Dear world you have made the persons slow, Elena Kaufmann

Posted in Artist Book, books, graphic design, politics on September 10th, 2021
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Dear world you have made the persons slow uses the World Health Organization’s collected 2020 press statements about COVID-19 as its source material. Composed using blackout poetry, the project casts light on the ongoing and mostly unconscious consumption of online information. In reproducing the affect of online communication, these poems are both violently abridged and easy to consume.
In a world filled with transnational commercial chains, empathy and solidarity tend to stay local; the sudden violence of a worldwide pandemic paired with personal crises raises long overdue awareness for a more global concern for other subjects as well. Dear world you have made the persons slow contains potential further worldwide statements and there, they just need to be dis-covered.

Elena Kaufmann, born in 1992, is a contemporary artist based in Berlin, working primarily with poetry and language.

COISAS QUE MATAM (THINGS THAT KILL) is a label of the present, unleashed to publish sound and visual works afflicted by the now. If there are things that kill, there are also those that ignite and exhort. Since 2017, Stefanie Egedy and Simon Fernandes have been creating this circumstance between São Paulo and Berlin.

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Image Generation, Michel Egger

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, graphic design on August 14th, 2021
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Image Generation, a work of research by Michel Egger, makes use of visual material found on the World Wide Web. Generated using Pinterest’s algorithm-driven search function, single images, ones that otherwise would never have come together, are put into a relationship. Formal associations and technological errors collide, allowing these duos to emerge. In parallel to this, words are used to translate the imagery into unsystematic, yet constantly internet-based information.

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Pope.L, My Kingdom for a Title, Courtney Willis Blair (Ed.)

Posted in art, Artist Book, books on August 13th, 2021
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My Kingdom for a Title is a collection of writing by Chicago–based artist Pope.L documenting his use of language as a mode of visual, narrative, and performative story telling.

The act of writing has been integral to how Pope.L works and is arguably the most consistent element in his practice. These works take various forms: scripts, short stories, scribbled notes, large scale installation, and painting—many never before released. Assembled here for the first time, My Kingdom for a Title allows the breadth of the artist’s engagement with language to be fully assessed. Within the book, Pope.L’s work is supplemented with extensive endnotes sourced by artist Kandis Williams.

Pope.L is a visual artist and edu­cator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries, and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture to create artworks in various formats including writing, painting, performance, installation, video, and sculpture. Building upon his long history of enacting arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces, Pope.L applies some of the same social, formal, and performative strategies to his interests in language, system, gender, race, and community. The goals for his work are several: joy, money, and uncertainty—not necessarily in that order.

Edited by Courtney Willis Blair
Endnotes by Kandis Williams
Co-published by Mitchell-Innes & Nash

First Edition (2021)

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Lemaniana: Reflections on Other Scenes, Andrea Bellini (Ed.)

Posted in art, books, exhibition catalogue, Motto Books on August 13th, 2021
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Lemaniana: Reflections on Other Scenes is the catalogue of a collective exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève celebrating the diversity of the contemporary artistic production in the Léman region.
The exhibition is the result of a call for projects, launched in autumn 2020, based on an open conception of the territory, with the aim of bringing together artists of different background who are either temporarily or permanently linked to the cross-border region of the Lake Léman basin, irrespective of training or education.
Rich in illustrations and texts, the catalogue allows us to navigate through the universe of nearly 60 artists, including artist duo and collectives, bringing to light new connections and opening our gaze to fresh interpretations of the world – a world deeply shaken by recent events. Current news – whether we are talking about racism, divergent political powers, gender identity or the pandemic and its confinements – give the project a truly contemporary nature.

Edited by Andrea Bellini.
With essays by Mohamed Almusibli, Andrea Bellini, Roxane Bovet, Patrick de Rham, Jill Gasparina and Stéphanie Moisdon.
Artists: Sonja Aboussouan, Mathilde Agius, Jérôme Baccaglio, Lucas Ballester & Oélia Gouret, James Bantone, Jacopo Belloni, Mabe Bethônico, Yann Stéphane Biscaut, Aurélie Blanchette Dubois, Vivia Braitano, Francesco Cagnin & Lorenza Longhi, Loucia Carlier, Stefania Carlotti, Salomé Chatriot, Adrien Chevalley, Alfredo Coloma, Jeremy Dafflon, Francesco De Bernardi, Caterina De Nicola, Azize Ferizi, Félix Gagliardi, Louisa Gagliardi, Annabelle Galland, Gabriele Garavaglia & Miriam Laura Leonardi, Virginia Garra, Elisa Gleize, Deborah Joyce Holman, Lauren Huret, Inner Light, Luc Joly, Kayije Kagame, Monika Emmanuelle Kazi, Shiva Khosravi, Quentin Lannes, Shuang Li, Hunter Longe,  Soraya Lutangu & Ali-Eddine Abdelkhalek, Evariste Maïga, Lucia Martinez Garcia, Lou Masduraud, Lamya Moussa, Johanna Odersky, Valentina Parati, Leonardo Pellicanò, Jessy Razafimandimby, Real Madrid, Anouk Reichenbach, Delphine Reist, Diane Rivoire, Christian Schulz, Rose Siebke Winckler, Terat Thanaworrawatniti, Ambroise Tièche, Remy Ugarte Vallejos, Marco Walpen, Sarah Watson and Mayara Yamada.

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METAPHOR. PROTEST. CONCEPT, Iulia Popovici, Raluca Voinea (Eds.)

Posted in art, books, performance, Theory, writing on July 24th, 2021
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PERFORMANCE ART FROM ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA

Interviews with: Iulia Popovici & Raluca Voinea, Dan Perjovschi, Szilard Miklos, Matei Bejenaru, Pavel Braila, Farid Fairuz, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Nicoleta Esinencu, Alexandra Pirici, Veda Popovici, Candidatura la Presedintie, Paul Dunca, Ioana Paun, Simona Dumitriu & Ramona Dima, Florin Flueras & Alina Popa.

„The diversity of performance art forms in Romania and the Republic of Moldova speaks about distinct motivations, personal and artistic, in the opinion for this language, but also about the mode in which an art gets to build its own definitions, in specific contexts. There are these definitions that we are searching, through the dialogues with artists, in the present book.”
(Iulia Popovici)

„These days we don’t find each other so much in the street; we don’t find ourselves in the political or aesthetical programme of the recent protests or we simply wait that they generate other metaphors and other concepts, for a new generation of artists (and citizens).”
(Raluca Voinea)

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The View From “No Man’s Land”, Firas Shehadeh

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, meme, politics on July 10th, 2021
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“Since 2013, Firas Shehadeh’s conceptual practice has been preoccupied with understanding the human condition through post-internet aesthetics, a tactic calculated towards a larger strategy of tackling the many themes mirrored by our new millennia. The internet and its cultures, video games, virtual communities, and various types of images are key mediums in his work, which helps the artist avoid material limitations and highlights the impact internet life is increasingly having on our offline lives.

Yet if one can trace a unity in Shehadeh’s work, one would find that it’s mainly concerned with images, not purely as form, but for what it absorbs from today’s political realities, conveyed by way of not-so-innocent silliness or abstraction. That is not to say that he deals with images as if they are inherently political. On the contrary, as a puppeteer controlling his marionettes with agility, Shehadeh takes such images and carefully reassembles them in front of us to subtly narrate their stories of origin and the meaning they evolved to carry. By relying on a combination of irony, tragedy, and delicate hopefulness, he ultimately highlights the bitter contradictions of today’s world.

One can easily detect some of Shehadeh’s political interests: history, technology, and aesthetics. He connects all these in today’s Online, the direct descendant from yesterday’s internet. Today’s algorithmically-driven Online is akin to predestination, loaded with ready-made scenarios where you’re trapped in a time loop like a sick joke. Original moves are calculated, preconfigured, and repeated every day; a Punxsutawney-hell from hell where one disaster leads to another. Still, they’re expected, welcomed, normalized, in a made-up history where irony’s reserve has drained to the very last drop.

In The View from “No-Man’s Land,” Shehadeh documents the year 2020 by using online culture’s main currency—memes—to tell stories of crashes, depressions, and violence caused by acceleration and the hyper technologies of control. His position as a Palestinian artist permits him to tell such stories with ease and cleverness. Yet unlike his subjects, he doesn’t convey a post-ironic attitude; his awareness is a tool to decipher post-irony, exposing its contradictions as if fighting fire with fire. That is highlighted best in the book’s cover; a kite strapped with a Molotov cocktail. The contra-drone of the oppressed. A direct, ironic answer to the oppressor’s hyper-tech arsenal.

This book and its artifacts function as a memory theater for an era that doesn’t want to leave, trying to outwit us by employing elements from the past. All the versos and rectos speak of the same story, reiterating after Carl “CJ” Johnson, its undeclared Angelus Novus, “Oh shit, here we go again.””

– Yazan S. Ashqar
Writer, Editor, and Translator, New York City

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@rt_rhyme, Darren Bader

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, curating, photography on July 9th, 2021
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Begun on Instagram in 2017 as part of Bader’s exhibition at Museo Madre in Naples, @rt_rhyme is a series of photographs that pair artworks (identified by artist (sur)name) with various rhyming objects or actions: spoons in front of a Koons, cobble held next to a Schnabel, Sherman matched with some German and a crawl below a Saul. Some rhymes are easy to decipher while others require a good unpacking. @rt_rhyme continued posting on Instagram through the end of 2018 but the project remained incomplete, in part due to an exhaustion of funds as well as some rhymes proving very difficult to photograph. This book collects the @rt_rhyme photographs, the list of unrealized rhymes (two of which have been digitally realized by the publisher for inclusion in the book) and an introduction by Bader.

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Zampa di Leone: Deep Europe, Zampa di Leone, Boris Buden

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, illustration, Motto Books, politics, zines on July 9th, 2021
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For the first time, this publication unites the English language work of Zampa di Leone with two sequences of comic strips and caricatures titled “Deep Europe” and “In the Arse of the Balkans”. Zampa di Leone wanted to offer a radical critique of the colonial tendencies embedded within the discourse of “Balkan” and “Eastern European” contemporary art as it had been articulated during the 1990s and 2000s in global cultural centres, first and foremost in Germany and Austria. The anonymous collective was mostly active in Serbia and Europe between 2001 and 2011, and produced a significant number of comic strips that were circulated at events and through internet forums or mailing lists.

This publication has been printed on the occasion of THE DREAMERS, 58th October Salon, Belgrade Biennale 2021, within the frame of the Reading Room bookshop. The comic strips are accompanied by Boris Buden’s text “The Madman Is Sleeping with the Lunatic”, which was first published in 2003 — a reminder of the historical context and the Balkanist discourse that served as a backdrop to Zampa di Leone’s activities.

Edition: 300

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The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou, Bern Porter / Alice Dusapin (Ed.)

Posted in art, books, writing on July 8th, 2021
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The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou by Bern Porter was first published in 1975.

This new edition presents an additional introduction, transcribed from a reading given by Bern Porter on May 19,1985, in Madison, Maine.

Bern Porter wrote this poem, The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou, which were presented in alphabetical order, with the same number of acts for each letter.

Edition of 500, 2021

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GIGER SORAYAMA, Various Authors

Posted in art, books, illustration on June 28th, 2021
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This book accompanies a two-artist exhibition co-curated by Alessio Ascari and Shinji Nanzuka, bringing together for the very first time the work of Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama and Swiss artist HR Giger. Touring from PARCO Museum in Tokyo to PARCO Event Hall in Osaka between December 2020 and February 2021, the exhibition coincides with the 80th anniversary of Giger’s birth and features over 50 works ranging from the late 1960s to the present day.

The catalogue, designed by Swiss-based art direction firm Kasper-Florio with Samuel Bänziger, features a foreword by co-curator Alessio Ascari, a critical essay by Venus Lau, an interview with the late HR Giger by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Patrick Frey, and a recent interview with Sorayama by Ascari. It comes with a 50x70cm two-sided poster, and two 20cm die-cut stickers.

Born and trained at opposite ends of the world, Sorayama and Giger are apparently at odds—one’s bright colors are swallowed by the other’s dark chiaroscuro; one’s enthusiastic outlook on technology borders with the other’s nightmarish dystopia; one’s “super-realism” challenges the other’s surrealism—yet they share more than meets the eye. Both emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, becoming acknowledged masters of airbrush painting and influential creators beyond the boundaries of the traditional art world, blurring the relationship between commercial and personal work. But more importantly, at the very core of their practice lies a similar concern: an obsessive investigation of AI, eternal life, and the fusion of organic and apparatus. Gynoids (female androids) are predominant subjects, conjuring the post-human and the apotheosis of the woman to reveal an underlying tension between life, death, power and desire.

Hajime Sorayama (b. 1947 in Imabari, Ehime prefecture) has established his position as a legendary artist, both within Japan and internationally, for his extensive oeuvre that centers upon an ongoing pursuit for beauty in the human body and the machine. Best known for his precisely detailed, hand-painted portrayals of voluptuous women, obtained through an astoundingly artful use of a wide array of realistic expressional techniques, most prominently airbrush painting, the artist’s international recognition is inextricably tied to his signature series titled “Sexy Robot” (1978-) featuring erotic android figures clad in shiny chrome metal, and to AIBO, the award-winning robotic pet he designed for SONY in 1999.

Hans Ruedi Giger (1940–2014) was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer known for his biomechanical creatures, extraterrestrial landscapes, and disturbing sexual machines. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he employed a staggering variety of media, including furniture, movie props, prints, paintings and sculptures, often creating exhibition displays and total environments with the immersive quality of a wunderkammer—including, most notably, the HR Giger Museum in Gruyères. In 1979, his concept design for Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) won an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects and catapulted to fame his daunting vision of death and futurism.

Designed by Kasper-Florio
With texts by Alessio Ascari, Venus Lau, Hans Ulrich Obrist

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