ART AGAINST ART – Taslima Ahmed and Manuel Gnam (eds.)

Posted in politics, Theory on January 11th, 2016

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London, Paris, New York, Milan, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Palo Alto – art is moving faster than capital like a god wind that no-one can stop let alone control. Meanwhile a lot of art writing and ‘critical theory’ is stuck in the comfort zone of the 70-90s when there actually was an avant garde or subculture. For art writing to get back on track it needs to shake out of this nostalgia and start engaging with the nuances of what is going on by covering the new breeds of involvement that have emerged since 2009 – the new sincerities and ironies, the more subtle art practices and social variations of market participation that have developed to deal with the institutional grip. For some time an aesthetic suspension of disbelief helped to provide an alibi that allowed us to participate as if we did believe the market was the key to “validation”, but then quickly vanished into feelings of depression after any agency seemed like an impossibility. As the contradictions got wider, different problems have emerged such as whether art is concurrent with the transitional moments of our present culture or technology, or whether art altogether has reached its informational limit. The art world has slowly transitioned from modernist pretensions that seem like delusional excuses to the public, to developing a new sensibility – one of silent, shared communion, retributions and confessions. It has taken the step into a reality that is more in keeping with the real world of business, design and branding than creating stark ‘alternatives’. Beyond short-term pragmatism and adaptability, how can artists aesthetically work alongside their authentic desire to participate in a logic of the market that by necessity must scale? How can we realistically judge the work of art institutions if they are frozen into following instrumental logics rather than relevance? With the availability of information online, there is no way these logics are not transparent to a committed internet user. Narratives like these happened in Pop Music years ago. Just as the Music Industry had to face up to its own protocols, the Art Industry needs to be judged on its changing developments; the ways art is being used as a financial instrument, art’s new marketing techniques, art as representation of different sociological interests, art as access to power, status, fame, participation and the rest of it. Until art writing gets really into these driving forces, it won’t be able to say anything interesting about art. It also won’t be able to grow or be writing that anyone really wants to read. Art Against Art marks a turning point – the one that says by breaking from the overbearing logic of what seems like an inevitability, we can get closer to the conceptualizations we would like society to experience but don’t. The Editors

9€

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What’s wrong with redistribution? Wolfgang Tillmans. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Posted in Artist Book, collage, photography, politics on November 30th, 2015
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What’s wrong with redistribution? Wolfgang Tillmans. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Wolfgang Tillmans’ “truth study centre” became a fixed part of his exhibitions since he first showed a version of the multi-part tabletop installation in 2005. Often arising from local circumstances and current issues at the time of their creation, the “truth study centre” works mark an endeavour to create a clear view in ever more confusing times.

Tillmans observed the paradigm shift that defines politics today early on. The scope and complexity of this project become apparent for the first time through this book, the second we have published, after “manual” in 2007, dedicated to this set of works. Over 320 pages, printed using a high-resolution technique, Tillmans presents an alternative chronology of the present. Far exceeding his original and main medium of photography, he juxtaposes a variety of contrary opinions, statements and comparisons on recurring table formats. The dimensions of the wooden tables, which he designed himself, are not arbitrary: they are built using standard British door panels, 198 cm long, and with one of four different standard widths.

This book gives an overview, through lavish reproductions, of this new form of collage, in which picture, text and object “are only kept in place by their own weight.” An essay by Thomas McDonough, Professor for Art History at Birmingham University, New York, places Tillmans’ project within the context of twentieth-century collage, from Hannah Höch to Robert Rauschenberg.

This artist’s book, produced by Tillmans’ Berlin atelier, includes a Fresnel magnifying glass, making it possible to zoom in on the contents and read even the smallest of printed texts. The largest installation of “truth study centre” to date will be shown in Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof beginning November 28, 2015.

€48.00

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Politics of study

Posted in art, books, history, literature, performance, photography, politics on July 6th, 2015
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Universities and art schools alike have been subjected to the pressure of recent austerity politics and the ongoing attempt to transform higher education according to the demands of reigning neoliberals. In this context, it is urgent to conceive of alternative frameworks and methodologies of study–whether within, outside or at the margins of academic institutions.

This book examines the current interest in education through a series of conversations with artists, theorists, activists and educators -including Suhail Malik, Brian Holmes, Ruth Sonderegger, Gerald Raunig, Judy Chicago, Gal Kirn, Mohammad Salemy, Melissa Gordon, Marina Vishmidt and Andrea Fraser-who are all actively involved in developing new models of study. Ranging from self-organized learning to critical teaching methodologies, the alternatives gathered here offer a resource for those interested in the renewed politicization of education, new modes of knowledge production and teaching methodologies.

€ 23.00

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The great masters of art history with pictures of Jacques Chirac: Haim Steinbach. Nicolas Giraud

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, men, photography, politics on May 28th, 2015
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The great master of art history with pictures of Jacques Chirac

1st in the series: Haim Steinbach

Edition of 400

€16.00

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Of Democracy / De la Démocratie, Henri Chopin. Motto Books & Supportico Lopez.

Posted in Artist Book, distribution, Motto Books, politics, Theory, writing on June 25th, 2014
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Of Democracy / De la Démocratie by Henri Chopin

© 1984 Henri Chopin ‘Enluminure’, Fondazione Morra, Naples

Published by Motto Books & Supportico Lopez, June 2014
English and French facsimile
Staple bound
Edition of 1000 copies

Price: €10.00
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Miklós Klaus Rózsa. Christof Nüssli, Christoph Oeschger. Spector Books & cpress.

Posted in books, distribution, photography, politics on May 8th, 2014
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Miklós Klaus Rózsa

The photographer and political activist Miklós Klaus Rózsa (*1954) was kept under surveillance for years by the Swiss Federal Office of Police, the Cantonal police, and the municipal police of Zurich. His photographs as well as the State Protection files compiled on him from 1971 – 1989 form the basis for the book. Christof Nüssli and Christoph Oeschger juxtapose the text produced by the state and the images produced by the monitored person. The collage of these sources produces new images that reveal the history of a politically agitated time in Switzerland. The two lines of narration could not be more antithetic: On the one hand are the images by Rózsa which document the events from the midst of the agitation, the Zurich youth movement of the 1980s. On the other hand the surveillance files demonstrate the distanced and often uncomprehending gaze of the police observing the occurrences. The montage brings the conflict between Rózsa’s images and the State Security texts to light. Observation and counter-observation clash. The book will be published in cooperation with cpress, Zurich.

Author: Christof Nüssli, Christoph Oeschger
Publisher: Spector Books & cpress
Language: German-English
Pages: 600
Binding: Softcover
€42.00

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Il Piedistallo Vuoto / The Empty Pedestal. Illaria Bombelli (Ed.). Mousse Publishing.

Posted in art, books, distribution, exhibition catalogue, politics on February 25th, 2014
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Texts by Boris Buden, Keti Chukhrov, Vit Havránek, Marco Scotini and Joanna Warsza.

Published for “Il Piedistallo Vuoto – Fantasmi dall’Est Europa / The Empty Pedestal – Ghosts from Eastern Europe” – presented at the Museo Civico Archeologico in Bologna from January 24 to March 16 and organized by Arte Fiera – this book accompanies a project that traces recent developments in the art scene of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. On view are a hundred works (from leading Italian private art collections) by over forty artists, ranging from members of the younger generation, such as Petrit Halilaj, Gintaras Didžiapetris and Evgeny Antufiev, to recognized masters like Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Marina Abramović, and Miroslav Tichý. “None of these so-called archeologists”, writes exhibition curator Marco Scotini, “is practicing an art of ruins: they all act upon time but also ‘against’ time, in favor of a time to come. Neither do they aim to predict anything. All they do is allow the unknown knocking on the door to enter”. Alongside a compendium of images, the book presents a selection of essays by philosophers, art critics and curators that illustrate and comment on certain key concepts examined in the show, including the notions of “East” and “West”, and of “democracy”, “struggle”, “History”, and “site-specificity”.

Language: Italian / English
Pages: 304
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 9788867490691

22€
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Cheap Method Edition – Struggling Bodies in Capitalist Societies (Democracies). Claudia Bosse (Ed.) theatercombinat / Motto Books.

Posted in distribution, magazines, performance, politics, theatre on January 31st, 2014
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Cheap Method Edition – Struggling Bodies in Capitalist Societies (Democracies). Claudia Bosse (Ed.) theatercombinat / Motto Books.

cheap method edition offers a collection of working material issues. the aim is to open up specific methodologies, which are the basis for the creation of performative work. It is not about documentation, it is about starting a discourse on performative praxis, about the approaches, the material, the historical and political contexts and transportation, as well as the (artistic) decisions, the specific knowledge and experiences which are resembled in different working processes. cheap method edition will publish examples to create a discourse on fading performative works. cheap method edition combines artistic research with scientific and experiential knowledge, connects both in thematic issues to open up bigger contexts which can be re-used, re-worked and re-discussed and compared.

struggling bodies
in capitalist societies
(democracies)

a publication series of political hybrids

03 editorial by claudia bosse
SELF-SUBVERSION AND ASCETICISM

08 gerald siegmund: to be or not to be:
towards a theatre of dis-identification
or the body as supplement

20 elke van campenhout: food and hunger

26 dialogue: gerald siegmund,
elke van campenhout, and others
THE BODY AND ITS CONSTRUCTIONS
BETWEEN SEXUAL AND POLITICAL
NORMATIVES

40 marina gržinić: struggling with the
performative body in the garbage dump
of history

54 dialogue: marina gržinić,
gerald siegmund, hrvoje jurić and others

62 snapshots of BOXEN,
performance by günther auer
THE BODY AS THE PLACE OF THE
POLITICAL

66 alice pechriggl: zu konstitution und
aisthêsis eines unumgänglich/en
demokratischen körpers.
ein textfragment.

74 hrvoje juric: scientific de(con)struction
and artistic (re)construction of the body

84 dialogue: alice pechriggl, hrvoje jurić,
and others

Language: English
Pages: 94
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 9782940524136

Price: €9.00

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Inch by Inch, House by House, Alley by Alley. Giovanna Silva (Ed.). Mousse Publishing.

Posted in distribution, photography, politics on January 20th, 2014
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Giovanna Silva, ed.
Text by Angelo Del Boca and Giovanna Silva

The book Libya: Inch by Inch, House by House, Alley by Alley is part of a series of publications about nations at war, or in crisis; conceived by Giovanna Silva, they tell the stories of different countries through photographs of their multifaceted landscapes. In the case of Libya, Silva has attempted to outline the architectural structures built by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime that were demolished during the recent revolution. Her journey started from Benghazi—the first epicenter of the revolt, as a city that had always been hostile to Colonel Gaddafi—and culminated in Tripoli, inside the bunker-barrack of Gaddafi’s residence. In this construction and de-construction of Gaddafi’s personality, Silva creates a parallel narrative relying on archival pictures she has collected over the years, depicting everything from a young Gaddafi surrounded by the politicians he did business with for years (who would later turn their backs on him), to images of his death, when he lay bleeding and knocked to the ground just like the architecture that embodied his ideals. The publication includes a conversation between Giovanna Silva and Gaddafi biographer Angelo Del Boca, who knew, inside out, just who the real Gaddafi was.

Language: English / Arabic
Size: 11 x 15 cm
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 9788867490929

Price: €20.00
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DADALENIN. Rainer Ganahl & Johan F. Hartle. Edition Taube.

Posted in books, distribution, history, politics, writing on November 23rd, 2013
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DADALENIN. Rainer Ganahl & Johan F. Hartle. Edition Taube.

DADALENIN reconstructs and speculates about how Dada and Lenin had more in common than is usually assumed. The book points to some of the tragicomic aspects of their parallel and overlapping artistic and political histories in order to question the unfulfilled legacy of the avant-garde.

In Rainer Ganahl’s voluminous series of works DADA and Lenin are abundant sources of historical imagination. To dive into the historical situation Ganahl uses a variety of artistic media and techniques––ranging from animation movies to theatre performances, from ink drawings to bronze sculptures, departing from a number of historical details and catch phrases, from the no-man’s land between porn, terror and the history of the avant-gardes.

Co-editor Johan F. Hartle’s text situates DADALENIN in the development of Rainer Ganahl’s work and reconstructs it in the context of current debates on the artistic and political avant-garde. DADALENIN thus appears as a reflection of numerous key motifs of contemporary cultural theory, indirectly haunting us in all kinds of monstrous alliances.

Edited by Rainer Ganahl and Johan F. Hartle
With contributions by Boris Groys and Jenny Borland

Black and white offset print.
Language: English
Hardcover, 608 pages.

Price: €25.00

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