Da Grau. Samir Laghouati-Rashwan. Melon Books

Posted in Artist Book, books on May 23rd, 2022
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Da Grau is an iconographic research on the practice of rearing. The collection of images taken from the internet traces of representations of the gesture in the equestrian portrait to the young riders in rural and suburban areas. Samir thwarts Google algorithms to find representations of women on horseback or on motorcycles and non-western men, for this he searches these images by entering the word rearing in different languages such as the term «da grau» in Brazilian.

Samir Laghouati-Rashwan, born in 1992 in Arles and currently based in Marseille, is a French artist who graduated from the École supérieure d’art & de design Marseille-Méditerranée. In his practice, Samir Laghouati-Rashwan seizes upon small objects masquerading as mundane, quotidian, contemporary and above all apolitical. A tonic bottle or a tracksuit rolled up at the ankle. Shopping trolleys and caravan car windows. The work that he develops around these objects however undermines their claim to be anodyne; they become bearers of colonial histories and geopolitical complexes.

Samir Laghouati-Rashwan has recently shown his work in the exhibition “Hijack City” at the Scep gallery (2021, Marseille), the festival “Les Chichas de la pensée” at Magasins généraux (2021, Pantin), « Sur pierres brûlantes » at Friche de la Belle de Mai (2020, Marseille) or in « Diaspora at home » in Fondation Kadist (2022, Paris).

Born in 1992 in Arles, lives and works in Marseille.

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Appointed Habitus Set. Katja Eydel. Monroe Books

Posted in Artist Book, books, photography on May 22nd, 2022
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The book presents three work groups by Katja Eydel all derived from online research on commercial or promotional photography. Appointed is based on announcements for contemporary art exhibitions and projects, Habitus investigates liturgical clothing and props for Christian priests and monks and Set consists of rephotographed portraits of children that were used in packaging.

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Vertige profonde. Vava Dudu. Editions Salon du Salon

Posted in art, Artist Book on May 13th, 2022
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This fanzine is entitled “Vertige Profonde”, Vava Dudu, an exhibition that took place at the Salon du Salon in Marseille in 2017.

Vava Dudu’s solo exhibition “Vertige Profonde,” at Philippe Munda’s Marseille gallery, Salon du Salon, is visually balanced to the point of stillness. Carefully laid out grids of pen and ink drawings on notebook paper and scrawled across the thin cotton sheets that line the walls can do nothing to disturb this equilibrium. Small mounds stand out invitingly, sketched with slim lines inside abstract folds. Holes weep as the silhouettes of fingers slide into them. Disembodied breasts drip, cupped lightly in large hands. What kind of soft volume is that finger spreading beneath and around it with its insistence on the vertical axis? ‘Does it matter?’ Dudu’s drawings seem to say. There is nothing balanced about desire, and yet here it is, stilled, caught on rectangles of paper and cloth, so that one can focus on the implications just of that one mouth and the hand that is tangled around whatever it is sucking on.

“Vertige Profonde” is French for intense vertigo, but in the word profonde there is also the suggestion of a phenomenon that is underlying, as though vertigo were at the foundation of sexual play. The spinning, de-centering center of human experience. As Dudu’s iconographic drawings spill down a rosé sheet meticulously pinned to the wall, its surface tension breaking only to accommodate a wrought-iron radiator, it is easy to see her graphic accumulation as the dizziness of the body caught in time with another body. The fact that the exhibition as a whole is still, nevertheless, results from the fact that there is nothing abject about desire as Dudu envisions it. There is violence, a lack of orientation and of any ultimate climax in her work, but it does not speak to what happens to the body before or after vertigo; there is no motive and no collapse.

Dudu has a reputation for being uncategorizable, an intense iconoclast with a vision governed by irreverence and intuitive play. As a fashion stylist, she made corsets for Jean-Paul Gautier, and then started her own line of accessories using ancient beads. With Fabrice Lorrain, she won the prestigious ANDAM prize for fashion in 2001 on the basis of a series of fashion performances in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dudu and Lorrain’s innovation was to repurpose used clothing and other material, amalgamating existing garments rather than producing clean or freshly coherent clothing. Together they made pieces for Lady Gaga, Björk, and Cat Power. In 2003, Dudu founded La Chatte, French for pussy, an electro-rock-punk-queer-pop band, for which she creates elaborate costumes like the one she wore for an interview at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris when their album “Crash Ocean” was released in 2014. Her psychedelic stockings are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s early color palette. These are topped by a giant, bright yellow puffer jacket out of which two plastic, wilted, white women’s heads are spilling out of the jacket’s collar on either side of Dudu’s own.

Salon du Salon occupies two adjoining rooms on the third floor of a spacious old bourgeois apartment on l’Avenue du Prado, a wide boulevard radiating out of the center of Marseille towards the South and into the city’s richer neighborhoods. Philippe Munda has run the gallery for four years at its current location, which is also his residence. He is interested in what it means to live with others adjacent to this kind of space.

French bourgeois apartments have an internalized separation of public and private. With its cavernous ceilings, its French windows giving onto a shallow city balcony that lines the entire building, Salon du Salon is intimate without succumbing to informality. This space was designed to encompass social masquerade at the scale of the body, and so it breathes, unlike its massive post-industrial cousin.

The two rooms also separate two very distinct moods in Dudu’s work: one rosé and the other red and black. On either side of the arched doorway that opens between these spaces, Dudu and Munda installed a pair of jackets that are among the few works Dudu did not create in situ as part of her short residency leading up to the exhibition. A red jacket and a black jacket were halved and then sown together with the opposite half of its twin, so that each is red and black. The word “security” is thus split, as is a black star against a red ground. Across both is stitched the phrase, “vous n’avez pas répondu à mon regard,” which translates to “you did not respond to my gaze,” but the address is formal. I read the security jacket as the uniform of mercenary authority and the starred jacket as the representative of some mixture of punk and old-school communism, another kind of order, and only slightly less authoritarian than its twin.

If there is no collapse in “Vertige Profonde,” there is nevertheless an admission of the failure of systems to suture all subjects equally within the fabric of society, into order or counter-order. This failure on the part of the uniformed to respond to the gaze of an Other is the violent pair to desire, it is the other center-less center of society. The refusal to be ethical, the refusal to look, is ultimately the refusal to be undone by the possibility of another’s desire.

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Posted in Artist Book, events, Motto Berlin event, Motto Berlin store on May 10th, 2022
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Dear friends,

Please join us for the release of EVERYTHING LOOK BETTER WITH LOVE, artist book by MICHAËL SELLAM published by SALON DU SALON.

THURSDAY MAY 12th, at 7pm

In the presence of the publisher and friends.

Skalitzer Str. 68, im Hinterhof
10997 Berlin


The protocol for the production of the book EVERYTHING LOOKS BETTER WITH LOVE published at Editions Salon du Salon is simple. There is a certain nonchalance, few gestures. These gestures directly question how a work is produced. The forms produced would have what Tristan Garcia calls an equal ontological dignity.

“We live in this world of things, where a cutting of acacia, a gene, a computer-generated image, a transplantable hand, a musical sample, a trademarked name, or a sexual service are comparable things”. (Tristan Garcia, Form and Object: A Treatise on Things, Edinburgh University Press, 2014, p. 1.)

It is a question of experimenting with a whole system of possible operations carried out with an unfailing form of love for things, gestures and beings.

—Michaël Sellam, Paris

SALON DU SALON is a project dedicated to contemporary art and a publishing house based in Marseille, France. Since December 2013, SALON DU SALON work with artists, authors and curators invited to develop proposals. Forms and development of collaboration are based upon the projects themselves, and have included, residencies, research, performance art, exhibition, publishing, and more.

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Borrowing Positions: Role-playing Design & Architecture. Ott Kagovere, Kaisa Karvinen, Tommi Vasko (Eds.). Lugemik

Posted in architecture, Artist Book, books, design on May 6th, 2022
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2nd Edition

A speculative book reflecting on design and architecture centred LARPs (Live Action Role-Play) organised by the Trojan Horse collective. The book is an exploration of Live Action Role-Play as a design and architecture research tool. By inviting the reader to try on different characters, switch roles and reconsider their everyday practices, the book aims to approach issues such as identity, performativity, gender, colonialism, care and fear in the context of architecture, design and urban planning.

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AIDS: You Can’t Catch It Holding Hands. Niki de Saint Phalle. The Lapis Press

Posted in Artist Book, illustration on April 20th, 2022
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Provides the facts on how AIDS can and can’t be transmitted, and how to prevent the spread of this disease, in the form of a letter from a mother to her son.

Condition: fine. Minor shelf wear and signs of age.

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Taxonomy of The Barricade. Image Acts of Political Authority in May 1968. Wolfgang Scheppe. NERO

Posted in Artist Book, books, history on April 14th, 2022
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An iconographic taxonomy—researched, conceived, and ideated by Wolfgang Scheppe, also author of the book’s final essay—that traces the state and police visual control through almost 500 images from the May 1968 police archives in Paris.

The pictorial order of a regime of surveillance applied during the last wide-ranging insurgence in Europe’s history surfaces from the analysis of this unique visual archive. Following the events happening at the Sorbonne in May 1968, alongside general strikes and nationwide factory occupations, France’s state of emergency becomes apparent through a specific iconography of visual control.

This critical moment in the development of governmental visualization strategies towards a totalitarian god’s perspective on the urban fabric has been researched and documented for the first time, by employing the vast photo archives of the Archives de la Préfecture de police de Paris. Among other characteristic typologies of authoritative monitoring aspects, the events in May ’68 marked the historic beginning of the deployment of helicopter based aerial photography as a means of governmental crowd control in a situation of escalating insurrection. The political will to gain an unobstructed view on any individual motion pattern represented in the project leads to epistemically-new technologies that combine observation with political governance, and the use of force as recently manifested in the agency of drones and face recognition.

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The Library of Mr. & Mrs. Neutra. Jeff Khonsary, Benjamin Critton (Eds.). New Documents; Marta

Posted in Artist Book, books on April 13th, 2022
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The Library of Mr. & Mrs. Neutra uses the built environment of Richard and Dione Neutra’s VDL House (1932/1965) as a space for site-specific research into the content and material structure of the modernist architect’s library. Working to document the volumes collected in the Los Angeles residence and studio’s extensive library, this book indexes the specific, lived history of a personal book collection marked by its owner’s professional, personal, and familial relationships.

Published on the occasion of Built In organized in the fall of 2021, co-curated by Erik Benjamins and Marta, Los Angeles.

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A Book On A Proposed House Museum For An Unknown Crying Man. Mahmoud Khaled, Sara El Adl (Eds.). DAAD

Posted in Artist Book, books on April 12th, 2022
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This book is an extension and continuation of an artwork titled Proposal for a House Museum of an Unknown Crying Man by artist Mahmoud Khaled, in which he imagines a house museum for an anonymous person who has entered Egypt’s queer history as an „unknown crying man“ and iconic image.

Mahmoud Khaled was able to continue and complete his work on the performative publication A Book on a Proposed House Museum for an Unknown Crying Man during his residency as a Fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2020 and 2021.

With texts by Sara El Adl, Bassam El Baroni, Edwin Nasr, Hannah Elsisi, Lina Attalah, Ismail Fayed, Hicham Awad.

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Robert Brambora – Images, Texts, Ceramics. Various Authors. Motto Books

Posted in Artist Book, Motto Books on April 5th, 2022
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with contributions by Susanne Mierzwiak, Moritz Scheper and a conversation between Lucie Sotty and Robert Brambora.

Graphic design: Paul Bowler

Robert Brambora (born in 1984, Germany) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He completed his studies in the class of Rebecca Warren at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2015.

The work of the artist takes as its subject the current neoliberal system and its impact on the individual, as measured under Marxist analysis. It particularly approaches issues such as working conditions, school dropouts, stress-related illnesses, anxiety and loneliness, the housing crisis, and overpopulation as so many causes leading to alienation in our contemporary societies. Also at the heart of his questioning is the analysis of a sense of loss of points of reference, of a form of time distortion generated by these stress conditions. The artist seeks to extract the waking hallucination – the onirism – from these crisis situations.
Robert Brambora practice primarily develops itself in two ways: he creates on the one hand paintings and ceramics, in the realm of traditional techniques and media, and on the other hand large format panels upon which texts are laser-engraved. The most recent text works address issues such as the real estate market crisis and financial speculation. These texts are based on political journals, excerpts of conversations and comments from internet forums, as well as personal notes. The artist draws equally from scientific articles from medical journals, evoking afflictions related to anxiety, as well as theoretical essays on the economic competition faced by individuals. These extracts are then reworked, superimposed on each other to create a three-dimensional pictorial space, which sometimes evokes the outlines of architecture.

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