statementhouseRCA + statementhousetanlin

Posted in Architecture, Artist Books / Monographs, Exhibition catalogue, Motto Books, poetry on April 30th, 2024
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@shouseRCA and @shousetanlin are two publications from their respective Twitter accounts. Each account was one of the two voices of the statementhouse (temporary title) built at the Royal College of Art in London in 2015.

The house “spoke” in two ways. One was that of the arrangements of texts and ordinary situations that punctuated its daily life through the action of the two curators Sophie Oxenbridge and Katie Reynolds (@shouseRCA). The other voice was that of poet Tan Lin, echoing it remotely from New York (@shousetanlin).

The two voices answered and prompted each other.

TBOOK is a fictitious publishing house that proposes to transform the Twitter scroll into a book form.

Author: Jean-Pascal Flavien, Tan Lin

Publisher: TBook; Motto Books

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Zweikommasieben #28

Posted in magazines, Motto Books, music on March 24th, 2024
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The sound of each individual’s voice is thought to be entirely unique. Like a fingerprint, its composition is distinct, nuanced, and one-of-a-kind. While all this is true, it’s a concept that has been challenged in recent times by the refinement of AI-powered systems which are able to emulate voices to a tee. And not only voices, for that matter, but whole styles and aesthetics: an AI-generated facsimile of Drake and The Weeknd’s voices titled “Heart on My Sleeve” made the rounds this year and was even submitted for Grammy consideration. It’s a legitimate song, and a proposal that does not only keep legal departments busy, but also allows for myriad reflections on originality and, bluntly, the future of music. But as the future of music is a broad and daunting topic to speculate on, we want to hone in on what’s been prefaced above: issue #28 of zweikommasieben centers the voice as means of expression, and wants to expand on what is meant by that: it’s not only what is heard, but also why a voice is used and by whom. This latest edition considers what it means to voice, and its physical, societal and political dimensions.

Truthfully, voices as a topic might be even more daunting to tackle. Its political implications are manifold and have to be considered in seriousness. Voice can’t be separated from reflections on the ingrained power of attitudes, beliefs, and norms that dominate. Exhibit A for these complex entanglements is a conversation Dounia Biedermann had with South Korean artist bela. The musician explains how they use all kinds of different voices other than their recognizable speaking voice to articulate and access deeply felt emotions towards their home country and identity. “Whispering, growling, screeching, and inhaling” help them in disrupting cultural boundaries of power that historically constrain and silence marginalized identities. With this approach, bela finds an ally in Krista Papista: in conversation with Jazmina Figueroa she informs that her latest album was an explicit tribute to the lives of victims of femicide in Cyprus, and the marginalized voices that are not heard within the Cypriot national ideology. By subverting traditional music genres and poetics, both Krista Papista and bela push forward the need to queer history and to reveal longstanding, harmful, national myths.

In a queer history, we are no longer pointed towards dominant and singular voices, but instead expand to a context that is polyvocal—a term we encounter in artist Claudia Pagès’ contribution to this issue: through the tools of light, drums, and text, a different temporality and reading of history is proposed. Tuning out of the prevailing source of authoritarian speech, and tuning in to the voices of many, also leads us to consider the articulation of the collective. In his interview with Helena Julian, artist Tianzhuo Chen points to the shared voice of humankind as a whole, and its yearning for a state of flow and togetherness.

For the latest iteration of the visual column “Formations”, Imane Djamil provides a portfolio of photographs taken in the Moroccan seaside town Tarfaya. In the series, we are confronted with the boundaries that can be imposed on one’s legitimacy to express. We witness glimpses of everyday life, in close proximity to the severely precarious migratory sea passage towards Europe. Hearing the voice of the local community, we equally become aware of whose voice is missing.

Naturally, the voice is also an instrument that is shaped by its limitations. Although, still today, it seems to have preeminence above all other forms of human expression. The full width of the use of voice and sounds produced by individuals is further explored in an essay by Dagmar Bosma. The artist and writer muses on the act and appearances of different forms of stimming, which is a verb that originates from the neurodivergent community. Bosma highlights the sonic dimension of stimming with its vocalizations and repetitions of sounds and rhythms, as a way to equally express and soothe.

A recurring interest of zweikommasieben is, to speak with Claudia Pagès, to be polyvocal. Previous issues tried to achieve this by highlighting all the different people involved in bringing a magazine to life (in issue #22) or allowing authors, translators, photographers, and designers to make additional editorial notes (in issue #23). This time around, the graphic designers Kaj Lehmann and Raphael Schoen are using typographic matter to create a similar effect: different cuts of the same font (which was designed by Lehmann and previously used in issue #17) are applied to choral effect.

One could argue that for a voice to exist, it needs to be heard. In this 28th edition, we wish to offer exactly that. In the next pages, you will perceive a multitude of voices—from roars to whispers—, sometimes out of tune or out of time, with the intention to be recognised by those who dare to listen.

Author: Helena Julian, Mathis Neuhaus (Eds.)

Publisher: Präsens Editionen; Motto Books

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and a time to see less

Posted in Motto Books on February 21st, 2024
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Here live the near-blind. In their eyes the city dwells like aureoles on suckling lips. Here they apprehend the city with knowledge viscous and immediate. And here they also live uneasily, for tranquillity is found only in pictures they are disinclined to make.

In essays, letters and aphorisms, this book makes near-blindness tangible as one condition of living in. protracted war.

Author: Walid Sadek

Published and distributed by Motto Books Co-published by Agial Art Gallery
Text editing: Mika Hayashi Ebbese

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HaFI 018 – Skip Norman: On Africa. Skip Norman. Harun Farocki Institut; Motto Books

Posted in Film, history, Motto Books, writing on November 17th, 2023
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HaFI 018 reprints a document containing the script of Skip Norman’s film On Africa (1970). Norman, born in Baltimore in 1933, had left the U.S. in the early 1960s to study German, theater, and medicine in Göttingen. In 1966 he moved to Berlin to join the newly founded German Film and Television Academy (DFFB). By 1969, he had made the films Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) and the graduation film Strange Fruit (1969). He shot On Africa together with Joey Gibbs after graduating from the school. The filmmaker about his film: “The starting point is the relationship between Europe’s prosperity and Africa’s poverty; Europe’s destruction of societies and cultures, and the simultaneous use of Christianity and racial theories as justification for a massive exploitation of the colonized.” On Africa was first shown at the Festival in Mannheim in 1970 and then broadcast on television by WDR in 1972.
The script is accompanied by images from the film, and followed by five short commentaries by Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert, and Volker Pantenburg.

Das Heft enthält das Skript für Skip Normans Film On Africa (1970). Norman, 1933 in Baltimore geboren, hatte die USA zu Beginn der 1960er Jahre verlassen, um in Göttingen Deutsch, Theaterwissenschaft und Medizin zu studieren. 1966 zog er nach Berlin, um an die neugegründete Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) zu wechseln. Bis 1969 entstanden die Filme Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) und der Abschlussfilm Strange Fruit (1969).
On Africa entstand gemeinsam mit Joey Gibbs nach Normans DFFB-Abschluss. In Normans Worten: „Der Ausgangspunkt dieses Films ist das Verhältnis zwischen Europas Wohlstand und Afrikas Armut; Europas Zerstörung von Gesellschaften und Kulturen, und gleichzeitiger Einsatz von Christentum und Rassentheorien als Rechtfertigung einer gewaltigen Ausbeutung der Kolonialisierten.“ On Africa wurde am 7. Oktober 1970 bei der XIX. Internationalen Filmwoche Mannheim in der „Informationsschau“ aufgeführt; 1972 lief der Film im WDR.
Das Skript wird begleitet von zahlreichen Bildern aus dem Film und kontextualisiert durch fünf Kurzessays von Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert und Volker Pantenburg.

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Cut Cube book launch / Sandra Peters & Adam Feldmeth @ Motto Berlin. Wednesday, 02 August 2023.

Posted in graphic design, Motto Berlin event, Motto Berlin store, Motto Books on July 28th, 2023
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Dear Friends,

please join us on August 2, 2023 at 7:00pm at Motto Books, Berlin for a conversation with Sandra Peters and Adam Feldmeth to present Peters’ new book Cut Cube.

The book Cut Cube, (2022) results from Sandra Peters’ interest in the graphic interplay between two- and three-dimensional structures. The 11 possible ways to unfold a cube are laid out on white paper, whereas the seven cuts that make it possible to unfold a cube are printed on transparent paper and related to each of the six sides of each flattened cube. Turning pages generates a flow of information to make the viewer aware of the complex interplay between both types of structures. 

The book is published with Motto Books, Berlin/Lausanne. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Sandra Peters is an artist, writer, and educator based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In her work she focuses on architecture and urban space. She is working towards a reciprocal integration of sensual, structural, and conceptual factors.

Peters has widely presented her work in Europe, the US, and the United Arab Emirates, including Performing the City at the NYUAD Project Space in Abu Dhabi (2023); Un–folded Cube (landscape mode) at Foyer-LA, Los Angeles (2023); Bilateral, Diagonal, Cubical at the Gallery Aanant & Zoo, Berlin (2012) and participated in the group exhibition Erschaute Bauten. Architektur im Spiegel zeitgenössischer Kunstfotografie at the MAK—Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst/Gegenwartskunst (2011).
She is teaching at New York University Abu Dhabi since 2014 in the Art and Art History Program, where she is Co-program head since 2021.

Adam Feldmeth lives in Los Angeles and Berlin. His work engages the social elasticity of art through situational discourse with those involved in its materialization. Critical contributions have been included at the Luminary Projects, St. Louis, Missouri; Contemporary Art Daily; the MAK Center, Los Angeles; Kunstbibliothek Sitterwerk, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University; and the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art. In 2008, he co-authored, “Nomad Post School,” with Guan Rong and in 2020 “Some Pedagogies of the Southland Institute” with Joe Potts

He is co-director of the Southland Institute in Los Angeles, teaches Film/Media studies at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California, and is a doctoral student at the European Graduate School where he is considering the cobblestone as a mediator of momentum at the confluence of urban space and cinematic montage.

Park 2 INN Exhibition opening / Louise Verstraete, Rebecca Quix @ Motto Berlin. July 30, 2023.

Posted in Exhibitions, Motto Berlin event, Motto Berlin store, Motto Books, photography on June 30th, 2023
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Dear Friends,

We are excited to invite you to the opening of Park 2 INN on Saturday, July 1st from 7PMa duo exhibition by Louise Verstraete and Rebecca Quix in the presence of Nissan Sunny 1.4LX and a sound installation by Lukas Katzer.

It has been a while since we have seen each other. How are you doing? I’m sorry to call you so early. Holiday schedules. MidDay sMiles. Days go by so fast. I was eating these curly fries and was thinking of you today. Lunch hour at the fuel station.  The connection got lost. My tires were losing pressure. Are you here already? Here is still there. Soon there. 

The exhibition will be on view from July 1, Monday to Saturday 12 to 8 PM until July 31, 2023. This exhibition has been made possible with the support of Flanders State of the Art.

Louise Verstraete is a multidisciplinary artist working with the medium of textile and the performative power that the medium carries within. Her projects show an interplay between photography, textiles, scenography and performative interventions. Louise holds an MFA in Textile Design from LUCA School of Arts, Belgium and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.   

Rebecca Quix (BE) currently lives and works in Brussels. She holds an MFA from LUCA School of Arts, Brussels (2022) and studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York (2021). She is the founder of the project space, Nissan Sunny 1.4LX. 

Cordyceps Gaud Adversary. Dozie Kanu. Motto Books; Neuer Essener Kunstverein.

Posted in Exhibition catalogue, Monograph, Motto Books on June 23rd, 2023
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Dozie Kanu’s „Cordyceps Gaud Adversary” is the first comprehensive publication that contextualizes and traces his artistic practice of the last four years in relation to the notion of Black material culture, the theatricality of exhibition-making and his understanding of contemporary sculpture.

The publication is published on the occasion of Dozie Kanu’s exhibition at Neuer Essener Kunstverein and and includes, in addition to a generous image section, commissioned texts by Moritz Scheper and manuel arturo abreu, as well as a conversation on the artistic practice of Kanu between Martine Syms, Klein, and the artist.

Authors: manuel arturo abreu, Klein, Martine Syms, Moritz Scheper 
Publisher: Motto Books, Neuer Essener Kunstverein
Design: jmmp.eu (Julian Mader, Max Prediger)

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New r Age. Eldar Tagi, Lena Pozdnyakova, Shiroishi Alto. Motto Editions.

Posted in Motto Berlin event, Motto Berlin store, Motto Books, music, Shiroishi Alto on June 16th, 2023
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Side A: 
Quantum Echoes Pt. 1……..10.44 
Quantum Echoes Pt. 2……..8.42 

Side B: 
The Spirit Channel Pt. 1……..11.24 
The Spirit Channel Pt. 2……..8.54 

Patrick Shiroishi Alto Saxophone, Voice 
Lena Pozdnyakova – Amplified Objects 
Eldar Tagi – Serge and Ciat-Lonbarde synthesizers, Daxophone, Shtar 

Production, Mastering – Eldar Tagi 
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA July 11, 2021 

Cover Design: Lena Pozdnyakova 
Image Source: Painting by Liza Kin (“Eine Linie” series) 

Motto Editions

‘New r Age’ is the follow-up collaborative album from composers and improvisers Eldar Tagi and Patrick Shiroishi. This time around, they’re joined by interdisciplinary artist and researcher Lena Pozdnyakova, bringing a fresh twist to their creative partnership. The recording took place on a sunny afternoon on July 11th, 2021, in a cozy apartment in Los Angeles’ Rampart Village—a place Tagi and Pozdnyakova used to call home for several years before moving to Berlin.

In this recording, the trio used a broad range of sounds. Shiroishi contributed his expert alto saxophone skills, sometimes blending his voice with the music. Tagi experimented with a variety of instruments such as the daxophone and Shtar, as well as Ciat-Lonbarde and Serge synthesizers. Pozdnyakova, on the other hand, added her unique touch by incorporating noises from amplified everyday objects.

The result is a blend of sounds that shift and change in intensity, keeping listeners on their toes. While the raw energy of the improvised performances is still front and center, additional layers of electronic tones and careful post-processing give the recording an extra amount of density and dimension. So, sit back and enjoy this unique sonic experience that “New r Age” offers.

About the artists:

Patrick Shiroishi is a Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles.

Lena Pozdnyakova is a Kazakhstan-born interdisciplinary artist and researcher currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Eldar Tagi is a Kazakhstan-born multi-instrumentalist and composer currently based in Berlin, Germany.

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Tasman Richardson + Jubal Brown. X-IMG Night. Thursday, May 18 @ OHM Berlin.

Posted in Motto Books, Motto Disco, music, performance on May 17th, 2023
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Dear Friends,

We are happy to invite you about a special event coming up that we’re certain will pique the interest of those who delight in the fusion of music, video art, and performance.

X-IMG presents a program of audio-visual excess and dark dance music on May 18th at Ohm, Berlin.

Jubal Brown and Tasman Richardson, who recently awed us with a stunning reading and performance at our bookstore, are now set to light up the stage.

Find out more about the event here

Healing The Museum. Grace Ndiritu. Motto Books

Posted in Exhibitions, Monograph, Motto Books, politics, research, writing on March 31st, 2023
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“Healing The Museum” is a mid-career monograph looking at Grace Ndiritu’s diverse practice over the last twenty years, which encompasses performance, film, shamanism, social actions, painting, publications, textile work, and collection research. The large selection of artworks included in the publication are in a dialogue with each other, further enriched by in-depth conversations with Brook Andrew, Gareth Bell-Jones, and Philippe Van Cauteren, and written contributions from Ifeanyi Awachie, Ann Hoste, and Hammad Nasar. The monograph’s publication coincides with the eponymous exhibition at S.M.A.K.–Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst in Ghent.

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