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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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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Start Over Every Morning, Steve Bishop

Posted in Artist Book, Motto Books on March 12th, 2021
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Catalogue of Steve Bishop’s solo exhibition ‘Start Over Every Morning’ (2019) at Kunstverein Braunschweig:

In his artistic practice Steve Bishop explores how mental states can be materialized and conveyed in space, through installations often involving personal belongings and mementos. By subtly distorting familiar, often intimate domestic scenarios, Bishop creates intermediate worlds in which concepts of time are suspended, and clear boundaries between private and public space, exhibition and non-exhibition are blurred.

In the exhibition, we encounter the remnants of a celebration recently passed. Constructed in the main room is a simple white kitchen, which surreally extends over the entire length of the space. Here the profoundly everyday nature of the counter meets the attempt to grasp abstract concepts of infinity. A blankness pervades the room which is punctuated by a few scattered objects: leftover cake is carefully stowed away in Tupperware boxes, recordings of jazz instrumentals drift out from a radio, and outside garden furniture is already tucked in under its plastic cover. A longing to preserve fleeting situations repeatedly arises, no matter how temporary the moment might be. In a second room, found photographs are framed together with pages of text taken from a largely forgotten self-help organization called Re-evaluation Counseling. Slogans call for self-empowerment and optimization, and one might also discern from the neat surroundings that a desire for structure, for inner and outer clarity, seems to be as desirable as it is acutely endangered.

Publishers: Kunstverein Braunschweig; Motto Books; Floating Opera Press

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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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And Their Spirits Live On, Marianne Heier

Posted in Artist Book, Motto Books on December 12th, 2019
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Published by osloBIENNALEN FIRST EDITION 2019-2024 and  Motto Books

 

This book is published as part of Marianne Heier’s project or osloBIENNALEN FIRST EDITION 2019-2024.

Marianne Heier performed her project And Their Spirits Live On, first at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan and then at Oslo’s former Museum of Contemporary Art.
How can a centuries-old plaster cast of a two thousand-year-old sculpture speak to us today?Plaster copies of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures have formed the basis for much of the history of art. Right up until modern times artists in the western tradition learned to draw and shape works from such models. When the National Gallery was built, the central building housed a collection of these classical plaster casts. Marianne Heier has chosen to make a performance among the plaster copies at the Academy of Art in Milan where she herself studied, and later in the empty bank premises which until recently housed the Museum of Contemporary Art – drawing attention to the potential power in these figures. They are archetypes that we still refer to, although we are often unaware of this. Heier’s performance takes the form of a museum guided tour in which she takes the role of guide, situating the plaster sculptures in wider histories. Using texts taken from classical mythology and political resistance movements, she shows the potentially radical possibilities of the sculptures. The mythology from which these classical figures are taken is full of critiques of power, gender issues and identity politics that perhaps suggest a need for civil courage in the political climate of our own times.

The performance was co-curated by osloBIENNALEN curators and Alessandra Pioselli and was produced in collaboration with students and employees at the Project School in Oslo.

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Anne Neukamp / gurgur Editions @ Motto Berlin. 13.12.2019

Posted in Artist Book on December 4th, 2019
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Anne Neukamp Book Launch at Motto Berlin. December 13, 6-9pm

This monograph presents the first comprehensive survey of Anne Neukamp’s work. It embraces a vast
selection of the artist’s works from the past seven years alongside texts by Kassandra Nakas, Reinhard
Spieler and Johanna da Rocha Abreu, thereby offering the reader an immersive insight into the world of
Neukamp’s painting.

‘A stage is being set for us. Forms are blocked and angled into space, complete with consideration of the
need to bridge a distance and to draw the viewer in. As we approach the canvas, the beautiful execution,
the smooth surfaces painted by hand, the neutral yet lush bottom layer almost lulls us into complacency.
But then come the black and white strokes, like slashes, laid over or intersecting the crisp outlines of—
well, what is it? A face or a bifurcated B? It doesn’t matter. Assertions held about the symbols and image
being to shift. The flatness falls away and you find yourself eye-to-eye with the openings and gaps in the
canvas like tunnels, and you finally have to let go of any lingering inertia. The figurative associations, the
meaning both historical and implies, don’t ask for definition, they ask you to completely recondition the
means by which you seek definition.’ —Johanna da Rocha Abreu

Hiroshi Takizawa. Criminal Garden. Motto Berlin. 16-22.11.2019

Posted in Artist Book, events, exhibitions, Motto Berlin event, Motto Berlin store on November 28th, 2019
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Criminal Garden

Hiroshi Takizawa at Motto Berlin

Criminal Garden

Project01: “Assumption”
Criminal profiling is used as an investigation technique to hypothesize on a suspect figure. An assumed portrait is inferred and emerges from what is left of a particular setting or crime scene. I am intrigued by the development of such assumed figures, as well as the fact that these profiles are fictional and nonexistent unless replaced by an asserted criminal.

“Assumption” consists of scanned images of objects found in ordinary surroundings. Instead of shooting or scanning a flat surface, I chose to scan objects with uneven surfaces as a method to emphasize the distortion of the outcome. As a result, the images are highly detailed, yet far from the objects’ original shapes and forms. The method also allows me to illustrate that the process of reproduction can result in a fictitious representation of an object. To me, there is a similarity in the process of profiling and scanning in the sense that both processes creates a fictional and imaginary image. In this work, I aim create an image of a fictitious profile, although there may not be any criminal context to it. What interests me is that the scanned objects gain a fictional character that reveals the possibility of an additional dimension to its existence, and furthermore, a suggestion that the fictional existence is in fact closer to reality.

Find more of Hiroshi Takizawa’s works here

Tales 37, Daniel Gustav Cramer: Motto Books, ENSP Arles

Posted in Artist Book, Motto Books, photography on October 26th, 2019
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Tales 37, Lago di Braies, Dolomiti, Italy, September 2011

Published by Motto Books and ENSP Arles
numbered edition of 500

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Cristian Forte & Hybriden-Verlag. Piktogramme Book Launch @ Motto 4.10.2018

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, editions, events, Motto Berlin store, Motto Books on October 1st, 2018
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Cristian Forte & Hybriden-Verlag @ Motto Berlin
Piktogramme Book Launch
Thursday, October 4th. 6PM

Piktogramme is an artist book of original drawings and miniatures by Cristian Forte. These delicate diagrams are visual poems, singularly drawn onto each copy. Piktogramme was published in 2018 by Hybriden-Verlag in a limited edition of 10 copies.

Cristian Forte was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires. Between 1999 and 2006, Forte was a member of the interdisciplinary political group Etcétera, a collective influenced by Surrealism in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lives in Berlin since 2009, where he runs Nicht-Verlag Milena.