An Elaborate Gesture of Pastness: Three Films by Dani Gal – Motto Books; Blood Mountain Projects

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, Motto Books on April 10th, 2021
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The publication delves into Dani Gal’s trilogy produced between 2011 and 2018. Each film approaches the complexities of historical accounts between ‘victims’ and ‘perpetrators’ in the context of German, Jewish and Arab histories from a different ‘blind spot’ in historical knowledge. Cinematic tools are applied to illuminate and stage these undocumented aspects of real historical events.

Contributions from Sabeth Buchmann, Burcu Dogramaci, Noit Banai and Sa’ed Atshan are accompanied by visual and literary material and references from Gal’s extensive research practice.

Night and Fog (2011) is a re-enactment of the night of 31 May 1962, based on an interview Gal made with Michael Goldman-Gilad, a Holocaust survivor and Israeli police officer, who had undertaken the secret mission of scattering the ashes of Adolf Eichmann into the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea after he was captured in Argentina and brought to trial and executed in Israel.

As from Afar (2013) is a fictionalised account of a meeting between Simon Wiesenthal, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to bring Nazi criminals to justice, and Albert Speer, the chief architect of the Third Reich, using the letters they exchanged throughout the 1970s as a basis for the dialogue.

White City (2018) revolves around the complex character of Arthur Ruppin, a German Jew and one of the founders of the Zionist Settlement who promoted co-existence with the Palestinians before the establishment of the State of Israel; the film traces his visit to the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, and his 1933 meeting with Hans F. K. Günther, the leading German eugenicist of the time who became a major influence on National Socialist race theory.

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HaFI 014 – Harun Farocki: Hard Selling – Reframed by Elske Rosenfeld, Harun Farocki, Elske Rosenfeld, Doreen Mende

Posted in books, Motto Books on March 31st, 2021
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“I also don’t know the five new federal states and, if I want to film there, I have to have a leading figure. It is the profiteer, development aid worker and missionary all in one. He breaks into the accession area from the West in army strength. The film is about such a salesman.” –– Harun Farocki, 1990/91
HaFI 014 publishes a typescript and archival materials related to the television film Hard Selling (1991) by Harun Farocki. For this unfinished project, Farocki documented an Adidas sales training in East Berlin in 1990. In the period after July 1991 he accompanied a West German Adidas salesman on his trade tour through Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Thus, Farocki explored the operational details of introducing the logic of free market in a country formerly trained in planned economy. Although the broadcast of Hard Selling was announced in the program booklet of the DFF—the successor to GDR television—for 13 November 1991, it did not take place. The TV-station was dissolved six weeks later.

The artist Elske Rosenfeld follows the film stills, fragments of conversations and announcement texts of Farocki’s Hard Selling. She mobilizes the figure of the “window” as a frame to transpose the languages and gazes at shop windows, screens and trainers into a poetic-analytical editing. In the resulting text/image essay Rosenfeld updates her ongoing archive of gaze-images. An editorial note by Doreen Mende introduces HaFI 014.

Elske Rosenfeld, born 1974 in Halle/S. (GDR), works in different media and formats. Her primary focus and material are the histories of state-socialism and its dissidences, and the revolution of 1989/90. Documents and archives are starting points for organising spaces in which these hi/stories can come to be present. Her ongoing project “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures” investigates how political events manifest and come to be archived in the bodies of their protagonists.

„Auch kenne ich die fünf neuen Bundesländer nicht und muss, wenn ich dort filmen will, eine Leitfigur haben. Es ist der Geschäftemacher, Entwicklungshelfer und Missionar in einem. Er bricht in Armeestärke vom Westen aus in das Beitrittsgebiet ein. Im Film geht es um einen solchen Verkäufer.“ –– Harun Farocki, 1990/91

HaFI 014 publiziert ein Typoskript sowie Archivmaterialien, die im Bezug stehen zu dem Fernsehfilm Hard Selling (1991) von Harun Farocki. Für dieses nicht zuende gebrachte Projekt filmte Farocki im Jahr 1990 eine Adidas-Verkaufsschulung in Ost-Berlin. In der Zeit nach dem Juli 1991 begleitete er einen westdeutschen Adidas-Vertreter auf seiner Handelstour durch Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. So erforschte Farocki die operativen Details der Einführung der Logik des freien Marktes in einem ehemals planwirtschaftlich organisierten Land. Obwohl die Ausstrahlung von Hard Selling im Programmheft des DFF – dem Nachfolger des Fernsehens der DDR – für den 13. November 1991 angekündigt ist, kam es nie dazu. Der Sender wurde sechs Wochen später aufgelöst.

Die Künstlerin Elske Rosenfeld folgt den Filmstills, Gesprächsfragmenten und Ankündigungstexten von Farockis Hard Selling. Die Figur des „Fensters“ (im Sinne von frame) dient ihr als Instrument, um die Sprachen und Blicke auf Schaufenster, Bildschirme und Turnschuhe poetisch-analytisch zu montieren. In ihrem Text/Bild-Essay aktualisiert Rosenfeld ihr fortlaufendes Archiv von Blick-Bildern. Eine editorische Notiz von Doreen Mende führt in HaFI 014 ein.

Elske Rosenfeld (geb. 1974, Halle/S.) forscht als Künstlerin, Autorin und Kulturarbeiterin zur Geschichte der Dissidenz in Osteuropa und zu den Ereignissen von 1989/90. Ausgehend von historischen Dokumenten und Archiven organisiert sie Räume, in denen diese Geschichte/n gegenwärtig werden können. In ihrem aktuellen künstlerischen Forschungsprojekt “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures” untersucht sie den Körper als Austragungsort und Archiv politischer Ereignisse.

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Dancing in Connewitz, Peter Woelck

Posted in art, Artist Book, books on March 30th, 2021
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After studying photography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig, Peter Woelck worked as a professional photographer in the GDR for various companies and magazines. Moreover, he independently created a vast amount of artistic works, especially in the field of portrait and architectural photography. Photographs of the construction of the Berlin Television Tower, cityscapes of Leipzig, and intense portraits from the 60s through the 80s document how life used to be in a country that no longer exists. On the other hand, there are photographs from the post-reunification period, during which Woelck repeatedly tried to establish himself as a freelance advertising photographer. Thus, the pictures also tell of a break in the photographer’s biography, the kind of experience that affected many people of his generation.
The book documents the attempt to bring the eclectic diversity of the archive into a sequence of images that does not strive for a photo-historical classification but rather allows a specific and subjective narration to emerge from today’s perspective.

The book includes texts by Wilhelm Klotzek, Woelck’s son, who not only co-manages the estate in collaboration with the Laura Mars Gallery but also artistically deals with the legacy, by writer and publicist Peter Richter, and by curator Bettina Klein.

“Dancing in Connewitz” was published in 2014 on the occasion of a second exhibition of Peter Woelck’s photographs, “PeWo’s Bericht zur Lage der Jugend” (Laura Mars Gallery, Berlin), and was supported by the Stiftung Kunstfonds with funds from VG Bild-Kunst.

 

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OEI # 90-91: Sickle of Syntax & Hammer of Tautology. Concrete and Visual Poetry in Yugoslavia, 1968–1983, Sezgin Boynik (Ed.)

Posted in books on March 17th, 2021
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OEI # 90-91: Sickle of Syntax & Hammer of Tautology offers the first English language overview of the history of concrete and visual poetry production in socialist Yugoslavia between 1968 and 1983. By focusing on mass-produced examples of concrete poetry, this publication presents these poetic experiments as organically linked to social movements, critical theories, and youth cultural revolutions. In his extensive introduction, Sezgin Boynik, the guest editor of this special issue of OEI, discusses concrete and visual poetry in socialist Yugo-slavia as an uneven and combined development, and emphasizes its confrontational and organizational aspects. By means of interviews, translations, reproductions, and theoretical and historical statements, OEI # 90-91 offers a picture of a very lively scene of concrete and visual poetry in Yugoslavia, which unfortunately is not as recognized interna-tionally as it would deserve. Hoping that OEI # 90-91 could contribute to this task in a substantial way, we present episodes from the early years of OHO formation and its complex theories of words and things; an interview with Rastko Močnik on programmed art and political formalism; militant polemics of Goran Babić; Signalist contradictions; subjective structural devices of Judita Šalgo; zaum experiments of Vojislav Despotov; detective meta-texts of Slavoj Žižek; poetic self-management studies of Vujica Rešin Tucić; a feminist historicisation of Ažin school for experimental poetry; democratisation of visual poetry by Westeast; selections from special issues of the journals Pitanja, Problemi, Ulaznica, Dometi, Delo, Koraci, Vidik, Pegaz, and many other materials translated here for the first time and presented in one publication.

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SOFT NEED #23, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin

Posted in art, books on February 9th, 2021
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Alga Marghen in collaboration with Expanded Media Editions is proud to present the final issue of “Soft Need”, a publication centered on the work of William Burroughs and expanding its deep influences into contemporary consciousness.

Founded in 1973 as a reaction to the aftermath of a three weeks’ stay across Xmas and New Year’s with Gysin and Burroughs by their confidant Udo Breger, “Soft Need“ had its roots in the underground press of the previous two decades and at the same time became a prototype for the forthcoming fanzine scene. Even if only 3 numbers were issued in the 70s (SN#8 in 1973 followed by SN#9 in 1976 and SN#17 “The Brion Gysin Special“ in 1977, all in print-runs of 300 to 500 copies) it quickly became a legendary publication for both Burroughs fans and those interested in counterculture experimental poetry artists’ editions. Almost half a century later, the last edition “Soft Need 23“ is now issued including exclusive material by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin as well as multi-media contributions by eighty international authors and artists.

Issued in an edition limited to 431 copies “Soft Need 23” is a 260-page art book reflecting on the contemporary relevance of historical works by Burroughs and Gysin within the frame of the Beat Generation. Dedicated to Ian Sommerville, the English electronic technician and computer programmer who was collaborating with Brion Gysin to the development of the early Dreammachine and programmed the computer-generated random sequences that Gysin used in his early cut-ups, the book present 190 illustrations, literary essays, photographs, poetry, visual art, caricature, memories and a vast array of ephemera by William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Landes Levi, Gregory Corso, Jean-Jacques Lebel, John Armleder, Paul-Armand Gette, Peter Weibel (director of ZKM Karlsruhe and curator with Udo Breger of “The Name Is Burroughs” show in 2012), Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Sonic Boom, Papiro, James Grauerholz, Robert Wilson and many, many others.

A large format (32x24cm) book printed in 4/4-color and featuring a thread-sewn visible binding, “Soft Need 23” is a multi-media journey into William Burroughs and Brion Gysin underground world connecting them to the Beat Generation counterculture and revealing their influences on following generations. So step right in, and beyond!

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1—130: Selected works Ghassan Bishouty b. 1941 Safad, Palestine — d. 2004 Amman, Jordan, Jacob Korczynski (Ed.)

Posted in art, Artist Book, books on February 1st, 2021
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Which images are made manifest across an artist’s practice and which are the ones that disappear? How do objects—whether seen or unseen—and the knowledge they possess traverse across place and time to avow their resistance? These are amongst the questions asked by artist Nour Bishouty in her artist’s book 1—130, a project that draws upon her ongoing research into the works of her father, Ghassan Bishouty (b. 1941 Palestine – d. 2004, Jordan). In 1—130, she borrows from methods of indexing and object classification to act as figurative codes for identification and cross-reference within the contexts of value and legacy. All the while employing paratactic strategies of text and image to understand the life and work of an artist faced with the discontinuity of deracination.

1—130 constitutes reflexive encounters with a series of 130 selected paintings and sculptures made circa 1965-2004 in Lebanon and Jordan, and concludes with an afterword by editor and curator Jacob Korczynski.

1—130 is designed by Laura Pappa & Lotte Lara Schröder and co-published by Art Metropole & Motto Books.

Nour Bishouty is a visual artist working in a range of media including digital images, works on paper, sculpture, video, and writing. Her multidisciplinary practice draws upon autobiographical and material narratives to explore how dominant notions of value are articulated and exchanged, often focusing on the construction of popular identity in relation to histories of place. Nour was a fellow at the 2014/15 Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as Darat Al Funun, Amman; Access Gallery, Vancouver; the Beirut Art Centre, the Helen Day Art Centre, Vermont; Casa Arabe, Madrid and Cordoba; and the Mosaic Rooms, London.

Jacob Korczynski is an independent curator and the recent recipient of a curatorial research fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. He has curated projects for the Stedelijk Museum, Cooper Cole, Western Front, and the Badischer Kunstverein and his writing has been published by art-agenda, Camera Austria, Flash Art, and BOMB. With curatorial projects taking the form of exhibitions, screenings, and publications he is also the editor of I See/La Camera: I (If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution), Andrew James Paterson’s Collection/Correction (Kunstverein Toronto & Mousse Publishing), Jimmy Robert’s Revue (Leopold Hoesch Museum), and Nour Bishouty’s 1-130 (Art Metropole & Motto Books).

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Ich singe nicht für Bilder schöne Lieder, Maximiliane Baumgartner

Posted in art, Artist Book, books on January 19th, 2021
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Maximiliane Baumgartner’s Ich singe nicht für Bilder schöne Lieder (I Don’t Sing Beautiful Songs for Pictures) is the first comprehensive publication that contextualizes and traces her artistic practice of the last four years in relation to the fields of painting, action (space) pedagogy, and critical research on the subject of urban planning.

The publication is a joint project of Neuer Essener Kunstverein and Kunstverein München and includes, in addition to an image section, commissioned texts by Elke Krasny, Karolin Meunier, and Moritz Scheper as well as a conversation on the artistic practice of Baumgartner between Luca Beeler, Lucy Kolb, Maurin Dietrich, Gloria Hasnay, and the artist.

Authors: Luca Beeler, Maurin Dietrich, Gloria Hasnay, Lucy Kolb, Elke Krasny, Karolin Meunier, Moritz Scheper
Publisher: Motto Books, Neuer Essener Kunstverein, Kunstverein München
Design: Ibrahim Öztaş

Ich singe nicht für Bilder schöne Lieder von Maximiliane Baumgartner ist die erste umfassende Publikation, die ihre künstlerische Praxis der letzten vier Jahre im Bezug zu den Handlungsfeldern der Malerei, der Aktions(-raum)pädagogik sowie kritischer Stadtraumforschung kontextualisiert und nachzeichnet.

Die Publikation ist ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt des Neuen Essener Kunstvereins und des Kunstverein München und umfasst neben einem Bildteil neue Texte von Elke Krasny, Karolin Meunier und Moritz Scheper sowie ein Gespräch zum Handlungsfeld der künstlerischen Praxis Baumgartners zwischen Luca Beeler, Lucy Kolb, Maurin Dietrich, Gloria Hasnay und der Künstlerin.

Autor*innen: Luca Beeler, Maurin Dietrich, Gloria Hasnay, Lucy Kolb, Elke Krasny, Karolin Meunier, Moritz Scheper
Herausgeber*innen: Motto Books, Neuer Essener Kunstverein, Kunstverein München
Design: Ibrahim Öztaş

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Polígrafa @ Motto Books

Posted in art, books, distribution, Uncategorized on January 16th, 2021
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Motto is pleased to announce our new collaboration with Polígrafa, Barcelona.

Michael Snow – Sequences – A history of his art, Gloria Moure (Ed.)
Medardo Rosso. Pioneer of Modern Sculpture, Gloria Moure (Ed.)
The Architecture of Life, Iwona Blazwick (Ed.)
Sigmar Polke: Paintings, photographs and films, Gloria Moure (Ed.)
Gordon Matta-Clark – Experience becomes the object, Pedro Donoso (Ed.)
The Feeling of things. Writings on architecture, Adam Caruso (Ed.)
Marcel Broodthaers – Collected Writings, Gloria Moure (Ed.)
Eduardo Chillida. Open-Air Sculptures, Giovanni Carandente (Ed.)
TAKING
 THE COUNTRY’S SIDE. AGRICULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE, Sébastien Marot
ECONOMY OF MEANS, Éric Lapierre
NATURAL BEAUTY, Sébastien Marot
INNER SPACE, Mariabruna Fabrizi and Fosco Lucarelli
QUADERNS #270: Europa Europa, Moisés Puente (Ed.)
QUADERNS #271: About Buildings & Food, Xavier Monteys (Ed.)
QUADERNS #272: Cosmetic Techniques, Nuria Casais, Ferran Grau (Eds.)

Browse the full catalog here

The Glossary of Cognitive Activism. Warren Neidich. Archive Books.

Posted in books, Motto Books, politics on November 1st, 2019
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This glossary is meant to accompany the three-volume publication The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part 1, 2 and 3. It reflects the concerns contained in those volumes. It marks the beginning of a long-term process of creating a dictionary of terms with which to understand and eventually destabilize the complex ways through which a future Neural Capitalism will work in creating contemporary forms of neural subsumption. Neural subsumption is a future condition brought about by an assemblage of networked neural technologies that will link our brainwaves to the Internet of Everything (IoE) and then encode them to use in advanced data analysis. No thought conscious or unconscious will be left unrecorded, encoded or surveyed. Furthermore this data will be used for a future form of data inscription upon the connectome: the data set describing the con- nection matrix of the nervous system and which represents the network of anatomical connections linking neural elements together. This in the end constitutes what I have called the Statisticon. Warren Neidich is an interdisciplinary artist and theorist working between Berlin and New York. He studied photography, art, neuro- science, medicine, ophthalmology, and architecture. Recently his practice has focused on performance, sculpture, video and film to investigate the contested milieus of the social brain. He is founder and director of the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, New York and Berlin, 2015–2019. Its’ curriculum focuses upon the emerging conditions of cognitive capitalism in which the brain and the mind are the new factories of the 21st century. In 1995 he conceived of the website artbrain.org and the Journal of Neuroaesthetics. It officially appeared on the web in 1997 and concentrates on the capacity of artistic practice to deregulate and estrange the social-political-cultural milieu in the end activating the material brain’s neural plastic potential.

 

Published by Archive Books.
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Book launch: ‘CONQUERING THE PRESENT IN THE LONG SIXTIES: The curatorial birth of contemporary art’ at Motto Berlin. 28 September 2019

Posted in art, books, events on September 20th, 2019
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Saturday, September 28th

5-7 PM. Talk at 5.30.

Motto Berlin Skalitzer Str. 68, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Kristian Handberg’s Conquering the present in the Long Sixties is an art historical essay. The book presents a new understanding of the art work in the 1960s and how a predominant interest in the present even brought a Soviet Cosmonaut to the Venice Biennale in 1968.

Talk with Terry Smith, author of Art to Come. Histories of Contemporary Art (2019).

Kristian Handberg., (b. 1980) Art historian, Ph.D., postdoc at the University of Copenhagen. Handberg has researched in the importance of exhibitions and their international circulation in the postwar era at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Terry Smith, Professor in Art History, University of Pittsburgh. A leading historian and theoretician on the history of contemporary art, Smith has just published the book Art to Come. Histories of Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2019), which will be available at the launch. Smith will be in conversation with the author on the notion of contemporary art and the exhibition as a way of staging the present.