, and Dick Higgins), an anthology by Guy Schraenen, the Mèla post card book from Maurizio Nannucci, as well as the complete Franklin Furnace archive.
Offprint Paris, November 14-16, 2014, Beaux-arts de Paris, is an art-publishing fair featuring discerning publishers on art, photography, design and experimental music labels. This year’s edition showcases more than 130 publishers, from over 20 countries (all participants now announced on the website), selected by Yannick Bouillis, Charlotte Cheetham and Maxime Guitton.
Best known for his oversized, dead-pan portraits, his unmediated shots of commonplace interiors, and his seemingly straightforward photographs of architecture, Thomas Ruff has quietly approached many familiar genres, and proceeded to discreetly reinvent them.
For his Zeitungsfotos (Newspaper Photographs) series, Ruff found images in newspapers, and then re-photographed and enlarged them to isolate the photographs from the text, allowing Ruff’s viewer, now no longer a reader, to make assumptions about the photograph without any information to support the viewer’s inferences.
The book Zeitungsfotos – Newspaper Photographs consists of 400 reproductions from German newspapers that Ruff collected over the span of 10 years (1981–1991).
On the occasion of the exhibition Architecture by Line in Lausanne, an artist’s book has been published by Nieves and brings together for the first time, as individual leporellos, the four long drawings Saul Steinberg produced for the Children’s Labyrinth, a spiraling, trefoil wall structure at 10th Triennial of Milan, a design and architecture fair that opened in August 1954. The drawings were photographically enlarged and incised into the wall.
The Line, which begins and ends with a hand drawing, is Steinberg’s manifesto about the conceptual possibilities of the line and the artist who gives them life. As the horizontal line shifts meaning from one passage to the next—water line, laundry line, railroad track, among others—it comments on its own transformative nature. The Line occupied one of the structure’s three leaves, while the other two hosted Types of Architecture, Shores of the Mediterranean, and Cities of Italy.
Types of Architecture is a satirical survey of world architecture (Steinberg was trained as an architect in Milan), from America’s log cabins to Bauhaus exaggerations to fragile skyscrapers.
Shores of the Mediterranean presents a sailor’s-eye-view of the Mediterranean coastline, filled with the ruins and renascences of successive civilizations.
The Italy Steinberg knew as a student in the 1930s resonates in Cities of Italy, as the inked line, drawn with the artist’s usual spare elegance, imagines an urban sprawl of campaniles, factories, piazzas, apartment houses, curlicued domes, and a water tank that seems to have escaped from a carnival.
Depuis quelques années ont fait leur apparition dans le monde du design des objets étranges : des objets dysfonctionnels, énigmatiques, compliqués. Ces objets relévent d’une posture que les designers anglais Anthony Dunne et Fiona Raby ont défini Critical Design (design critique) : un design spéculatif, réflexif, qui ne veut pas proposer des solutions, mais plutôt poser des questions, qui veut défier les affirmations rapides, les préjugés et lieux communs sur le rôle des produits dans la vie de tous les jours. Un design qui ne se veut pas affirmatif, c’est-à-dire soumis aux impératifs des systèmes de pouvoir, mais au contraire critique. Cette “attitude” n’est pas nouvelle, mais a, au contraire, une histoire, qui longe la frontière entre art et design.
L’objectif de Strange Design — du design des objets au design des comportements n’est pas de reparcourir cette histoire de manière exhaustive ou linéaire, mais plutôt d’en envisager quelques épisodes afin de dégager les outils critiques dont ils sont porteurs pour l’histoire du design — comme une sismographie qui indique les résurgences de la crise d’un modèle.
Rencontre et signature le 21 octobre, dès 18h30, au Lieu du design à Paris.
Pie Paper is a non periodical publication which has been designed to inspire, entertain and inform. Pie Paper #5 is titled “The food issue”. Our connections to food are multifarious and complex, with many of our ideas about food taken for granted. Why for instance are we happy to drink the milk of a cow, but shy away at the thought of nibbling on human cheese? What compels us to eat potato chips instead of nutritionally superior deep fried cockroaches? And why do some people prefer mouthfuls of wet clay and metal over real food? … Among others in this issue, the Italian Futurists could help you to broaden your horizon, Buckminster Fuller explains the smart way to play with your food, Werner Herzog will show you how to boil your boot, and the Whole Roasted Camel could keep you and your family fed for a while.
One Hand, and the Other, a book by Emil Salto, published by Cornerkiosk press.
There’s a hand and there’s another and then there is the other. Echoes of year-old sunlight exposing hand gestures, a soft shadow against changing background, and a brilliant rectangle entering the frame and fixating the narrative.
October 4, from 6pm at castillo/corrales, Paris, on the occasion of the release of PNCI, Pensée Nomade Chose Imprimée (1989-2013), Michel Aphesbero and Danielle Colomine, the artist duo behind the legendary magazine 4 Taxis, and the non-less legendary studio Pensée Nomade Chose Imprimée that they organized with Jean Calens at the Bordeaux School of Fine Arts, will put together a small exhibition made of archival footage, publications and paraphernalia from the 25 history of the most Situationnist and punk-rock teaching experiment ever conducted.
Sturtevant (American, 1924–2014) has been “repeating” the works of her contemporaries since 1964, using some of the most iconic artworks of her generation as a source and catalyst for the exploration of originality, authorship, and the interior structures of art and image culture. Beginning with her versions of works by Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, Sturtevant initially turned the visual logic of Pop art back on itself, probing uncomfortably at the workings of art history in real time. Yet her chameleon-like embrace of other artists’ art has also resulted in her being largely overlooked in the history of postwar American art. As a woman making versions of the work of better-known male artists, she has passed almost unnoticed through the hierarchies of mid-century modernism and postmodernism, at once absent from these histories while nevertheless articulating their structures.
Though her work of the 1960s and 1970s may appear to be simply mimetic exercises in proto-appropriation, Sturtevant is better understood as an artist who adopts style as her medium and takes the art of her time as a loose “score” to be enacted. Far more than copies, her versions of Johns’s flags, Warhol’s flowers, and Joseph Beuys’s fat chairs are studies in the action of art that expose aspects of its making, circulation, and canonization. Working primarily in video since 2000, the artist remains deeply engaged with the politics of image production and reception, using stock footage from Hollywood films, television, and advertising to point to the exhaustion built into much of postwar cultural production.
The exhibition Sturtevant: Double Trouble, from November 9, 2014, to February 22, 2015, at MoMA, New York, is the first comprehensive survey in America of Sturtevant’s 50-year career, and the only institutional presentation of her work organized in the United States since her solo show at the Everson Museum of Art in 1973. Rather than taking the form of a traditional retrospective, the exhibition offers a historical overview of her work from a contemporary vantage point, interspersing more recent video pieces among key artworks from all periods of her career.
American popular culture and the environment of the “art world,” combined with a sly use of puns, codes, inside jokes and signature wit mixed with piercing perceptiveness, comprise the frame for much of Ray Johnson‘s work. Using his own brand of semantic structure, Ray Johnson creates complex and multi-layered portraits—of himself and of other subjects.
From October 7 to November 1, 2014, Karma, New York, presents an exhibition of previously unseen work by Ray Johnson. A comprehensive publication will be released in conjunction with the exhibition, which includes 296 color illustrations of collages, drawings, interventions and other ephemera.
Since the invention of photography, architecture has proved a worthy subject for photographers and, in turn, photography has played an important role in how architecture is communicated. Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, a book by Elias Redstone, examines a critical relationship between the two practices today through the work of fifty international well known and emerging artists: Annie Leibovitz captures the construction of Renzo Piano’s New York Times building; James Welling revisits Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House; Walter Niedermayr shifts perspectives on SANAA’s sculptural designs; and Thomas Ruff tests the limits of Mies van der Rohe’s geometries…
Divided into five chapters, the book covers collaborations between photographer and architect, global urbanization, alterations to the natural landscape, reappraised Modernist icons, and imagined environments. Presenting a unique study of outstanding work in contemporary architectural photography, Shooting Space not only offers an exciting survey of photographers at the intersection of two genres, but will reward the reader with a considered survey of our built environment.
Book launches, October 9, from 6pm, at Yvon Lambert Bookshop in Paris, and October 20, from 6pm, at Bookmarc in Los Angeles.
Despite the impression given by its format and density, the central dossier of the bilingual Azimuts 40-41 – Design Research Journals. A Panorama has a quite modest objective: the provision of an initial survey of journals devoted to design research. Rather than approaching design research frontally, the editorial team has investigated one of the modes of expression favoured by research: the periodical, the supposed paragon and yardstick of academic excellence. However, as could be expected, this castling alone were insufficient to avoid all danger; fundamental issues concerning research made a rapid return to the surface. What place should be given to theory in an activity in which practice predominates in fact and by rights? Why in the field of research should writing replace actual practice? Can design research be solely descriptive or meta-descriptive and thus be reduced to a more or less scholarly commentary of practice? This led to the question: why should design research adopt the paradigm of scientific discourse when design can also be considered as being an artistic, technical, political, ethical or critical project?
Journals involved: AA Files, Ark & Arc, Back Cover, Collection, Communication & langages, Design et Culture, Design Issues, The Design Journal, Design Studies, Design Philosophy Papers, Digital Creativity, Dot Dot Dot, Emigre, Graphic, International Journal of Design, Information Design Journal, Journal of Design History, Mode de recherche, Oase, Terrain, Typography Papers, Visible Language, Wildproject.
The best American book of the 20th century, a project by artist cooperative Société Réaliste, and designed by Project Projects, consists of the first sentence of the first best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the second sentence of the second best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the third sentence of the third best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the fourth sentence of the fourth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the fifth sentence of the fifth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the sixth sentence of the sixth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the seventh sentence of the seventh best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the eight sentence of the eight best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the ninth sentence of the ninth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the tenth sentence of the tenth best-selling book of 1900, as listed; the eleventh sentence of the first best-selling book of 1901, as listed; and so on up to the end of the century, to the thousandth sentence of the tenth best-selling book of 1999.
As ‘The Best American Book of the 20th Century’ travels through the textual materiality of an entire century of mass-produced literature, it suggests intertextual relationships between the narratives of American fiction. Since a multitude of changes in time and culture converse in the book, the project transverses the usual, formal standards of language, questioning power dynamics between reader and writer.
From May 1979 to January of 1987, the East Village Eye, a monthly magazine of popular and avant garde culture, exerted a profound influence that eventually reached across the entire world.
Coverage in the Eye resulted in development of several key “scenes” that eventually evolved into movements felt all over the planet. Some credit the Eye with creating the East Village art scene, which nurtured legendary talents such as Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz, while the Eye’s coverage of other emerging New York artists such as Sue Coe, Barbara Kruger and Kiki Smith helped illuminate the psychosocial conflicts running through the contemporary brain. Many such artists made work specifically for publication in the Eye.
When hip hop started to emerge from the ghettoes of New York, the Eye was there with early stories on historical figures like Afrikaa Bambaataa, Fab Five Freddy, Futura 2000, Run DMC, the Rock Steady Crew and many others. How early? The East Village Eye was the first publication ever to print the words “hip hop”.
The mini-symposium entitled “How Hip Hop Came Downtown”, September 18 from 6pm at
Printed Matter in New York, will cover the process in which members of New York’s media and fine art communities brought rap music, graffiti art and breakdancing from the inner-city ghettos to a wider audience that has since spread across the world. Leading this discussion will be Eye publisher/editor Leonard Abrams, scholar Yazmin Ramirez, musician and multimedia artist Michael Holman, and the celebrated artist and media figure Fab 5 Freddy. Plus special guest appearances!
Installation shot Bremen, ROMA PUBLICATIONS 1998-2012, Research Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen, 2012
Roma Publications 1998 – 2014 is an exhibition that includes over 230 books and editions published by Roger Willems and Mark Manders in collaboration with a large number of artists, writers and designers.
A publication is typically the end point of a project or exhibition; this exhibition, however, takes the printed format as its point of departure. Books, newspapers, posters and other printed matter are combined with artworks and installations relating to the publisher’s identity inside an exhibition dimension. The informal way of bringing art and publications together in a carefully composed exhibition gives clear insight into the working process of Roma Publications, which is based on a collaborative relationship to the artists. Another interesting element of this hybrid approach is that it questions the sometimes thin line between an original and a reproduction, and thus between the exclusiveness of an artwork and the democratic nature of a publication.
The exhibition aims to present the form of the book as an extended media that can involve the exhibition space. Some of the invited artists will contribute to the fading of the distinction between paper and space, image and material, original and reproduction (the print run of Roma Publications’ issues varies between 2 and 150.000 copies). Many of these practitioners use the book and printed matter as a central medium in their work, underlining not only the important role of publications to diffuse artistic production, but also in the rethinking of the book medium as an artistic practice.
The independent art publisher Roma Publications, founded in 1998 by artist Mark Manders and graphic designer Roger Willems, works in collaboration with artists, designers, writers and institutions. For the exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani, from October 11 to December 13 in Rome, the entire in-progress list of over 230 titles will be on display, in addition to a specially created reading room in which visitors can peruse each of the publications. Several new commissions and site-specific artworks will also be included in the exhibition, together with pre-existing works, all by artists who have actively collaborated with and participated in the activities of Roma Publications. With the exception of just two artists, all of these artists will be exhibiting in Rome for the first time, some for the first time in Italy.
Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and Roger Willems. With contributions by Gwenneth Boelens, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Marlene Dumas, Geert Goiris, Kees Goudzwaard, Sara van der Heide, Arnoud Holleman, Rob Johannesma, Jan Kempenaers, Irene Kopelman, Bart Lodewijks, Mark Manders, Marc Nagtzaam, Oksana Pasaiko, Petra Stavast, Batia Suter, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Wouter van Riessen, and may others.
On Saturday 11th October, from 11am to 1pm, the Foundation will host a musical performance by Wouter van Riessen, a reading by Nickel van Duijvenboden and an informal conversation with the curators and some of the artists in the exhibition.
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books on an annual basis recognizes excellence in the field of book design and production, as well drawing attention to remarkable and contemporary books by Swiss designers, printers and publishers.
For the catalogue, designers Julien Tavelli and David Keshavjee of Maximage took the idea of the test print to its extreme by subjecting various pages of the book to continuously changing parameters. The result is highly varied, for example, using CMYK and Sixplex printing, matt varnish or no varnish, etc. The various treatments and methods are intermixed with different screening criterions as well. Particularly attractive to those in the industry, such as designers, printers and lithographers, it will also appeal to students and anyone who appreciates visually strong books that are conceptually sophisticated at the same time.
The Library Vaccine, from September 25 to November 9 at Artists Space in New York, is an exhibition that presents a number of discrete collections of books in order to sample art’s distinctive relationship to the book form in its singularity, and in its states of reproduction, distribution and accumulation. The exhibition addresses the book as a particular technology, and in its collective state of the private collection, reading room or library, as a social machine – registering social and personal histories, and articulating structures of knowledge and value through the relations between its parts.
Each section of the exhibition presents a collection that loosely corresponds to a decade between the 1960s and the present day, yet it does not seek to survey a recent history of books in or as art; rather it takes the tension between book-as-text and book-as-object as a starting point. The exhibition marks a movement from the egalitarian, curative aspirations of the book as distributed artwork, to these aspirations’ subsumption within broader tendencies towards collecting, archiving and the re-circulation of knowledge.
Some sections of the exhibition revolve around curatorial or editorial frameworks that highlight artists’ use of the book form, while others focus on the collection or library as a holistic entity. In these contexts the act of collation emphasizes shifts between the private and the common, the artwork and the artifact. The roles of artist, publisher and collector are seen to overlap, and the sequenced content of both the individual book and the massed collection provides sites for the production and articulation of meaning. In each instance, the mode of physical display of the books is considered as an extension of their individual or collective character.
With The Defaced Library Books of Kenneth Halliwell & Joe Orton; Edition Hansjörg Mayer; Vigilance: An Exhibition of Artists’ Books Exploring Strategies for Social Concern, after an exhibition curated by Lucy R. Lippard and Mike Glier; The Colin de Land Library; Everything is About to Happen: An ongoing archive of artists’ books selected by Gregorio Magnani; & The Library of Helen DeWitt.
“Hypergraphy” is an artistic practice developed by the Lettrist avant-garde in the 1950′s. They defined it as “introducing into alphabetic writing not only the art of painting, but the graphics of all people or social categories past and present, as well as the graphics or anti-graphics of every individual imagination”.
By means of a timeline drawn by artist Roland Sabatier, the exhibition Rules of Hypergraphy – a project by Paul Gangloff, September 26 to October 5, Extrapool, Nijmegen – shows how the Lettrists situated hypergraphy within the history of writing and painting. It further assembles works by turntablist Marc Matter, (typo)graphic designer Karl Nawrot, graphic designers Our Polite Society and sound poet Jörg Piringer, each of them exemplifying uses of signs and letters that goes beyond writing.
The accompanying publication works as a subtext for the exhibition. It provides further insight into the concept of hypergraphy, but also prolongs the investigation by taking a detour into the relation between the Lettrists and the punks.
La revue Initiales esquisse les contours d’une galerie de “portraits en creux” en s’organisant autour de “figures-source”, existantes ou fictives.
Le quatrième numéro de la revue s’intéresse à l’utopie “réalisée” de Monte Verità, première colonie artistique d’Europe et communauté “contre-culturelle” avant la lettre composée d’artistes, de mystiques et d’anarchistes qui attira Mikhaïl Bakounine, D.H. Lawrence, les Dadaïstes, Hermann Hesse, James Joyce, Isadora Duncan, Suzanne Perrottet, Paul Klee, Gerhart Hauptmann, Max Weber, Ernst Bloch, etc.
Initiales M.V. pour Monte Veritá, du nom de cette colline du canton du Tessin en Suisse où s’implanta, en 1900 et jusqu’à la fin de la Première guerre mondiale, cette communauté d’artistes et anarchistes pré-hippie.
Un collectif donc, à rebours du travail de décryptage d’une figure unique, puisqu’ici, de l’écrivain Herman Hesse au pyschanalyste Otto Gross, en passant par Dalcroze et Laban, deux théoriciens de l’art chorégraphique, les danseuses Mary Wigman et Isadora Duncan ou encore l’économiste Max Weber, c’est toute une galerie de portraits qui s’offre à nous. Et autant de personnalités diverses, réunies temporairement, le temps d’un projet qui connaîtra ses heures de gloire avant une descente aux enfers parfois mal interprétée.
Autre enjeu majeur, la disparition relative de cet épisode qui échappa longtemps aux radars de l’histoire de l’art, jusqu’à sa redécouverte, à la fin des années 1970, par le commissaire d’exposition Harald Szeemann. Et donc une réflexion plus générale sur la question et la matérialité de l’archive. Installé à Tegna, à quelques kilomètres de Monte Veritá, Szeemann fondera successivement, en 1978, 1983 et 1987, trois musées documentant les vestiges de l’ancienne communauté – dont l’un d’entre eux, construit sur le site de l’ancienne Casa Anatta accueille depuis 1981 l’exposition permanente “Les Mamelles de la vérité”. Curateur et théroricien culte, Harald Szeemann sera l’une des figures à hanter ce projet éditorial. Le contexte politique, économique et idéologique de cette période, qui présente bien des similitudes avec notre époque, constituera également un angle de lecture.
The Novel That Writes Itself is a finished whole of a novel in progress, initiated in 1978 by the Conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg.
It all begins with the end of a story, the one about the Colby Poster Printing Company that shut down in December 2012, taking with itself an emblematical graphic identity into history. A Colby poster can be easily distinguished from others and bear the stamp “from L.A.”. Multicolored posters with unexpected gradients of flashy, typically Californian colors, the Colby posters, covered with outrageously bold characters, do not respect any typographical rules. Allen Ruppersberg was one of their most faithful and regular customers.
It begins also in 1978, when Allen Ruppersberg has an idea of a work in progress which he would call The Novel That Writes Itself, and which he would make in the shape of a fictionalized autobiography where he would talk of his adventures as a young artist, which he is at the time.
In parallel to this project, he starts to produce aphorisms or enigmatic questions printed on multicolored posters. These posters, the famous Colbys, start to show up at his exhibitions around the middle of the 1980s. He realizes in 1990 that in fact “the novel had written itself” without his knowing. By then, 50 posters had been produced. The Novel That Writes Itself is thus given substance to by Colby Posters through which he shows not only how the characters of his autobiography evolve but also an array of his projects.
The pages of The Novel That Writes Itself, a work whose essentially romanesque nature requires the shape of a book, break away one by one to be put on the walls of galleries or museums. This novel by Allen Ruppersberg takes, in its provisional form, the shape of a renewed installation, enriched with each new presentation. In the footsteps of El Lissitzky who declined the traditional structure of a book by turning its pages into posters, Allen Rupersberg takes a similar approach.
The Novel That Writes Itself finishes to write itself in 2013 with the closing of the Colby Company. Time has come, perhaps, to bring back the classic format of a novel. Allen Ruppersberg, however, has chosen to compensate the constraint of a book by giving it the independence of a poster. The binder holds together a number of separate pages who can keep their original poster-like nature.
Exhibition from September 12 to October 4, 2014, mfc-michèle didier, Paris.