08.11.2017 / Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017. Kunsthalle Wien.

Posted in events, exhibitions, Motto Books on November 9th, 2017
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Opening November 7th, at Kunsthalle Wien. Starts at 7PM.
Exhibition 
08.11.2017 – 28.01.2018

What is the role of art publishing today? How have artists adapted modes of publishing as a tool for their practice? How has the notion of artists’ publishing activity changed, given the ever-increasing amount of fairs and an ever-evolving number of book-related collections in contemporary art museums? Publishing has developed a favorite site and medium for aesthetic and artistic experimentation. It has also become an alternative space for promoting unrestricted individual or collective discourse. The multi-part exhibition project Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 explores the potentials of publishing – in the form of books, magazines, journals, artistic interventions, websites – as a particular medium and context both to circulate information, knowledge – and to produce art.

Instead of looking at the already historicized and analyzed period of the 1960s and 1970s, the exhibition will highlight how a recent generation of artists use publishing as a productive tool for their practice. The focus lies on the period from 1989 until 2017, taking 1989 as symbolic date to underline the shift from analogue to digital. On a political level, 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall marks a significant date. On a social level, it is an important year as it indicates the invention of the World Wide Web.

THE BOOKSHOP AS MEDIUM

The bookshop curated by Gregorio Magnani and Motto Books presents a selection of artist’s books published between the late 1980’s and the present. Together these publications offer a privileged overview of the unexpected flourishing of the book as artistic and creative medium. At the same time the bookstore highlights the wide international network of artists and small independent publishers whose collaborations and shared interests are the motors for the artist’s book renaissance.

More information here

Browse the selection of 160 publications included in the show here

Everything is About to Happen (Porto): artists’ books and editions. Serralves. Porto. 14.10.2016

Posted in events, exhibitions on October 10th, 2016
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Everything is About to Happen (Porto): artists’ books and editions @ Fundação de Serralves, Porto
Opening Friday 14 October
Exhibition from October 15 2016 to February 12 2017.

Works by Patrícia Almeida and David-Alexandre Guéniot, Karl Holmqvist, Janice Kerbel, Sara McKillop, Kristen Mueller, Luís Muñoz-Santini, Preston is My Paris, Simon Popper, Erik Steinbrecher, Fritz Welch, Nicole Wermers.

‘Everything is About to Happen (Porto): Artists’ Books and Editions’ is dedicated to the most recent developments in the field of artists’ books as a medium and context for contemporary art. The exhibition presents more than 200 works ? many of them published in small, hard to find editions ? to give an overview of the most recent developments in the field of artists’ books. Through them it looks at burlesque reversals, authorship fluidity, sub-activism, unproductive labour, nonsensical and non-linear languages as tools to reaffirm and question our collective desire for collectivity. It suggests that artists’ books should be seen both as individual artistic expressions and as participants in a forum whose culture and freedom are essential to our future.

For the duration of the exhibition, the Serralves bookstore will become an integral part of the show and present recent artists’ books that respond to the concerns it articulates. The bookstore selection is curated by Gregorio Magnani in collaboration with Motto, Berlin.

Artists’ books ? works of art that adopt the format and particular modes of distribution of the book ? first came to prominence in the mid-1960s. They offered artists a cheap and easily distributed art form that responded to the widespread desire to bring art out of the gallery context. After almost disappearing from view in the 1980s, artists’ books found new energy as a form of artistic expression in the mid-1990s. Then, the wide availability of increasingly affordable digital editing and printing technologies paired with the ease of communication afforded by the internet made it relatively easy to publish or self-publish a book or fanzine. Artists could adopt the book as their chosen medium and become publishers of themselves or choose to rely on a vast network of artist lead, small, adventurous, and often short lived, publishing houses. It was a media that allowed them to be in full control of their own work ? from the first glimpse of an idea, through its development in editing and publishing, to its final marketing. This was liberating: it allowed free experimentation that bypassed the need for institutional support and validation and relied instead on an alternative peer-to-peer network. It also responded perfectly to the 1990s dream of self-empowerment embodying its promise to make each of us a one-man-act on a constant path of self-reinvention. Today the hope of a non-exploitative relation between capital and independent cultural producers seems as unrealistic as the 1960s notion of liberation through commerce. In the creative arts, self-expression reads more and more as labour performed as entertainment for somebody else’s gain. But the productive power of the shared language that constituted the community around artists’ books remains. It relies on low costs, high affective investments, peer-to-peer exchanges and on the focus on the ability of the book to create social exchanges. Threatened by capital’s capacity to survive its crisis through the consumption and production of social spaces, it reaffirms its communal energy by acknowledging the dangers it faces.

‘Everything is About to Happen (Porto): Artists’ Books and Editions’ is organized by the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, and is curated by Gregorio Magnani.