Symbols abound in Shannon Ebner’s work. She uses them as if they were words in a poem, emphasizing their polysemy and multiplying the number of potential meanings and interpretations. Like musical scores, her alphabets make intervals and suspensions literal and thus visible. They include the “other” (silence, non-verbal signs, misspellings, handwriting) as a presence whose meaning must be negotiated. They capitalize what is usually repressed in written language (or simply taken for granted), in order to reinstate another structure of understanding. Language is an expression of order and Ebner makes this very clear by giving each letter the weight of concrete. STRIKE slows down the pace of reading to its zero degree. One letter, one page. One letter, one page. A slash. An exercise in reading akin to our first decodings of the written word, when we started, as children, learning how to do things “by the book.”
For almost 15 years now, the two Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmao + Pedro Paiva have been constructing an imaginative journey through films, photographs, installations, and sculptures that encapsulate philosophical, existential, and conceptual issues.
Produced in conclusion to a series of exhibitions—which began in 2011 with “Alien Theory” at frac île-de-france, and le plateau in Paris, by way of Museo Marino Marini in Florence, and ended with “Papagaio”, 2014–15 (premiering at HangarBicocca in Milan then moving on to the Camden Arts Centre in London)—Teoria Extraterrestre is the most complete monograph to date on João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva, condensing nearly four years of work and thought that have been compiled into a film cosmogony by the artists themselves. This book has been published also on the occasion of a seminar organized by Fondazione Donnaregina per le Arti Contemporanee / Museo Madre, Naples.
Torbjørn Rødland: Sasquatch Century presents a rich visual flow of Norwegian artist Torbjørn Rødland’s work, followed by an introduction by curator Milena Hoegsberg, and a commissioned essay by writer and curator Linda Norden. Norden’s text, digests the beginning photographic rhythms, and provides an insightful lens to interpret and re-examine Rødland’s complex practice. As Norden says:
“The question we are left with is less about what to make of a given image’s contents than it is about Rødland’s larger ambition toward symbolism, or the workings of a post-millennial mythology. These are ambitions that set him apart from his predecessors; but his photography still trades on the manipulative strategies of advertising and institutional politics that have dominated culturally savvy, would-be critical photography from at least the Pictures Generation onward. Throughout, the question has been: How might images that traffic in cultural coding do more than serve as catechisms for the feedback loops that define our moment?”
The title Sasquatch Century refers to the mythical, hairy, humanoid creature historically viewed as the precursor to Bigfoot. The Sasquatch has been solidified in mythology and pop-culture through a simultaneous belief in and denial of its existence. As such the phenomenon embodies many of the artist’s interests in activating the tension between myth and reality, between the familiar and ungraspable, and the constructed and authentic.
The publication supplements the exhibition of the same title on view at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter January 23 – April 26, 2015.
“Having dispensed with their official role and elitist nature, Fluxus books occupied an entirely clandestine position, shirking conventional forms—not only in terms of their conception, creation, distribution and proposal—breaking all commercial ties and assuming the role of an instrument of struggle to make an impact, in their own way, on the dichotomy between life and art. This allowed artists to enjoy full autonomy in the production of their works and to become their own publishers, as well as to make use of new printing processes, often at a low cost, for broader distribution (stencils, photocopies, offset).
Books replaced museums, art galleries and theaters, and thus had to contain not only their usual informative capacities, but also the intermedial potential of artistic practice. They became events as well as containers of thoughts and images, and the physical presence of artistic objects. The traditional structure of the book object was found increasingly inadequate to contain all this, so it was transformed into a boîte, container, binder or box. [...]
This is not intended to be an account of the Fluxbook’s history, as in any case the very nature of Fluxus as something fluid and uninterrupted makes it difficult to document historically. This first detailed study of the artist’s book within the Fluxus movement presents its aesthetic research as one of the most productive and irreverent transformations of the book medium. Hence, there was no need for comments by critics, which are not relevant to this study. The few explanatory notes below and, more than anything else, the images of the books themselves, are sufficient to present their nature and development.”
“A filmmaker’s filmmaker whose movies are so tough-minded and lucid it is as if they were produced to demonstrate the marvels of the motion picture apparatus” – J. Hoberman
Ernie Gehr (b. 1943, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is one of the leading figures in American avant-garde cinema, and his Serene Velocity (1970) remains one of the best-known works of experimental film.
Entirely self-taught, Gehr was inspired to begin making films in the 1960s after he chanced upon a screening of a Stan Brakhage work. Closely associated since the ’70s—along with masters like Hollis Frampton and Paul Sharits—to the Structural movement, in the course of his career Gehr has created an unsurpassed body of work in film and video that combines richly conceived, rigorous cinematic structures with a profound sensitivity to the physical world around him.
This publication, created on the occasion of “Bon Voyage”, the first solo exhibition ever dedicated to his work by an art institution, includes a long interview with Ernie Gehr by Andrea Bellini (curator of the exhibition, and director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva), and two seminal essays by Ken Eisenstein and John G. Hanhardt on Gehr’s most recent output, as well as a visual essay specifically composed for this book by Gehr himself.
Despite a prolific and diverse practice, Robert Overby (1935–93) remains one of the best-kept secrets in post-war American art. While rarely exhibiting during his lifetime, he nonetheless built up an extraordinary, multifaceted body of work encompassing sculpture, installation, painting, photography, print and collage.
This monograph is published on the occasion of “Robert Overby: Works 1969-1987”, the first survey exhibition of the artist’s work to be organized in Europe. Edited by Alessandro Rabottini —in collaboration with Andrea Bellini and Martin Clark—it has been conceived, from the outset, as a joint project of four partner institutions: Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève; GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo; Bergen Kunsthall, and Le Consortium, Dijon.
“Objects live their lives, going from place to place, just like the rest of us. Their moods change. Some have different temperaments than others—there are the bullies, the nerds, the dandies, the punks, the hippies, the pranksters, the playboys. They have a mind of their own.
Gedi Sibony’s studio has a mind of its own. Ideas come and go, people pass through, decisions are made, problems get solved. There’s enough room to walk around, but there is also a significant amount of stuff in the way—crates, ladders, furniture, rolls of fabric, sheets of cardboard, stored artworks, empty food containers, children’s toys. As any new object arrives, another moves slightly out of the way.” - Anthony Huberman
Painting · Drawing & Sculpture, Collected Works · Gedi Sibony, Volume III brings together a selection of works made over the last fifteen years by Gedi Sibony (b. 1973, New York), alongside texts by Dan Byers, Michael Darling, Sarah French, Agnes Gund, Anthony Huberman, John Hutchinson, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Conny Pur till, Tara Ramadan, Yasmil Raymond, Ami Sibony and others, inspired by the evocative power of the American artist's sculptures and installations.
Published in conjunction with Sietsema’s show at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Seven Films by Paul Sietsema is the first publication devoted to the artist’s films. In the words of Sarah Robayo Sheridan, “Paul Sietsema compounds organic and artificial detritus in all his artwork, scavenging in history’s wake to identify specific tools of cultural production and foraging for concepts of art promulgated in the words of artists and attitudes of critics. He mines film as a vestige, the medium of the mechanical age, pressing and squeezing its very obsolescence through a contemporary sieve. In so doing, the artist hovers in the switchover between a bodily inscription in the image and a fundamental reconstitution of sight and representation in the matrix of the virtual. Where body stops and image starts is a divide collapsing through a series of innovations and accidents that go back as far as the people of Pompeii trapped in an emulsion that marked their death, but which paradoxically carried forward their image into eternity.”
“New Management” refers to the legendary management philosophy that Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of the Samsung Group, infamously introduced in the early nineties. “The New Management” principle was first proclaimed in 1993 at a high-level executive meeting at the Kempinski Hotel Frankfurt Gravenbruch near Frankfurt am Main International Airport. Lee flew in his entire top management from around the world for a three-day conference, emphasizing the need to globalize and preparing his employees for a new philosophy of change he was going to introduce in order to turn Samsung into a global market leader in all its sectors. This seminal meeting became known within the company as the “Frankfurt Declaration.” In the introduction to the publication, Simon Denny writes: “In Portikus one sees a fantastic conglomeration of material that tries to monumentalize [Samsung’s] powerful cultural message; arranging imagined and remade objects around excerpts from Lee Kun-hee’s texts and Samsung’s history. I’ve tried to stay close to the context it describes: the global material language of corporate pride and presentation.” In commissioning two different English translations of New Management, a publication in Korean about the philosophy and history of Chairman Lee’s legacy, Denny investigates existing hierarchies. On the one hand, the material carries with it extremely specific cultural and economic meaning and value, and on the other, it forms a part of global culture and public information. The same goes for Samsung’s comic version of New Management and the inclusion of Sam Grobart’s article on Samsung that originally ran in Bloomberg Businessweek. Denny levels the role of the artist with those of the professional from a tech company, a journalist, an independent contractor hired through freelancer.com, and finally the viewer of the work
Developed as a reference monograph, the first to be published on the Italian artist Francesco Gennari, this volume offers insights into the artist’s body of work—composed of sculptures, drawings, and installations—coherently spanning the last 20 years of his artistic practice.
Published on the occasion of Gennari’s upcoming exhibition at Museo Marino Marini, Florence (November 2014) the book includes an anthology of works selected by the artist documenting almost every series he has worked on and developed since the beginning of his career. A selection of essays further elaborates the systems operating in the living structures created by the artist . . . and his alter ego, “the demiurge.”
The reference monograph on the American artist Michelle Grabner, this volume offers an expansive look at an artist whose body of work and sphere of influence continue to gain recognition. Published on the occasion of the the artist’s retrospective at the MOCA Cleveland, the book documents works from the last 20 years, positioning the studio as core to a remarkably diverse output—paintings, drawings, prints, videos, and sculptures. Considering Grabner’s pursuit of art making, criticism, and curating as inextricably linked, this publication seeks to highlight the distinctive values and ideas that drive Grabner’s practice: woking outside of dominant systems, working tirelessly, and working across platforms.
Corin Hewitt’s performative installations use exhibition spaces as sites for production. Integrating process and display strategies, Hewitt offers viewers the simultaneous encounter of an artwork and the action that brought it to be. This book, published after the artist’s exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, brings together the documentation of seven installations, produced from 2007 up to the 2013, including preparatory sketches, process shots, exhibition documentation, and discrete photographic works. This visual mass helps understand Hewitt’s practice as a continuum of interconnected actions and materializations, instances of generative discovery and contextual play.
Starting in the mid-1990s, Joachim Koester developed an oeuvre that could be described as a complex web in which journalistic and historical research fuses with personal and fictive narratives. He belongs to an artists’ generation whose practices are based on what Hal Foster once described as the “archival approach.” Balancing the thin line between documentary and fiction, Koester’s films, photos, and installations reexamine and activate forgotten histories, failed utopias, and the obsolete. In his work, bygone counter-cultural movements reemerge in the same way that geographical and spiritual journeys are retraced.
Joachim Koester: Of Spirits and Empty Spaces is published to accompany five independent, complementary exhibitions of the work of Joachim Koester, at Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne; List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; S.M.A.K., Ghent; and Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève.
In Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating ten distinguished contemporary curators pose and then propose answers to a series of key questions related to curating, art and exhibition making today: What Is a Curator? What Is the Public? What Is Art? What About Collecting? What Is an Exhibition? Why Mediate Art? What To Do with the Contemporary? What About Responsibility? What Is the Process? How About Pleasure?
The book originates from a series of ten commissioned essays for Mousse magazine, appeared over a period of two years, in 2011 and 2012.
Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating is a project published by Mousse in collaboration with the Fiorucci Art Trust.
This publication represents one of the many spaces occupied by Doug Ashford's work. As the first collection of his writings and conversations, it attempts to encompass the changing ideas to which the artist has subscribed over the past 25 years. Doug Ashford is a teacher, artist, and writer. He has taught design, sculpture, and theory at Cooper Union in New York since 1989. From 1982 to 1996, his primary artistic activity was as a member of Group Material, and since then he has gone on to paint, write, and produce other cross-disciplinary projects.
Co-published with Grazer Kunstverein.
“Here we are, we’ve arrived on an island jungled with palm trees. Soaring thin trunks, crowned with extended leaves, sway in response to the traveling wind.” So begins the new book by Canadian artist Zin Taylor, a recount of the formative power of music, rock bands, record shops, zines and, mostly, fortuitous encounters. The fog, a metaphor for how elusive memory can be, in its in-between state, is “breath made thick,” and the narratives collected by Taylor echo the structure of a generative cycle, “the ecosystem of the jungle.”
Des Savoirs Bouleversés is a publication inscribed in “Unsettled Knowledge,” a cycle of exhibitions which has explored the propensity for artists to engage with knowledge from fields beyond their own area of specialism. This book and additional instalment concludes the cycle by taking one further step into the relationship between art, knowledge and specialism as observed in the three exhibitions. It features the work of artists—Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Aurélien Froment, Goldin+Senneby, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Jochen Lempert, Marie Lund, Benoît Maire, Melvin Moti, Benjamin Seror, Simon Starling, and Claudia Triozzi—who wear several hats (scientist, historian, economist, storyteller) and are committed to bridging art and other specialised fields of knowledge. Their practice entails borrowing methodologies from distinct disciplines, infiltrating disparate subject areas and collaborating with agents from further afield in the interests of new forms, new languages, new questionings, and new readings.
“Distance is far, nobody said. (Somebody, surely.)” So begins Quinn Latimer’s strange, elliptical account of an exhibition and a body of work by Sarah Lucas that the poet and critic has never seen, made and installed in a city she had not yet visited. In the spring of 2012 the renowned English artist’s exhibition “NUDs” was mounted in Mexico City at Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, the famed pyramid-like museum built by the muralist and architect Juan O’Gorman to house Rivera’s approximately 50,000 Mesoamerican artifacts and objects. In the summer of 2012 Latimer found herself in Elba, the island of Napoleon’s exile, where she embarked on this small, charged book. In four interconnected essays, the writer limns the myriad impressions, ideas, objects, personages, and histories relevant to Lucas’s fantastically transparent yet complicated “NUDs,” and their storied making and installation in Mexico. Exploring shame, passivity, palindromes and fertility statuary, as well as notables including Antonin Artaud, Napoleon, Susan Sontag and Mary Wollstonecraft, Describe This Distance is at once an adroit art-historical study and a poetic travelogue, once or twice removed.
This is the first volume of “Air Mexico,” a literary series investigating art exhibitions initiated by Mousse and commissioned by kurimanzutto. Describe This Distance is co-published with Sadie Coles HQ.
This new monograph on the work of English film and video artist John Smith, conceived and designed in collaboration with the artist, provides thorough insight into a highly original and diverse practice spanning over forty years. Lavishly illustrated with still images and synopses from a complete filmography comprising nearly fifty film and video works, the book contains essays by Ian Christie, Martin Herbert, Kathrin Meyer and Ethan de Seife. Herbert's text provides an incisive overview of Smith's work over the past four decades, while Christie examines his oeuvre in relation to the tradition of English eccentrism. Meyer's essay focuses on absence and abstraction in Smith's film The Black Tower, while De Seife looks at cinematic scale through the prism of his film Gargantuan.