OUTSIDE OF A DOG SECOND ENLARGED EDITION
PAPERBACKS & OTHER BOOKS BY ARTISTS
BOOKWORKS, MONGRELS, ETCETERA. “Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx
So I contemplated an exhibition based on the types of books by artists that I had identified. But, after reflecting upon this mode of organisation for a while, I began to think that however useful the categories might be for discussion or even research, a presentation based on them might well be rather academic for the visitors to an exhibition. Other factors that concerned me were that having moved back to London from New York (arguably one of the most important centres for artist books) some years ago, and being no longer involved in regularly acquiring artist books for a substantial collection, I was not seeing as many new books from around the world as I had before. My knowledge was getting stranded in time. Furthermore I felt that I had said most of what I wanted to say about the origins and evolution of artist books, as I see it, in Artist/Author in 1998. In parallel with these factors, now that I was based on the right-hand side of the Atlantic, I had become more aware of the history, quantity and quality of artist books published in Europe, including Eastern Europe. Finally, I had had an eye-opening visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1998, which informed me of the wealth of artist book publishing in Latin America. Thus it dawned upon me that if I were to attempt a more inclusive picture of artist publishing I should seek collaborators. My proposal for the BALTIC exhibition sought, therefore, to overcome the limitations of my own geography and experience, and incorporate other perspectives on the broad field of artist books. There were several people who had published on artist books whose views I respected, and whom I knew would augment my perspectives, so I jotted down their names. Then it occurred to me that I should move beyond critics and curators and try to incorporate those representatives of the larger ecology of artist books who had extensive experience of the field. This led me to jot down
the names of several publishers, booksellers, artists, collectors, and others with overlapping roles. In thinking about geography I sought the names of people involved with artist books who worked in countries beyond my usual acquaintance. The list of names and countries began to lengthen still further and I eventually had far too many names. So I decided to prune back the British and American specialists on my list so that ideas from more countries could be represented. Sune Nordgren also added names. Now that we had our selectors, what were the rules for selection to be? Above all I wanted visitors to the exhibition to be able to handle books. However, artists have generally published their own books in relatively small editions – frequently only a hundred or two – so any artist book more than, say, a decade old might already be scarce or long out of print. The repeated handling of such books in an exhibition was likely to wear them out thereby making them scarcer still. So I decided that older books should be exhibited under glass, while those still in print could be bought in multiple copies for handling in the exhibition anticipating that some would wear out. This decision led me to separate the two groups by century: twentieth century books (19501999) would be in cases; twenty-first century books (20002003) would be available to be handled. I road-tested this idea on myself and found it relatively easy to select old favourites for the last century, but much more challenging to select books for the new century. So I decided to present this same challenge to our chosen selectors. The eventual request to selectors was for a list of 6-10 artist books from the period 1950-1999, 3-6 artist books from 2000-2003, and a short statement of 100-500 words commenting on or explaining their selections. The responses that Sune Nordgren and I received were very instructive. What I had hoped for, diversity, was manifest. But while I had planned for the diversity of origins of individual selectors, their choices of books of diverse genres from many countries other than their own was surprising, and even suggested more of an internationalism than I had expected.
Colin Sackett – Theenglshalphabet, 2002
After Sune Nordgren had asked me if I would like to make an exhibition of books by artists at the BALTIC, and after I had enthusiastically accepted his offer, I was faced with the need to define what I wished to exhibit. The last book exhibition that I had worked on, and co-curated with Cornelia Lauf, Artist/Author: Contemporary Artists’ Books (1), was as its title implied a general survey of contemporary work. It did not seem useful to repeat that prescription. However, in my essay for the catalogue of that exhibition I had come up with a categorisation of ‘artist books’: magazine issues and magazineworks; assemblings and anthologies; writings, diaries, statements and manifestos; visual poetry and wordworks; scores; documentation; reproductions and sketchbooks; albums and inventories; graphic works; comic books; illustrated books; page art, pageworks and mail art; and book art and bookworks (2). Perhaps this could be the basis for a new exhibition?
The results also hinted at a frail consensus of what the key artist books since 1950 might be, and who the key book makers might be.
Helen Douglas – Wild Wood, 1999
In thinking about the exhibition there had been at the back of my mind an idea that I needed to shake up my own ideas, opinions, and view of the history of the subject. Later, as I regarded the selections of my collaborators, and as I wrestled with my own choices of books, one consequence was that I dispensed with all my concerns over detailed categorisation and came to the conclusion that artist books are simply books or bookworks (or occasionally in-between mongrels). By this I mean that
some artists use the book in a similar way to writers, while other artists consider the book as an integrated visual entity. (It has been said many times that most writers construct one long line of words, punctuation and spaces, and then let their publishers, or word processors, chop this into regular lengths to fit the pages of a book. This has everything to do with reading, and is characteristic of most books. Can it be that the ‘bookwork’ is the antithesis of the ‘book’?) I have spent a long time trying to explain to myself, and others, what a ‘bookwork’ might be. Indeed I don’t think I had this term to distinguish books that were visual artworks from all the rest, until Ulises Carrión crystallised the words out of a verbal ping-pong that the two of us engaged in during the seventies and eighties. Ulises’ thoughts on this and related subjects were diligently put together in the posthumous gathering of his writings: Quant aux Livres/On Books (3), which includes some retrospective thoughts of my own. To cut a long story short, Ulises ultimately came up with the idea that “bookworks are books in which the book form, a coherent sequence of pages, determines conditions of reading that are intrinsic to the work” (4). Since this definition grew out of my own ideas on the subject, and since Ulises’ death terminated our intermittent dialogue, I have until now let it be. But having pondered the choices of myself and others for this exhibition, I see that while this definition may have been right for Ulises Carrión, who after all began as a writer, it is not right for me. Where I diverge from Ulises is over the notion of ‘reading’. The act of reading has been stretched from reading a literary work, to reading a map, to 3 reading a painting, to reading a city, but in essence it applies to the decoding of writing.
At this point perhaps I can be permitted to interpolate a fragment of my own history. Like most kids my early encounters with books were with picture books. I looked at these books over and over again. Next I learned to read and enjoyed books with words and pictures, until finally I borrowed books from the local mobile library that had no pictures at all. I won’t say that this was a traumatic moment, but I will say that I still remember the change to a different mode of understanding that required you to make up the pictures out of your own head! What I am getting at is that, if we accept that reading is “the decoding of writing”, the other activity we engage in with books by artists is looking. Thus, simplistically, we read artist books, but we look at artist bookworks. My ongoing preoccupation with the identification of bookworks is over the nature of those books that are artworks, designed to be looked at, and designed specifically page by page, verso by recto, opening by opening, to constitute an integrated flowing whole. The word ‘bookwork’ has unfortunately been kidnapped and used to describe any kind of book made by an artist, especially, it seems, conspicuously three-dimensional unique craft objects that only resemble books – a long way from the ‘democratic’ impulse behind the original mass-produced printed artist books. But maybe this is not too important? I have simply found the word ‘bookwork’ useful to designate a certain kind of artwork embodied in the codex book form. After thinking again about the books that I chose for this exhibition I have come to see a related pair of opposed characteristics other than books and bookworks, which is, visual books and verbal books. Thus the books that I have chosen to exhibit by Ruscha, LeWitt, Stokes, Osborn, Jaar, Douglas, Downsbrough and Zubeil are primarily visual books, or books for looking at. Whereas the books by Weiner, Ross, Durham and Sackett are primarily verbal books, or books for reading. In the middle are those books that contain not only the words that tend to drive the reader through the book from left to right, but also images or design features that subvert the march of reading and encourage more looking around. These verbi-visual books include the books by Piper, Hompson and the Smiths. But this categorisation is not quite the end of the matter, for besides this division of artist books into visual, verbi-visual and verbal, there is the dualism of books and bookworks to be considered. The visual books that I have listed are also all bookworks, that is “integrated visual entities”. However, it seems to me that the verbal books by Weiner and Sackett are also “integrated visual entities”; their placing of letters and words is very considered. So I think we
can ultimately talk of artist books in terms of: visual bookworks, verbal bookworks, verbi-visual bookworks and other books. These ‘other books’ would include verbal and visual books that do not exist as self-sufficient artworks, books such as artists’ sketchbooks or theoretical writings. Of course my obsession with categorisation - or more generously, my obsession with understanding - does not affect my enjoyment of these books. After all, my choices range over all the categories, and each is significant to me in a different way. But awareness of the fact that some artist books are artworks, while others may be literary works, should help dispel some of the confusion around the term ‘artist book’.
SELECTORS LISTS AND STATEMENTS JUAN AGIUS 1950 – 1999: GREENHAM, Peter. – Redberry Court. Hanhlung in 60 Einstellung. Brühl (D), Verlag Hagar 1966. 185x135 mm., softcovers, unpaginated. Typography. Edition of 100 copies. CASTILLEJO, Jose L. – The book of the eighteen letters. Madrid, published by the author (ZAJ) 1972. 235x160 mm., hardcovers, dust jacket, unpaginated. Offset. Edition of 350 copies. GRAYSON, Roy. – Painting book. London, published by the artist1972. 177x177 mm., soft covers, non-pag. Offset.
Finally, the fact that this publication and exhibition brings together the choices of well over twenty people from many countries, with diverse experience of artist books, should help all of us to re-examine the received histories and definitions of this mongrel medium. In addition the discovery of new books by artists that this method of collaborative selection brings forth will be its own reward.
CLIVE PHILLPOT (1) Cornelia Lauf & Clive Phillpot, Artist/Author: Contemporary Artists’ Books. New York: Distributed Art Publishers & The American Federation of Arts, 1998. (2) Ibid. p.38. (Latterly I have come to think that ‘book art and bookworks’ might best be left out of this array.) (3) Ulises Carrión, Quant aux Livres/On Books. Geneva: Héros-Limite, 1997. (4) Ibid. p.170
PALOU, Joan. – Llibre amb una sola fulla! Palma de Mallorca (E), published by the author (1976). 193x118 mm., softcovers, unpaginated. A green printed leaf in the middle of pink pages. CARRION, Ulises. – In Alphabetical Order. Amsterdam, CRES 1978. 210x150 mm., softcovers, unpaginated. Offset. Edition of 250 copies. CARRION, Ulises. – The Muxlows. (Düsseldorf), Leaman 1978. 230x110 mm., stapled unpaginated. Offset. Edition of 300 copies. HILLER, Susan. – Sisters of Menon. London, Gimpel Fils 1983. 290x200 mm., grey card covers, each of which spray painted and hand coloured by Hiller herself unpaginated. Original lithographic illustrations. Edition of 750 copies.
HIGGINS, Dick. – Happytime the Medicine Man. Madrid/Genève, Estampa /Agius 1992. 210x140 mm., softcovers, 58pp. Offset. One of the 100 numbered and signed copies. (Events, 3). Also 200 numbered copies. CARRION, Ulises. – Vers la Poésie, Looking for Poetry, Tras la Poesia. Genève, Héros-Limite 1996. 150x100 mm., br., 116 pp. Typography. 2nd edition of 200 copies. WARHOL, Andy. – a, A Novel. New York, NY, Grove Press1998. 210x140 mm., soft covers, 458pp. Offset. First paperback edition (2nd edition).
2000 – 2003: FARMAN, Nola. – Microbilia. Sydney (AU), The Garden Path Press 2000 FARMAN, Nola, – The Book of dark Pages. Sydney (AU), The Garden Path Press 2000 FARMAN, Nola. – The Elevator Rider’s Companion. Sydney (AU), The Garden Path Press 2002
The works that I am proposing to you here are among those, very numerous, books that we would think, due to their external appearance, could be found on the shelves of an ordinary bookshop. But we do not find them there! For 40 years, thousands of artists’ books have been produced, hundreds of articles, essays and even theses have been published, and numberless events (exhibitions, fairs, symposia, etc.) have been held all around the world. Nevertheless the artist’s book remains even today just as it was 40 years ago, confined in its status as an art object and deprived by this fact of its real vocation: to be a book, a plain book. Indeed, the impressive production of artists’ books and the no less impressive bibliography on the subject has not developed the curiosity of the “reader of texts”, nor the interest to “read” books which embody an expression other than that of the 5 sense of the text.
These works are ignored by big publishers; none of the prestigious publishing houses pay any attention to them. It is as if the artist’s book, this “new art of making books”, had been excluded from the normal free circulation of the culture, kept out of the publishing and distribution system of the classic book, as if confined in a very discreet ghetto accessible only to an elite. To Ulises Carrion who proclaimed in 1983: « we have won, haven’t we? *». I would answer: no, I’m sorry we haven’t won, the book still belongs only to literature! *) Ulises Carrion : We Have Won, Haven’t We ?. In THE FLUE, #3, New York, 1983.
KAATJE CUSSE 1950 – 1999: Ed Ruscha with Mason Williams and Patrick Blackwell – Royal Road Test, 1967 We used to have most of Ruscha’s books but I’m afraid we sublet, moved and stored too often. This book, and some others, didn’t make it to Brussels, unfortunately. I remember it with fondness, I always thought it had a great slapstick / western quality to it and that it came very close to film. John Baldessari – Ingres and Other Parables Published by Studio International Publications Ltd, London, 1972 I have enjoyed John’s parables since I first read them. “Ingres …” touches many aspects of the artist’s reflections on practice, on being an artist and being confronted with the work, with the art world, teaching, … all while being extremely readable, thoughtful, funny… More on this first J.B. book in Coosje van Bruggen’s monograph: “John Baldessari,” Rizzoli 1990 Douglas Huebler – Variable Piece 4 ISBN O-89439-801-5, Printed Matter Inc., N.Y.C., 1973 The book or work consisted in asking visitors to an exhibition to write down a secret on a sheet of paper and putting it in a box, and receiving in exchange someone else’s. The secrets range from sincere to silly, from funny to ugly …
Jacques Charlier – Vernissages des expositions J.Charlier, On Kawara, 7.1.1975, Vereniging voor Tentoonstellingen van het Palais voor Schone Kunsten te Brussel v.z.w., 1975. In 1974, Charlier produced 11 photographic reportages of art world events which he presented on panels; they were shown at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1975, concurrent with an exhibition of On Kawara. These two openings became the subject of the next reportage, which was published as a “catalogue” … Sol LeWitt – Autobiography ISBN 0-9605580-0-4, published by Multiples Inc. and Michael K.Torf, 1980 I have always liked this book for it deals with the aspects of work and life, place and time, the private / professional context used to construct a richly layered work. Recommended reading: Adam D.Weinberg’s excellent essay “LeWitt’s Autobiography: Inventory of The Present” in “Sol LeWitt – A Retrospective” published by SFMoma. Peter Downsbrough – One Column ISBN 3-922760-33-3 Ottenhausen Verlag, 1991 Based on a series of b/w photographs taken in a parking garage in Berkeley, California, in 1979, this book was conceived in 1981 and finally published in 1991. A declination of the space between (cars, lines, columns, walls, inside, outside, open, closed, empty, occupied …) in the space between door and exit; tension builds up, with a clin d’oeil to the roman noir, but in the end, the end remains open.
Dan Graham and Marie-Paule Macdonald – Wild in The Streets: The Sixties ISBN 90 - 72191-72-2, Imschoot, uitgevers, 1994 I first approached Dan to do a book in 1988 and he told me he didn’t do artists’ books. A couple of years later, he called me and talked about wanting to publish the libretto for an opera project that never happened. Marie-Paule Macdonald had done a lot of work on the preparations for the stage designs. The original idea was to make a pop-up book but this proved to be too expensive, and we decided to make it a combination of a project description followed by the libretto.
Klaus Fritsch – Birkenau Herausgegeben von Christine und Paul Vogels im Ottenhausen Verlag, Piesport 1994, ISBN 3-922760-44-9 One of the nice things of being involved with books and publishers is that you wind up with books that you wouldn’t know of otherwise and this is one of them, which I received from Ottenhausen years ago. It may even be the last book they published. Pages of plans of how the barracks were layed out at Birkenau with on the last page the sentence “Das Lager selbst machte einen sauberen Eindruck.” Jennifer Bornstein – Documentation of Events That May Not Have Taken Place I SBN 90-72191-91-9, Imschoot, uitgevers, 1999 The original title “Art School” and the storyline based on what an art student might experience upon leaving school in the “real” world were turned around into a work with a wink to JB’s parables and JW’s photography, all while applying a method used by a former role model, but reversing roles and touching a sore spot and, in the end, standing its own ground very well. Peter Downsbrough – Within (Time) Imschoot, uitgevers, Burggravenlaan 20, 9000 Gent, 1999 Fond recollections of being turned around on a dolly by a visiting friend in order to be photographed at regular intervals and trying not to move. I never realized this project had made it to the book stage until I received the first copy.
SIMON CUTTS For many years I have been involved with Peter Downsbrough who needs to make books, which has drastically changed the way I look at books and relate to books, in various ways. It even lead to starting a fledgling publishing company with an openminded printer and trying to run it with an enthusiastic colleague, an adventure that lasted, as far as I am concerned, until a few years ago, but in my situation it is hard not to get involved with trying to get books done and out …
A Selection of Books from Coracle Press
It has always mattered less to me whether a book can be classified as an artist’s book or not, as a matter of fact, that discussion has failed to captivate my interest, what matters more to me is the way the book fits and evolves within the entire body of work of a given artist. Exhibitions are taken down, buying art requires at least a bit of money and usually a lot. Books are more accessible and usually totally affordable. They can be found, bought, given, become part of your life, or not. That’s up to you.
1985 Texts-Heinz Gappmayr
I have always loved books, but I am not a collector or a theoretician, I just happened to come about and was able to midwife a number of books. Asking me to select such a limited number of titles is cruel therefore my selection is a more or less random mix and match of books on hand at the moment.
1991 Argo: Italian Lesson No.6-Erica Van Horn
1981 Kinds of Clouds-Les Coleman 1982 Song of the Skylark- Hamish Fulton 1983 Sisters of Menon-Susan Hiller 1984 The Foliage Society-John Bevis
1986 New Poems-Robert Lax 1987 Homage to Homage to SeuratSimon Cutts 1988 Chewing Gum et Spaghetti–Simon Cutts 1989 Black Bob-Colin Sackett 1990 lines of thin pale blue and redIan H Finlay & Simon Cutts
1992 Copy-Colin Sackett 1993 Mini-Printer Series 1-Simon Cutts 1994 Interaction & OverlapGeoffrey Soar & David Miller
1996 Gumigas Zimogs-Erica Van Horn
Peter Downsbrough – AND AS HERE ISBN 2-914291-13-2 Copublished by FRAC Bretagne and les Editions Incertain Sens, Rennes, 2002
1997 The A.Goldsworthy QuestionnairesSimon Cutts 1998 Envelope Interior Pin-Up Calendar-Erica Van Horn Dan Graham and Marie-Paule Macdonald Wild in The Streets: The Sixties 1994
Peter Downsbrough – (AS) ISBN 2 - 87284-021-4 Editions Lebeer-Hossmann, Brussels, 2003
1980 A Walk Past Standing Stones-Richard Long
1995 An A-Z of Birdsong-John Bevis
2000 – 2003:
Peter Downsbrough – EN PLACE ISBN 2-910154-16-5, les éditions de l’Aquarium agnostique, c/o Ecole des Beaux-arts de Valenciennes,, 8, Rue Ferrand, F-59300 Valenciennes
1980 – 1999:
1999 anyone-Simon Cutts 2000 – 2003: 2000 Repetivity-RGAP 2001 The Printed Performance: Brian Lane Works-RGAP 2002 Poems for My Shorthand TypistStuart Mills 2003 Little Critic Pamphlets 1-17-Coracle
Artículo (Magazine reports), 1 page Xerox copy in original papers, 2000 Throughout this entire period, from 1980 on, I had the feeling that the issue was not the individualized artists’ book in splendid isolation (and with very little interest in anything outside itself) but a whole platform of publishing in which books of a kind might be available. Once again I realized that the model for such activity would seem to be that of small press publishing, from The Germ of The Pre-Raphaelites through the Futurists and Dadaists, the Vorticists, to the artists’ book of conceptualism, to the continued and current small press poetry publication. The art historical orthodoxy of trying to pivot Ruscha, Weiner et al as an apogee of the activity, seems to me to be both flawed and sentimental, on the one hand fixing it as history whilst on the other adequately authenticating something classic of its kind for the dealers’ lists. Even within this canonical evaluation, it is the platforms of publishing that persist rather than the individual excursions towards printing. Herewith I offer an annual selection from Coracle for the years 1980-2003, with an emphasis on the plainness of the simple bound book, the home-made, and also a self-reflexive concern for publishing of this kind with all its inherent problems of availability and distribution. So difficult are these at times that Les Coleman’s ‘Kinds of Clouds’ was released by helium balloon back in 1981.
MIRTHA DERMISACHE 1950 – 1999: Diario No.1, – Guy Schraenen ed., Antwerp, 1972/75 Cahier No.1, Guy Schraenen ed., Antwerp, 1975 4 cartes postales, – Guy Schraenen ed., Antwerp, 1978 Reportaje (Interviews), 1 page Xerox copy in original papers, 1999 7
2000 – 2003:
Boletín Informativo (News Letters), 6 pages Xerox copies in original papers, 2000/2002 Libro no.8, 1970, – Manglar, Mobil-home, Xul eds., France/Argentina, 2000 Libro no.1, 2003, Manglar, Mobil-home, Xul eds., France/Argentina, 2003-09-21
6. herman de vries 16 dm2 boek, 1974. 7. Scholten, Els. – Nulla da Dire 19881998 Nulla da Dire, or nothing to say, now consists of ten annual volumes of daily collected photographs derived from the Italian newspapers “La Republica” and “La Corriera della Sera”. Each volume represents a selection of more than 300 photographs of one year, based on two criteria: Nonsensational and non-sport. It appeared that very few women passed this selection. Technique: Photocopy, hard cover with a silk-screen printing. Editions: each volume 15 copies. Available volumes: 1988 - 1990 - 1991 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 – 1998. Plus 1988-1998 (female volume). My proposal is: 1988, 1992, 1998 and the one female volume.
1950 – 1999:
2000 – 2003:
1. Dröge Wendel, Yvonne – Objects make our world, 1992. This book documents the marriage between Yvonne Dröge and Furniture Wendel on the 31th of January, 1992 and their honeymoon. Text and 31 photographs of which four in colour. Printed at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. (21 x 21 cm.)
1. Fischli, Peter & David Weiss – Findet mich das Glück?, 2002 Questions (in German) concerning life. Size: 10,5 x 14,5 cm. Printed on black paper.
2. Dröge Wendel, Yvonne – La Benedizione della Macchina. Set of Eight Roadmaps, 1994 This project consists of: Journey to Rome by car-train, exhibition and publication of roadmaps. 3. Baake, Frans – The Chain, 1989 4. Michailov, Boris – volume I: Die Dämmerung (At Dusk), volume II: Am Boden (By the Ground), 1996 Oktagon Verlag, Cologne 5. Heijden, Josef v.d. Thunderstorm – a manual on Rhetorical Delivery, 1994 Including the exercise “Thunderstorm”, registrated and performed by Jozef van der Heijden in 45 black/white photographs. Each photograph shows a movement registration, based on a text, for example “it’s blustering” or “murmuring cars” and accompanied by symbols and symbolic letters indicating the kind of movements of body parts and also the force and rapidity or interruption of the voice.
2. Hans Waanders – Perches, 2001 3. Ohio; Photomagazine, Cologne. 4. Di Bianco, Anita – Corrections and Clarifications, Apologies and Amplifications, 2001 “My original idea about this publication was that it should circulate freely, especially or maybe only because it was conceived as a timed or timely work. Part of the whole point was to make a small but persistent noise against the apparently seamless structure of the militaristic propaganda which overtook almost all american / british media last autumn. As such I think it is most important that it function to subtly penetrate -- in an art-cafe at the Boijmans Museum as part of the opening of the Unpacking Europe exhibition it was distributed on the tables during the panels and presentations for people to discover and engage with in an active or individual way, i.e. by figuring out what it is, what is the agenda of the piece, what is its relation to objectivity or neutrality of information, etc.” (cit. letter Anita Di Bianco)
5. Alatalo, Sally (writing as Anita M-28) – Unforeseen Alliances, 2001 Sara Ranchouse Publishing, Chicago. 6. Boltanski, Christian – Scratch, 2002 Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne.
The most exciting and interesting artists’ books function as slow motions of perception and reflection. Turning over the pages, going from space to space, there is a dosage of characteristic situations, appearances or fragments of language to enable awareness of change, relationships, counterpoints, coherence, beauty. As a unity the artist’s book cannot be an expression, but a step by step approach for the artist and reader, making one’s own film in the mind. This quality to enable a gradual appropriation is unique and something to cherish; the book form enables a kind of layered artwork that cannot exist in any other medium without changing dramatically. For example: Year after year Els Scholten collected photographs from two main Italian newspapers, separating these from their context of meaning, like a text. After a selection based on certain criteria, she archived the photocopied photographs one after another in a book. This process went on for 10 years, resulting in as many annual volumes of “Nulla da Dire”. It’s a wonderful experience to go through the books, revealing the particular resemblance between the photographs. My personal preferences have to do with compelling artists and their oeuvres, more than isolated works in one genre. Without hesitation I could have chosen books out of just one oeuvre, thinking of piles of Kippenbergers, Finlays, Feldmanns, Frontzeks, Waanders, to mention a few. The history of the genre offers a wealth of interesting books. Although I am convinced of the artist’s book as a genre on it’s own, I prefer not to isolate books from other kinds of works in the artist’s oeuvre. The artist’s oeuvre offers a key and the understanding that a book is much more a vehicle to convey meaning than an object to look at. I have tried to make choices that are revealing on their own and that will hopefully make the reader curious - and long to experience more of these artists and this too unknown genre.
LEIF ERIKSSON 1947 – 1999: 1. C-O Hultén, – Drömmar ur bladens händer, (Dreams out of the hands of leaves), Image Förlag, Malmö 1947. This is the very first printed artist´s book in Sweden and published as an alternative to an exhibition at Malmö City Hall 1947. It is also the first edition published by Image Förlag established by C-O Hultén 1947. 2. Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, – På samma gång, (At the same time), Bonniers, Stockholm 1964. Reuterswärd lives Bussigny, Schweiz since 1969. He has published more than 90 pieces related to artists´books and ”the page as alternative space” since 1954. He is one of the earliest conceptual artist and also a pioneer in the field of artists´books both in Sweden and internationally. 3. Öyvind Fahlström, – Minneslista (Till ”Dr Schweitzers sista uppdrag”), Notelist (To ”Dr. Schweizer´s last Mission”), Kerberos, Stockholm 1964. This is the first published work by Fahlström. Kerberos editions were published by Åke Hodell one of the leading visual, concrete and sound poets in Sweden. 4. Berndt Petterson, – i påsen, (in the bag), bo cavefors bokförlag, Uddevalla 1965. Bo Cavefors Bokförlag have published over 800 editions since 1959. among the titles you find some of the earliest published artists´books, which this is the very first. 5. Nils Olof Bonnier, – Struktur, (Structure), selfpublished 1968. 6. Sture Johannesson, – S.K.O., Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, Lund 1975. Johannesson is internationally known for his flower power posters in 1960s and 1970s. 7. Torsten Ridell – Lines of Permutation, Wedgepress & Cheese, Malmö 1981. Ridell is working as a concretist and lives in Paris. His piece is the first computer related work ever published which he developed at A. R. T. A. Atelier de
Recherches Techniques Avancees, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 1978/79. 8. Leif Elggren, – Cu, (framförande XIX) (Cu performance XIX), Phauss, Stockholm/Göteborg 1982. Leif Elggren is a publisher of artists´books by Fire Work Edition. The content in Cu (Coppar) is a documentation of a drypoint image with an EP-record of the sound. 9. Magnus Wallin, – Mary…, selfpublished, Malmö 1995. Magnus Wallin is more known as video artist. His artist´s book released in 1995 is about diffrent chemical substances you can use if you want to comit suicide. 10. Peter Johansson, – Assint, P&P, Stockholm, 1992. An empty piece with blank pages an irony over unwritten texts or is it an erased novel? Second selection: 1. Leif Eriksson, – En smekning, (Touching), egen utgivning 1965. An erotic image short story constructed of collages. 2. Leif Eriksson, – Revised Temptation, gen utgivning 1977. A tactile artist´s book made of different kind of papers and cloth with a condensed version of Quasimodo´s poem ”Suddenly it´s evening” and with a LIFE-BOOK. 3. Leif Eriksson, – The Waste Paper Act, Wedgepress & Cheese, Bjärred 1978. The first edition of Wedgepress & Cheese and the beginning of publishing as an art project. 4. Leif Eriksson, – Lediga platser, (Anew Places), Wedgepress & Cheese, Malmö 1992. Made of September obituaries 1992 in the news paper Sydsvenska Dagbladet 1992. 5. Leif Eriksson, – Richard Serra A Monograph, Wedgepress & Cheese, 2002. This is the third monograph related to artists´typical works. The other two are on Daniel Buren and Cavellini. 6. Leif Eriksson, – New Moves Adada, Wedgepress & Cheese, 2003. A sonar piece of work. By turning over the leaves from the front page you can hear
how the thinner blue and yellow pages shift sound becoming thicker pages of green. A VERY BRIEF STORY ABOUT SWEDISH BOOKED ART. Very few Swedish artists´ books are internationally known. Of the earliest ones, even in an international perspective, works by C-O Hultén, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, Erik Dietman, have never been exhibited abroad before, as far as I know, at least not in a major exhibition reviewing this particular form of art works since 1972. Of the three artists mentioned above Reuterswärd has the longest list, over ninety works related to artists´ books and the page as an alternative space since 1954. His latest ”Cfr.” together with the Swedish poet Jesper Svenbro is published in 2002. In my archive The Swedish Archive of Artists´ Books I have about 700 artists´ books and similar printed matters and ephemera by Swedish artists. The very first is Tidvatten, (TIDE), 1941 by C-O Hultén. That is a handmade bookwork, a one of a kind piece, originally, covered with a fur from a roe deer. Hultén published the first printed artists´ book in Sweden in 1947 by his press Image Förlag ”Drömmar ur bladens händer” (Dreams out of the hands of leaves). He published this bookwork as an alternative to his exhibition in Malmö in 1947. Öyvind Fahlström and Wiking Eggeling, who are probably the Swedish artists, internationally best known, even, if they are not completely of Swedish origin. Fahlström´s piece in this exhibition, (Till ”Dr Schweitzers sista uppdrag”), Kerberos, Stockholm 1964, is his first published work. Though he published his manifesto on concrete poetry ”Hätila ragulpr på fåtskliaben” (Hipy Papy Bthuthdth thuthda Btuthdy) already in 1954 in the stencilled underground magazine ”odyssé 2-3”. From his early major piece ”OPERA” 1952, ”Riksutställningar in Stockholm made a silk-screened edition of ”OPERA” in 400 copies but not signed or numbered in 1968. Eggeling is mainly internationally famous for his animated film ”Diagonalsymfonin”, the final version was shown in Berlin in May 3, 1925, a few weeks before he died. That is an early piece in the category of ”Offmedia” to use 9 Celant´s expression.
One of the best examples of a Swedish artist´s book is Nils Olof Bonniers ”Struktur” (Structure) published in 1968. He was also involved in publishing other pieces like ”Björnligan” 1968. Bonnier, who committed suicide in 1969, and the group members in ”Björnligan” were students at the art academy ”Valand” in Gothenburg in 1968 and were well aware of what was going on in the United States about primary structures and conceptual art. Among the artists they refer to you find Robert Smithson and Ed Ruscha.
Swedish artists´ books are mainly selfpublished. But there are yet about 30 publishers since 1947. Only a few have published more than ten editions. I did my first artist´s book in 1965. Since then I have published about 120 using all kinds of printing methods. At that time I did not have any standard for my book-works. I just made them as another form of art. I started Wedgepress & Cheese in 1978 by publishing my own ”The Waste Paper Act” Bjärred 1978. The latest in this series, no. 69, is ”A Monograph on Richard Serra” 2002.
With my press I wanted to do something completely different from what I had been doing, like graphic prints and traditional visual art. The publishing press as a conceptual art project. I discussed the subject with my friend and colleague Torsten Ridell, who told me that there was something called livres d’artistes and artists´ books, which he had seen at NRA Shakespeare & Company in Paris. That was surprising news, which I found very fascinating. So I started to publish and collect both international and Swedish artists´ books.
There are of course many more reasons behind my publishing art project. I consider my own artists´s books and those I have published by other artists as containers of booked art or the book as the frame and an alternative space where everything seems intriguingly possible. But above all it is about making good art. Or only the unspoken is true.
ALEC FINLAY 1950 – 1999:
(for Clive Phillpot) John Cage - Diary: How to Improve the World… A Great Bear Pamphlet, Something Else Press: West Glover VT, 1967 (for Jeremy Millar) William Carlos Williams - I Wanted to Write a Poem. Cape Editions: London, 1967 (for David Connearn) Ulises Carriòn - Vers la Poésie/Looking for Poetry/Tras la Poesia. Héros-Limite: Geneva, 1996 (first published: Beau Geste Press: Cullompton, 1973) (for Zoë Irvine) Roman Signer - Bilder aus Super-8 Filmen. Hemhaus Zurich & Offizin: Zurich, 1992 (for Alexander & Susan Maris) Hans Waanders - Atlas Hans Waanders: Den Bosch, 1994 (for Lizzie Mueller) Clementine Deliss, (ed.) - Metronome number 3, Tempolabor: a Libertine Laboratory? Kunsthalle Basel & Schwab & Co AG: Basel, 1998
2000 – 2003: Sealevel, a Netherlands quarterly for the arts: vol.1 no.1 May 2001: Tacita Dean, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Graham Rich, Louise Short vol.1 no.2 August 2001: Laurie Clark – On the outskirts of a wood vol.1 no.4 February 2002: Hans Waanders vol.2 no.1 May 2002: Chris Drury – Amanita phalloides vol.2 no.4 March 2003: Joel Fisher Isography vol.3 no.1 June 2003: Hamish Fulton – Shoes & Boots walked by Hamish Fulton.
Not books but reading: some readers and some book gifts. Rather than author a Top Ten, or self-select, I have chosen some books to give. The as yet unknown books that I receive in return are the ghost of this project.
My involvement with book is an engagement with a worldwide circulating library. The organisation of this library’s shelves is not by genre but by adventure. The bookshelf that I have selected is a disagreement with the sequestration of the genre ‘artist book’. Chosen from my travelling library, here are some books in which the artists and the poets are back on speaking terms. For me the era of the modern book begins with the Russian artistpoetdesigners, continues through the small press revolution and the artist book era to the hybridity of books now. artist = author : poet = author : author = publisher : publisher = author : author = artist : book = public+action
GYÖRGY GALANTAI (ARTPOOL)
Budapest: Artpool, 1982. 17x15 cm, silk screen, offset, rubber stamp, cardboard cover - an anthology-like edition in 125 copies with original stamps and rubber stamps by 22 Hungarian artists who participated in both projects of Artpool: the Exhibition of Artists’ Stamps (APS no.6) and the Rubber Stamp Event (APS No.11). World Art Post. Budapest: Artpool, 1982. DIN A4 horiz., offset, plastic silk-screened film cover, approx 900 copies. Catalogue of the World Art Post exhibition (Artpool’s Periodical Space No.6, Fészek Klub, Budapest, April 1982) including 27 original stamp sheets issued by Artpool with stamp images by 550 artists, and essays and studies on artists’ stamps by Peter Frank, E.F. Higgins III, and others (László Beke, J. & G. Galántai, Gábor Tóth, Rudolf Ungváry, Anna Wessely), and a comprehensive bibliography. Project organised by Artpool. Designed by and printing assisted by G. Galántai
1950 – 1999: Galántai. Budapest: György Galántai, 1976 Bookwork-catalog of Galántai´s solo exhibition at the Studió Galéria, Budapest, 1976 (designed by and “iris printing” assisted by György Galántai) Textile Without Textile. Budapest: Artpool, 1980 the first Hungarian assembling of original works, in a variety of techniques, by 52 artists from different countries in 300 numbered copies. (In a DIN A4 silkscreened folder printed by György Galántai) Everybody with Anybody Budapest: Artpool, 1982. offset, rubberstamp, in a plastic bag, 300 numbered copies - a bookwork catalogue with photos, original rubber stamped sheets and with articles (in Hungarian and in English) by G. Galántai and M. Erdély on the the first Hungarian artists’ rubber stamp exhibition and event. (Artpool’s Periodical Space No.11 at Young Artists’ Club, Budapest, February 1982). The event organised by G. Galántai was preceeded by an invitation to design artists´ rubber stamps on this occasion. Stamp + Rubber Stamp: works by Hungarian Artists.
To Live In A Negative Utopia Budapest: Artpool, 1982-1987 DIN A5, 34 pages, photocopied, 100 numbered copies. A bookwork by G. Galántai of selected “answers” to Ray Johnson’s second “add to” letter sent to Artpool by 32 artists.
Commonpress 51, “Hungary” Budapest: Artpool,1984-1989 color offset, 300 copies The first photocopied version in only 25 copies was issued in 1984, the final edition was issued on the occasion of the reconstruction of the exhibition in1989. A bookwork like catalog of the exhibition “Hungary Can Be Yours/International Hungary” with the participation of 110 artists.
PETRIfied forEAST Published by Arizona Board of Regents and the Visual Arts Research Studios, 1990-1994 26x28,5 cm, 15+8+10 pages (set of three books in a paper case), limited edition of 225 copies, offset-lithography, relief and silk-screen printing. The techniques of the pictures used in the publication are: photo, color photocopy, video-print, collage and computer images.
In 1989 Artpool has been asked by the Visual Arts Research Studios of the Arizona State University to help to form a team for their visiting artists project: Freedom/ Oppression: Central European Artists in Response. Three artists Peter Forgács, György Galántai and poet György Petri were invited to Arizona to collaborate with the staff of the Studios. Production was completed in the fall of 1993.
FLUX FLAG Budapest: Artpool, 1992, A/4, monocolor and multicolor photocopy, 94 pages, 100 numbered copies) Document of the open air exhibition organized at Budapest Autumn Festival in 1992. This publication was designed and made by György Galántai with the use of the artists´ documents and photographs of the Flux Flags.
Identity In Diversity Budapest: Artpool, 1993, A/5, 38 pages, photocopy, 100 copies A concrete poetry project (“wordworldwork”) by G. Galántai. Let us assume for example that the world does not fall apart because even the remotest things can be related through one of their elements, then let us put it on the test: eg. with language. (One might well assume that the four cardinal points are the remotest things in the world, yet, they have one thing in common: they are 90, or 180 degrees from one another.) If we try, in any language, to write the words NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, WEST across one another so that one letter in each is identical, the four words will form a compact shape.... Galantai, Gyorgy & Julia Klaniczay eds. Gyorgy Galantai Lifeworks 1968-1993. Budapest: Artpool & Enciklopedia Kiado, 1996. “the book [is] a source publication and an artist book”.
3 more bookworks: Várnagy, Tibor: Tibi’s Diary, Published by the author, Budapest, 1984 (?), (DIN A/5, 65 pages) Háy, Agnes: Sex, Published by the author, Budapest: 1984 (9x19 cm, 40+9 pages)
AFTERWORD TO THE PUBLICATIONS BY ARTPOOL BY JULIA KLANICZAY Almost all of Artpool´s publications before 1990 each have their own story relating not only to the project for which they were produced but also very much to the political situation in Hungary at that time. We wish to tell these stories soon in a publication chronicling the history of Artpool as it would be interesting to describe how, and in what circumstances, we conspired to print and produce during this era. In the meantime, however, here is just a short introduction to the problem of publishing in a ‘socialist country’. As the right to publish was reserved by and for the authorities, private individuals had great difficulty in publishing anything except visiting cards and wedding invitations up until the middle of the 80s. It was also necessary to ask special permission to be able to place an order at a printing house. No copy machines were available to the public. Artists, however, were allowed their graphic printing presses and they could use photo and serigraphy, though this irritated the authorities a lot. There were also possibilities on the ‘black market’ such as when employees working with copy machines in printing houses and offices, for example, would agree to do small jobs on their own when their boss was out of office. Black market trading was prevalent throughout the socialist economy as wages were very low and stealing from the state was considered normal as nobody felt a personal responsibility for the material used in their workplace. Although black marketeers faced punishment if discovered, of course, they could often escape arrest through bribing corrupt officials. Printing and copying on the black market was also our only possibility to publish during these years. This always meant that each project was a little more exciting, always having the taste of opposition and a heroic, as well as artistic, quality. It did happen that the police would confiscate material from printers’ office drawers during night raids. We often had to be prepared for inquisition. Publishing meant a high 11 degree of personal involvement in such circumstances. This was true not only of the
pre-publication processes of conception, organisation, editing and design but also in realisation. This often involved producing photographs and films for printing, typing texts, making the ‘master copy’, homeprinting covers by serigraphy and assembling and binding the copies, which were sometimes also over-stamped and signed. György Galántai largely used the fact that he himself was a graphic artist to declare each and all of his publications to be works of art. As these were thus considered bookworks, Galántai therefore had the right under Hungarian law to edit his own graphic prints In limited editions. Anyone looking at the editions produced during these times should be aware of these circumstances when judging the printing quality of the publications. All these items demonstrate a piece of freedom we created for ourselves during these years and every publication was a victory in our continuous struggle to live the normal creative life of an artist in the art community of the world.
Grapefruit - Yoko Ono. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976. LAAIR - Bruce Nauman. New York: Multiples, Inc., 1970. Tsmnfiwh - Paul Forte. The Artist, 1976. Forever Yours - Gail Rubini. Chicago: Chicago Books, 1980. Dark Shadow, 1974 - Gilbert & George. London: Art for All/Nigel Greenwood, 1976. Seeing Egypt - Jim Snitzer. Chicago: A Chicago Book, 1980. Cover to Cover - Michael Snow. Halifax NS: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, & New York: New York University Press, 1975.
2000 – 2003: Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information - David Byrne. 2003. Banging your head against a brick wall – Banksy. 2001. Existencilism – Banksy. no date. Made You Look – Sagmeister. London: Booth Clibborn Editions, 2001.
Artpool – FLUX FLAG 1992
Leopold Bloom No. 2. Edited by Péter Abajkovics, Szombathely, 1995 (A/5, assembling, 41 participants)
CONRAD GLEBER 1950 – 1999: Killed by Roses - Eikoh Hosoe. Model and introduction by Yukio Mishima. Japan. Every Building on the Sunset Strip Edward Ruscha. Los Angeles: The Artist, 1966. Throwing a Ball Once to Get Three Melodies and Fifteen Chords, 1973 - John Baldessari. Irvine: Art Gallery of the University of California, Irvine, 1975.
Neasden Control Centre - Stephen Smith & Marcus Diamond. Berlin: dgv-Die Gestalten Verlag, 2003
Two things about the books in my selection, one, I enjoy looking at them and two, at some point, each one changed how I thought about books. They are a record of the conceptual transitions I made as I came to understand the emerging practice of making artists’ books. Although there were many years of precedent and prototype endeavors, it was in the 60’s and 70’s that printing and publishing became a broadcast medium. During this time artists were testing and discovering alternative channels to reach the public and go around the dominant economic art distribution system, the museum/gallery. As printing and publishing technology was becoming easier to use, artists adopted these processes by direct emulation. They accepted and, more importantly, embraced the inherent consequences of the ephemeral form.
Starting in 1975, our own group, Chicago Books, Gail Rubini, Jim Snitzer and myself, funded by state and federal agencies to collaborate with other artists, pushed the photo-offset printing medium as the conceptual basis for creating and distributing art ideas in the found form of books. We came to offset printing and artists’ books through photography—a fact very apparent from my list.
Seeing Egypt, Jim Snitzer
Sweet Junk, Gail Rubini
use the page turning action of sequenced photographs to construct an event. The book becomes a stage for the artists in Tsmnfiwh and Throwing a Ball Once to Get Three Melodies and Fifteen Chords. Grapefruit and Dark Shadow use the book to contain and prescribe ideas for action until transferred to the reader; so, until I burn Grapefruit, as instructed, it remains unfinished.
titles that demonstrate or debate critical issues in the field. They all are permutations of artists’ book publishing.
Enormous amounts of energy and enthusiasm characterized this short period and the result is shaped by multiple nuances. Clive Phillpot describes it as a mongrel medium. But artists’ books evolved in a very different media-sphere than today’s books and the steep curves of adoption and innovation in artists’ books have flattened. Even so, when we look outside the medium we find telltale signs that the energy shaping new emerging visual art activities is reminiscent of the energy that shaped the past 50 years of artists’ book production. In fact, we should assume our “mongrel” has been visiting the neighbors; after all, their pups look suspiciously similar.
Like most photography artists, I was very influenced by Robert Frank’s Americans but I selected another book that had my attention, Killed by Roses, by Ekioh Hosoe. This book went beyond the editorial capability of selection and used photography in the book to construct a performance. The photographs synthesized the bookspace with the book-object and made the ephemeral book an integral as opposed to default component of the art.
Open LA Air, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, and Forever Yours all at once and see the book as an ironic inventory meant to trigger curiosity rather than satisfy it. Killed by Roses, Seeing Egypt and Cover to Cover
And most important, I enjoy looking at them and they help me understand how the medium continues to grow.
GARY GOLDSTEIN 1950 – 1999: Be True: an altered book. 1991 Buk. 1991 Lotto: an altered book. 1994 Smole. 1995 Eyin Le Zion 1995 Une Bonne Nouvelle... 1998
2000 – 2003: Peace Talks. 2000 English Painting: an altered book. 2002
I had been doing paintings for about fifteen years when I first stumbled on the idea of doing books in around 1984. I am not sure that I would be able to reconstruct the thought-processes that led me to see books as a possibility, but I can remember some early, strong impressions. Tsmnfiwh, Paul Forte
The integrity of the idea established by the process of making and using the book regardless of its material structure became the central tenet of my framework for making, enjoying and evaluating artists’ books. A book held in a slipcase (Killed by Roses, Ekio Hosoe) and a book bound by a staple (Tsmnfiwh, Paul Forte) represented the ends of an inconsequential spectrum. More important were the possibilities that were opening up in the expanding and multiple trajectories of the artists’ book genre. It was an envelope being pushed by artists from all strata.
One book is from media artist, David Byrne, Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information, two booklets are by a stencil artist, Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall & Existencilism and two represent the design community, Sagmeister, Made You Look and Smith/ Diamond’s Neasden Control Center.
Therefore, I chose to make a list from a selection of 21st century artists’ books that expands the boundaries of our dog’s turf. Three areas in particular have the look of our canine. One is contemporary artists’ use of new media; another is the intervention and appropriation of public space. Third is the largest, most prolific, the design community, which has seen an explosion of published
The first books I worked on were secondhand, usually old, and often had handwritten inscriptions in them which, for some reason, I found very moving. As I began to work on them, certain other qualities congenial to my then state of mind became clear. I found satisfaction in the limitations imposed by the size and length of the books – it solved certain problems neatly and easily. I liked the idea of flipping the pages from where I was to what I’d done earlier; I enjoyed the shift in orientation, from looking up at a wall or an easel to looking down into my lap or onto a
But most important, I now think, was the useful, liberating fiction that these works were in their very nature private, diaristic, not designed with a viewer in mind. It seemed to me that I could circumvent, so to speak, the history of art, by working in a medium that, in its modesty, most obviously made no claim to comparison with the great works of the past, and this too I found strangely liberating. Another illusion I liked was the illusion of permanence: books, after all did not die, they could be passed on for generations without the inout judgements of critics or curators. This notion of the permanence of books was especially appealing to me in their aspect of “recordings,” of setting down a chronicle of events that, once set down, kept the past alive and available. This, I learned, meant a good deal to me personally as I began to identify my little histories with the fallen-away history of my own family’s past. A diary, a book, a record of any sort contained between covers, might have preserved for me information about the history of my parents (holocaust survivors) and their relatives and friends the lack of which I think of as a black hole in my sense of self-identity.
At a certain point I found myself working with art books, usually monographs, and here it was almost the opposite of what I’d admired in books prior. Here I found myself in some sense oppressed by the ruthlessness of compression. Knowing something of the life of an artist, I was acutely conscious of what such monographs condensed or discarded altogether. In all artist’s monographs, I believe, the life of the studio is brushed aside, and with it the very process of creation. The finished product, the material of all monographs, is, every artist knows, only a fraction of the abundant energy of life and mind that led to its making. And so, in my art books I often find myself negotiating a complex of contradictory feelings involving my respect (or disrespect), admiration (or dislike) of the artist with a keen sense of the limitations of the book which presents him to me. (It is certainly possible that the word-chains that I use in many of these books may, in some 13 not-quite-conscious manner, attempt to fill this void.)An art book adds a new dimension
to the life and work of an artist: there is the life, there is the work, there is the book about him and there is me, manipulating for my own purposes, all three.
bern porter – found poems (1971) joyce weiland – true patriot love (1971) telfer stokes – passage* (1972) spaces* (1974) loophole (1975) & helen douglas chinese whisper (1976) clinkscale (1977)
Gary Goldstein – Peace Talks 2000
table, like a shoemaker or a seamstress (my father was a tailor; imitating the form of his body at work pleased me greatly.)
SKUTA HELGASSON 1950 – 1999: dieter roth – children book (1957) book (1959) bok 3a* (1961) bok 3b (1961-1967) bok 3c (1961) bok 3d (1961-1966) daily mirror book (1962) copley book (1965) 246 little clouds* (1968) robert frank – les americans* (1958) (or the americans grove press) the lines of my hand (1972) daniel spoerri – an anecdoted topography of chance* (1962 something else press) lamonte young & jackson maclow – an anthology (1963) george maciunas – fluxus 1 (1964) fluxus paper events (1976) edward ruscha – various small fires* (1964 heavy industry, any printing) nine swimming pools (1968) a few palm trees (1971) andy warhol – index book (1967)
colin naylor – the book of the sphinx (1973) john baldessari – throwing three balls into the air to get a straight line: (best of thirty-six attempts)* (1973) fable (1976) kristjan gudmundsson – circles (1973 stedelijk museum) few waterfalls periods in the poems of Halldor Laxness endre tót – the night visit to the national gallery (1974) michael snow – cover to cover* (1975) ulises carrion – mirror box (1979) tom phillips – a humument* (1980 hansjörg mayer) jan voss – strandhotel (1983) wartelist (1984) endless sunset (1987) offset gymnastiek* (1988)
2000 – 2003: henriette van egten – daytrip vossferlag scott mccarney – autobiographies smart books philip zimmermann – long story short nexus press telfer stokes – 8 minutes weproductions‹ISBN 0952328445 helen douglas – unraveling the ripple‹ pocketbooks ISBN 0748663037 richard prince – american english verlag der buchhandlung walter könig ISBN 3883757179
richard long – seven views of a sculpture (1968) ken ohara – one (1970)
A few words on my selection: My formative years were at Visual Studies
Workshop in the early 80’s. The monumental influence was Ulises Carrion, who gave a lecture at an artist book conference that was held at VSW the first winter I was there, and from your book Artists’ Books. But before that, there was Dieter Roth. When still in Iceland and way before I got involved with photography, I had by chance been at a lecture on his bookmaking. It was then that I learned to look at books as more than mere vehicles for prose and poetry.
Looking at the list I have compiled it is clear that the books that influenced me were of and from that time. I think now that more significant than the book or individual title is the maker of books. The thought process that made the book, what could only be the book. My influences then would be Dieter Rot, Dieter Roth, Diter Rot, D. Rot, KarlHeins Dieter Roth, Telfer Stokes/Helen Douglas, Edward Ruscha, Ulises Carrion, Michael Snow, John Baldessari, Kristjan Gudmundsson, Tom Ockerse, and then Keith Smith, Scott McCarney, Clive Phillpot, Jan Voss, Fluxus, Philip Zimmermann, Clifton Meador.
1950-1999: Author Title Date Description
Author Title Date Description Edition Exhibition
Place And then there are the publishers: Something else Press, Hansjörg Mayer, Rainer Verlag, Ottenhausen, . . . whose editorial selection determinated what was made, what was seen. I have put an asterix next to what might have been the specific books by individual artists that influenced me the most.
Author Title Date Description Edition
Author Title Date Description
Tom Phillips – A Humument 1980
Arte Dos Gráfico Place Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia
Edited by Place Author Title Date Description Edition
Anna Bella Geiger O NOVO ATLAS I 1977 Offset printing 377 x 310mm Xeroxcopy plastified pages to laid on the table 1000 copies, out of print Authors edition Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ulises Carrión A BOOK 1978 Video in DVD format 40 sec. Only copy made for Ulises Carrión by MonteVideo/ Netherlnds Art Media Institute Amsterdam NL
Author Title Date Description
Ulises Carrión BOOKWORKS REVISITED 1986 Video in DVD format 37 min. Only copy available for the exhibition provided by MonteVideo / Netherlands Art Media Institute Place Amsterdam NL Felipe Ehrenberg CODEXAEREOSCRIPTUS EHRENBERGENSIS 1990 30 pages printed in both sides, folded as a codex 422 x 295mm Nexus Press Atlanta, USA Rubens Gershman DOBLE IDENTIDAD 1994 Litography printing 400 x 300mm 150 copies Edited and printed by the artist and Taller
Title Date Description Edition Edited by Place
Edition Place Author Title Date Description Edition Place Author Title Date Description Edition Edited by
Author Title Date Description
Paolo Brusky & Daniel Santiago OUTRA PEDRA ROSETTA 1994 Newspaper pages bound as a book format 161 copies, all different Brusky & Santiago team Recife, Bresil
María Isabel Barbuzza RENDITIONS 1994 Pages of Art History Book bound as a coat 900 x 1200mm Only sample Iowa City, USA Mirtha Dermisache DIARIO I Año I 1995 Tabloid, offset printing 428 x 280mm 1000 copies Edited by the author Buenos Aires Argentina Francis Alys WALKS/ PASEOS/ TRAVESÍAS 1997 Offset print, 221 x 167mm 3000 copies Museo de Arte Moderno, Universidad de Guadalajara, CONACULTA, INBA, INAH. Guadalajara, Jalisco y Mexico D. F. Laureana Toledo BOOK OF POEMS 1997-1998 Translation of 38 poems of E. E. Cummings Colour pencils on squared paper exercise book
Place Author Title Date Edition Description
Place Author Title Date Description Place Author Title
Mexico D. F. Peter Lasch Thaler EIGHT VISUAL DIALOGUES 1998-1999 1/1 Altered chess boards, chess pieces pas stamps and shelf. New York (U. S. A.) Laureana Toledo ALICE´S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND 1999 48 pages, ink and color pencil on tracing paper Mexico D. F.
Luis Felipe Ortega SEIS ENSAYOS… A PROPÓSITO DE CALVINO 1999 offset digital printing 50 copies, out of print Galería Kurimanzuto CONACULTA Y FONCA México D. F.
Author Title Edited by Place
James Brown PENDIENTE CARPEDEUM Oaxaca, Oax..
Date Description Edition Edited by
2000 – 2003: Author Title Date Edition Description
Laureana Toledo PERIPHERAL VISION 2000 in process 33 contact sheets and text
Jan Hendrix A TREE AS A LANDSCAPE FOR A LEAF/UN ÁRBOL ES UN PAISAJE PARA UNA HOJA 2000 Offset printing and silkscreen(228x168 mm) 100 copies Jan Hendrix México, D. F.
Date Description Edition Edited by Place 15
Author Title Date Edition Description Edited by Place
Carlos Amorales -LOS AMORALES 2001 2000 copies Offset printing Artimo Foundation Amsterdam NL
Stefan Brüggemann INTELLECTUAL DISASTER 2002 Edition Offset print 184 x 155mm Galería de Arte Mexicano México D. F.
Date Description Edited by Place Author Title Date Edition Description Printed in
Mariana Castillo Deball NO ISLAND IS AN ISLAND 2002 15 copies Box of 84 pencils with text printed in offset Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht NL
Author Title Date Description
Mariana Castillo Deball PENSER/CLASSER 2002 Printed in offset at the Jan van Eyck Academie
Author Title Date Edition Description
Peter Lasch Thaler NATURALIZATIONS 2003 (ongoing) 5 15 mirrors as a mask
Author Title Date Description
Martha Hellion VS. vs 2003 Offset print 200 x 200mm To display on the table 500 copies Unlimited Editions Ltd. México D. F
Edition Edited by Place Author Title
Rodolfo Zanabria TODAY´S MEAL / LA COMIDA DEL DÍA 2003 Assemblage of daily graphics Original work México D. F.
Jonathan Hernandez YOU ARE UNDER
Date Edition Edited by Description Place
ARREST 2003 1000 copies La caja Negra offset printing Madrid, España
The use of printing techniques for mass production applied to artists’ books is a theme that must be analyzed from the historical, political, artistic, cultural and economic aspect, since these are factors that determine and influence the creation, production and dissemination of these works.
These productions have emerged with specific characteristics, using different formats that both define and divide them. In countries with higher levels of technological development, where artists have more facilities for planning this type of production with longer print runs, and there are specialized outlets for their sale and distribution, it is possible to use the term “cheap productions”. This is not true elsewhere, where printing is extremely costly. Financial factors often impose restrictions, since the cost of a print run of 500 to over 2000 copies implies being linked to an institution or requires sponsorship that will guarantee production and distribution costs, which in turn creates dependence. Other artists are interested in limited editions, rather than mass production, either for reasons of technique or out of a desire for exclusiveness. At the same time, in limited editions, technical resources are adapted to meet the artist’s demands. A printing press and a manual silk-screen printing table enable the artists to undertake their work independently. This is more often the case in non-industrialized countries where traditional printing methods are still employed, in other words, letterpress printing continue to be used up until now. Certain artists do not even conceive the idea of producing in edition, their work is limited to originals. Inventiveness and spontaneity are the chance resources of everyday life, artists have a different narrative that is sometimes more visual and dimensional.
The examples I have included here are from different countries but mostly by Latin American artists. All of them have lived outside their country of origin, yet the development of their work reflects the transcultural elements that have enabled them to enrich their interpretative language. Nevertheless, an idea I would particularly like to develop would be to create a section that would include original works by artists that could be regarded as editorial projects and find a way of producing them through exchanges, co-editions, financing proposals and residencies in workshops. Encouraging these activities through institutions such as BALTIC could pave the way for new proposals and initiatives.
MARTON KOPPANY 1950 – 1999: George Brecht & Robert Filliou – Games at the Cedilla. Something Else Press, New York, 1967. Ronald Johnson – Songs of the Earth. Grabhorn-Hoyem Press, 1970.
Berkeley: Tree Books, 1977. Bob Grumman – SpringPoem No. 3,719,242. Port Charlotte, Florida: Runaway Spoon Press, 1990. Serial poem. Rakd sorba a gyöngyöket (Arrange the Beads), in Hungarian. Bratislava: Kalligram Publishing House, 1994. An anthology of Fluxus object descriptions. Co-translated by Gyöngyi Boldog. Márton Koppány – The Other Side, in English. Budapest: xerox book, published by the author, in 1995. Daniel Spoerri, Robert Filliou, Emmett Williams, Dieter Roth, Roland Topor – An Anecdoted Topography of Chance. London: Atlas Press, 1995. Valami kevesebb (Something Less), in Hungarian. Bratislava: Kalligram Publishing House and The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages, 1999. Poems by Bern Porter and George Brecht. Clark Lunberry – StonePoems, in English. Bratislava: Kalligram Publishing House and The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages, 1999. “Para-poetic” collagetexts.
Over the last decade I’ve been editing, translating and also designing (with some technical help) a collection of small size books for a small publisher, called Kalligram, situated in Bratislava, Slovakia. I regard the results as bookworks or artist books because they are works at the crossroads of visual art, poetry, invisibility and silence - and they don’t fit into any other category. Since 1997 the series has been co-published by The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages, my imaginary organization. The books in my choice that are not by me, or published by me, represent a quite limited selection of my favorite readings. The relationship of the pages is a basic source of effect. And the authors are fascinated by (the passing of) time in many ways
Márton Koppány – The Other Side, in English. Bratislava: Kalligram Publishing House and The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages, 1999. Sequences.
2000 – 2003: Bob Grumman – min. költ. (MNMLST Poetry), in Hungarian. Bratislava: Kalligram Publishing House and The Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages, 2000. Minimalist poems framed by an essay. Márton Koppány – Investigations and Other Sequences, in English. Toronto, Tokyo: Ahadada Books, 2003.
Bern Porter – Found Poems. New York: Something Else Press, 1972. Karl Young – Cried and Measured (Workings of the Elephantine Fragments).
of notation system to (meta)communicate across borders - whatever borders might mean. As a young writer I had felt almost completely isolated in Budapest in the atmosphere of the 70’s and 80’s. Getting less isolated also meant “getting rid” of my mother tongue (and the capacity of fluent and articulate speech). I got involved in mail art and book art. In the beginning of the 90’s I spent several years in the US, and some of my closest artist friends live there. I think this is enough to put my list in a context (but not to explain it, of course).
I consider artist books or bookworks to be carefully composed sequences or constellations, using some (any) kind
Marton Koppany – The Other Side 1999
I would also say that there is a physical need for expression through these productions, together with the desire to explore sequential rather than flat spaces that take one back to books and to the terror of empty space experienced in a sheet of paper, that enormous space that proves so difficult to penetrate. Artists that use books as a means of expression have a broader range of vision and a different way of thinking from artists who produce their works on spaces limited to a flat surface in which everything is contained. Consequently, those of us that prefer books as a creative space have the advantage of using other criteria that determine our reaction to other books. Given this breadth of criteria, it is becoming increasingly difficult to define the limits of artists’ books or works in books by artists, now with such advanced printing techniques that books can become a virtual image. Although their sequential form may not change, they may embody a different type of temporality.
FLORENCE LOEWY 1950 – 1999 1/Marcel Broodthaers. Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard. Image. Galerie Wide White Space, Antwerpen, Galerie Michael Werner Köln, 1969. 90 copies on tracing paper and 300 on Arches paper. The book that symbolizes for me the passage of the text to the image, and, in my experience as a bookseller, that from the “illustrated book” to the “artist’s book”. 2/James Lee Byars. The one page book. Galerie Michael Werner, Köln, s.d. The quintessence of the book and of the question. 3/Michelangelo Pistoletto. Cento Mostre nel Mese di Ottobre, 1976. Giorgio Persano, Turin, 1976, 9 x 9 cm, stapled, yellow plotting-paper cover, with traces of a cube drawn in perspective. One hundred suggestions for exhibitions in the ideal space of a cube represented metaphorically by an “object book”, limited in time to a month of work. The book as the exhibition space. 4/Robert Filliou. LIVRE-ETALON. Edition Dieter Roth, Stuttgart, 1981. A book to measure books. 5/Barbara Bloom. The Reign of Narcissism. Guide Book. Würtembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Kunsthalle Zürich & Serpentine Gallery London, 1990. A typical example from the artist whose work is fed by books. 6/Rodney Graham. The System of Landor’s Cottage. A pendant to Poe’s last story. Yves Gevaert, Bruxelles, 1987. How a visual artist uses text as a material. 7/Hans-Peter Feldmann. Ferien. Wiener Secession, Wien, 1994. A blank book together with stickers, or the reader making the book. 8/ Daniel Buren. Répertoire. CCA, Kitakyushu, 1998. A book of shapes and colours similar to those of Bruno Munari. 9/Christian Boltanski. Archives. Actes Sud, Arles, 1989. A pocket book distributed in all bookshops, a kind of photo novel in which 17 diverse faces of criminals are mixed with those of their victims.
10/ Steven Prina. Johanna Fähmels Monolog. Walther König, Köln, 1994. With a text by Heinrich Böll. The German flag as coloured paper with Gothic typography, a literary classic revisited. 11/ Claude Closky. Profils de Célibataires/Singles. Frac Languedoc Roussillon, Montpellier, 1995. Distinct versions, and not translations of these two titles that inventory marriage announcements in the French and Englishspeaking press, revealing the state of a society where individuals learn to sell themselves.
Scott McCarney – Memory Loss 1988, VSW Press, Rochester, NY John Wood – Ozone Alert 1997 VSW Press, Rochester, NY Philip Zimmermann – High Tension 1993, Montage ‘93, VSW, Rochester, NY Susan King – Treading the Maze 1993 Montage ‘93, VSW, Rochester, NY Jose Soler – In Front of You... 1990 VSW, Rochester, NY Agnes Denes – Book of Dust 1989 VSW Press, Rochester, NY
2000 – 2003 1/Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Sichtbare Welt. Walther König, Köln, 2000. 2800 photographs classified by theme for research into the ideal image. 2/Adel Abdessemed. The Green Book. La Criée Rennes, Le Collège/Frac ChampagneArdenne, Reims, Centre nationale d’art et du paysage, Vassivière en Limousin, Frac HauteNormandie, Rouen, 2002. This book gathers together in the form of faxes transcriptions of the texts of forty national anthems in their original languages (French, English, Berber, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) and on different materials (stationery, restaurant table cloths, etc.) 3/Bernhard Cella. Travel Journal. Edition Ostblick, Wien, 2002. Travel journal included in a project of hotel room that can be booked through the website of this young artist to discover.
Keith Smith – Overcast 1985 Paul Zelevansky – The Case for the Burial of Ancestors, Book 1” 1980 VSW Press and Zartscorp, Inc. Books
2000 – 2003: David Schulz – Variations of a Fall 2002 Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY Judy Gelles – Florida Family Portrait 2001 Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY Deborah Muirhead – Journal of the Ordinary 2001 Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY
4/Jonathan Monk. The project book project. Arnolfini, Bristol, 2003. A homage to his colleagues through the pages of their books.
Joan Lyons – Melody Marketing 2001 Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY
Artist’s books are affordable works of art.
Julie Harrison and Lewis Warsh – Debtor’s Prison, 2001 NY, Granary Books in association with VSW Press
JOAN LYONS 1950 – 1999: Clifton Meador – Memory Lapse 1999 Nexus Press, Atlanta Francois Deschamps – Sombres Rojas1999 VSW Press, Rochester, NY
The books I have chosen were produced, completely or in part, at Visual Studies Workshop Press. First a few words about how the press functions. Apart from stipends for artists’ residencies or the occasional project grant, it never had a
publications budget, nor was there an editorial board. The premise was that as many artists’ book projects as possible would be facilitated by providing access to pre-press and printing facilities and offering technical expertise and design and production oversight when needed. Artists were encouraged to do part or all of the pre-press work if that interested them. This all reduced costs and encouraged maximum hands-on interaction with all stages of the project.
VSW Press produced offset books in house from 1972 until 2000. After 2000 it began to contract out the occasional offset book but shifted its emphasisto digital output and print-on-demand technology—systems that seem to be designed with artists’ books in mind.
Marcel Broodthaers – A Voyage on the North Sea
As the longtime director of VSW Press, I fretted about bringing forward a group of books I am so closely associated with. But, I reasoned, these are the books I know best and they will comprise only a small part of this exhibition. My next dilemma was choosing ten books from the several hundred that were produced. Although I wish I could have included more, the books I have selected are all by artists who are deeply committed to making artists’ books and whose ongoing work has made distinct contributions to the genre. The more recent books are representative of current publications and include examples of new digital technologies.
John Latham – Report of a Surveyor
1950 – 1999: Dieter Roth – 246 Little Clouds (Collected works Vol. 17)
herman de vries – wit is overdaad, arnhem [netherlands], 1961. 120 copies (1st edition, 1960, 120 copies)
Mark Boyle – Journey to the Surface of the Earth
Hans-Peter Feldmann – Ferien, Wien: Wiener Secession, 1994
Emmett Williams – Valentine for Noel
Robert Filliou – Poème collectif, La Louvière: Daily-Bul, coll. ‘Les Poquettes volantes’, vol. 21, 1968 (1000 copies)
Richard Hamilton – Polaroid Portraits, Vol.3 Tom Phillips – A Humument
Heinz Gappmayr – Raum, Aachen: Ottenhausen Verlag, 1983. [1st ed. München: Edition UND, 1977]
Lilian Lijn – Crossing Map
Sigurdur Gudmundsson – Journey Book. With three other booklets in ça va? ça va. 4 constats islandais, in a cardboard box. Paris: Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, 1977.
Francesco Clemente – The Departure of the Argonaut
Nadine Lère – Mizu ni nagazu. Colomiers: Espace des arts, 1998.
Arnulf Rainer – Kleinzeug
Jean-Michel Othoniel – La Délicatesse dans l’art. [Sète]: Villa Saint-Clair, 1988. With bookmarks.
2000 – 2003: Richard Hamilton – Polaroid Portraits, Vol.4
“Hansjörg Mayer has no view on artists’ books.”
ANNE MOEGLIN-DELCROIX 1950 – 1999:
Joan Lyons – Melody Marketing 2001
1969. (440 copies). A cardboard box containing 2 folios, 6 inserts and 1 pad of graph paper.
2000 – 2003: Peter Downsbrough – AND HERE, AS. Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens et Châteaugiron: FRAC Bretagne, 2002. (1500 copies) Patrick Dubrac – la Sculpture: les pluies 1er janvier 1996 / 30 avril 2004. Il a plu / Il n’a pas plu. 1er janvier 1996 / 31 décembre 1996. Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, 2003 (1000 copies)
Irma Blank – Ur-Buch ovvero Romanzo blu, Milano: Archivo Nuova Scrittura, 1997 (100 copies)
Roberto Martinez – Chicago 1997. Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, 2000 (1000 copies)
Simon Cutts – The Waterfalls of New Hampshire in Winter, [no place]: Coracle, 1994 (100 copies)
Lefevre Jean Claude – Texts pour suite* Pennadoù da heul*. Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, 2001. (1000 copies) With an erratum bookmark.
Hanne Darboven – Pad of Graph paper, in Hanne Darboven, Mönchengladbach: Stastisches Museum,
Hubert Renard – Stille Gesten. Austellung von 28. November 1990 bis Januar 1991 in der Kunsthalle Krefeld.
[Rennes]: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, . (1000 copies) Éric Watier – L’inventaire des destructions. Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, 2000. (1000 copies) With a card and erratum.
I confess: I haven’t really kept to the rules of the game. In my desert island suitcase I would bring more than ten books, all which I can’t do without. Although I honestly tried to draw it up several times, a list of only ten titles would have been simply arbitrary. Besides, among my favourite books I can’t always distinguish between personal taste and a knowledge of historical importance. Thus, my arbitrary list would have also been a banal list. To solve the problem I bent the rules a bit. I decided to show, using several extreme examples, what seems to me to be essential to every artist’s book: the paradoxical nature of its artistic form. On the one hand, form isn’t a given, as is true for every work of art, but is a result of the way material is used - in this case the medium of the book. On the other hand, the artist’s book, as is true for every book worthy of the name, is not an end in itself, an object to contemplate for itself, but an object to read - that is to say, to meditate upon, to interpret, to understand, to activate. It is an instrument to serve thought, the imagination, and sometimes action. It is a visible introduction to something invisible, a bridge thrown between the mind of the artist and that of the spectator. The most successful form is thus one which makes the medium of the book as transparent as possible to its meaning. Transparency is the coefficient of maximum transmission. This is why the most effective form is also the least visible one. The books brought together here are not what they appear to the eye: mere paper products, skeletons of books, or tautological paper objects, having neither form nor content. On the contrary, these are ideal books, totally transparent to the idea, where the material is completely absorbed by the meaning. Some of these books might seem to be the same (a sequence of white pages), but actually they show how the same, bare medium can become the 19 vehicle of very different meanings thanks
to the magic of the title, users’ instructions, or the collaboration of the reader. This metamorphosis (that is to say, this change of form), is the work of the all-powerful idea which can make visible (or make think, or even make act) from nothing, or almost nothing. That is why, even if these books offer little to the eye, one must take the time ‘to read’ them, an activity that goes well beyond the identification of visible signs. Just as white is superabundant, according to herman de vries, so also is the medium of the book superabundant, potentially open to meanings and to the most varied projects. Now that the artist’s book has taken its place among the artistic means of expression, its existence no longer depends on conditions that once favoured its birth and which no longer exist, but still depends on the ability of artists having something to say with this medium. The books published by Editions Incertain Sens, created in 2000 by Leszek Brogowski at Rennes (Brittany), printed with the greatest attention to detail and under the artists’ supervision, brought out in editions of at least 1000 and sold at the price of paperbacks, show that from the generation of minimalist or conceptual pioneers (Downsbrough, Lefevre) to the youngest artists, the reasons for choosing the medium of the book to make a work have not changed fundamentally since the 1960s. The aim is still to give an artistic idea its widest possible circulation. This artistic idea finds appropriate means of expression in the book every time it aims to document and archive, to tell true or imaginary stories, to share experiences, to make aware, to protest. This is what the book has always done. Now with the artist’s book, it is not the book that is transformed, but artistic work.
MAURIZIO NANNUCCI 1950 - 1999: James Lee Byars – The pink book, White white space, Antwerpen, 1969, 412 p. 21x27 James Lee Byars – P.I.I.T.L., (Perfect is in the Louvre), Exempla & Zona Archives Edizioni, Firenze / Exit, Lugo, 1990, 8 p, 21x14,5 Sol LeWitt – Four basic kinds of lines & colours, Studio International & Lisson Gallery, London, 1969, 36 p, 20x20 Sol LeWitt – Variations On I Am Still Alive On Kawara, Exempla & Zona Archives Edizioni, Firenze / Exit, Lugo, 1988, 80p, 12x12 Alighiero Boetti – Anne-Marie SauzeauBoetti, Classifying the thousand longest rivers in the world, edited by the artist, Roma, 1977 Maurizio Nannucci – M40 / 1967, Multi art points, Amsterdam, 1976, 186p, 21x15 Maurizio Nannucci – Sessanta Verdi Naturali, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Renzo Spagnoli editore, Firenze, 1977, pages in accordion, 33x11,5 Bruno Munari – Libro illeggibile (Steendrukkerij) de Jong & Co., Hilversum, 1953 Gordon Matta Clark – Splitting, 98 Greene Street soft press, New York, 1974, 32p, 18x28
Translated from the French by Patricia Railing.
General Idea – Cocktail book / The getting into the spirits, edited by the artists, Toronto, 1980, 54p, 10,5x14,5 Ian Hamilton Finlay (with Ron Costley) – Epicurus at Chatou, Exempla & Zona Archives Edizioni, Firenze / Exit, Lugo, 1985, 24p, 1985 Michael Snow – Cover to cover, The press of Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax, 1975, 316p, 18x23
2000 – 2003: Maurizio Cattelan – Permanent Food, magazine edited by the artist, 10 numbers, different places, from 1995 ... Maurizio Nannucci – Freezer, Little Cockroach Press 17, Art Metropole, Toronto, 2000 Rirkrit Tiravanija – Untitled, 1998, (On the road with Jiew Jieb Sri and Moo), Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1998 Liam Gillick – The book of 3rd of June, Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, 2000, 80p Lawrence Weiner, – Apples & Eggs, Salt & Pepper, Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, 1999, 80p
ABOUT THE AVANT GARDE PRACTICES / ART IN BOOKFORM’ Practices of avant garde: art steps out of the gallery and changes skin. It takes off the precious outfit of an objet d’art and dresses in a more practical way according to its purpose and nature. It puts an end to the solemn language or dialectical inflections of literature and bravely enters the world of conversational art opting for the exchange of ideas, for the performance of giving. What has to go through the artistic activity becomes, at a certain point, the ideas, the mechanisms and the stimulation processes, the formal structures that abandon the product to find its own destiny in order to occupy the moment of its creation. Samples without value in a world where everything is measured in values. Art has reached a greater speed of circulation than ever before. The circulation of signs which do not refer to an absolute and unreachable work of art that these signs should substitute for, signs which in themselves and in their multiplicity are a work of art. After Benjamin a work of art, a product resulting from a practice, acquires its own autonomy: it is no longer a copy of the original design but a free and wandering sign with its own intrinsic potential. Having thus become lighter and faster it becomes part of the circuit, reaches its own destination among people who are, sometimes erroneously, identified with the restrictions of the artistic community, simply because they are different
from the uniform mass of consumers of industrial products. The individuality which excels in the work of art, according to Benjamin, and the consequent loss of aura are followed by the dissemination of objects each one with its specific identity that in turn distinguished it from the mass production. And if the object has its proper identity, so also does the person who has bought it. Thus the work of an artist forms an extremely varied and widespread weft in a fabric which is the basic substance of the world. The museum – the imaginary museum, all the museums – imprisoned in its world of pictures, can no longer offer as many alternatives as the practices of the avant garde and the artists’ books which spread their won signs, their own contaminated fetishes across the lines, barriers and boundaries. (First published in the catalogue ‘A.B./Art in Bookform’, Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland, 1986-87.)
SUNE NORDGREN 1950 – 1999: Brynja Baldursdóttir (Iceland) – Rune Poem Published by the artist (1992) Is a visual interpretation of twenty-four stanzas of the Old English Rune Poem (translated by Marijane Osborn). The etched zinc covers were made by a print shop in England, each of them by hand. The curved metal covers are from a metal worker and the inner wooden part of the spine from a broomstickmaker in Iceland. Finally the book was printed in 144 copies by Oddi in Reykjavik. When Brynja presented a copy to the Icelandic president Vigdis Finnbogadottir she immediately bought another copy for King Harald of Norway. Leif Elggren (Sweden) – Cu Published by PHAUSS and the artist (1982). A box with a dry-point etching and a 45 rpm vinyl record with the sound of the making of the copper plate etching and a photograph of the artist performing the work on 23.November 1981 in Gothenburg. An event (Framförande XIX) produced by C M von Hausswolff. Edition limited to 252 copies.
63 krypningar Published by Firework Edition and the artists (1983). A documentation of an event (Framförande XVIII) with the artist crawling back and forth between two walls, 63 times, following a straight line on the floor. At both ends a black board where the 63 fundamental words are written successively at every turn: Life, Earth, Flesh, Death, Stone, Fire, Iron, God, Man etc. A VAVD/TRANS/AKTION at Fylkingen, Stockholm on 24.March 1981. Edition limited to 126 copies. Kurt Johannessen (Norway) – Fairy Tale Published by the artist (1985). A short romantic story is told so close to the paper that the moving lips leave traces on the large white page. ‘I/am/somebody touches/me/and I/feel/touched/and then/it makes me/move/my lips/my mouth/and I/say/I have kissed a princess/and I/wonder/ am I still/a/frog? Printed in Bergen in an edition limited to 600 copies (200 signed). Richard Long (England) – South America Published by Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf (1973) and Sydamerika Swedish translation by Kalejdoskop (1978). Puma, Sun, Spiral, Moon, Condor, Falcon, Rain. A series of drawings during walks in South America in 1972: drawing in the snow, marks scratched with a stone, drawings made by walking or with pebbles on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Art-Rite enthusiastically said in its special edition on Artists Books (1977): ‘If we had to choose the two best artists books, this would be one of them!’ Small format (13x13 cm),36 pages. Helgi Thorgils Fridjónsson (Iceland) A selection of Xerox and Offset books (Lonely, Dagdraumar,A Milli Tveggja Persona, Fucking Short Tale, Rip Kirby, Dæmisaga, Nordur, Hundasögur and others, 1977-83). A series of low-tech publications with short intimate stories about the struggle of trying to be a good human being, the co-existence with other humans, with animals of all kind and with Nature. But also about the joys in life, about art, sex and music; life as a short comic strip. Sizes and formats variable.
2000 – 2003: CCA Kitakyushu – Artists Books Individual books, all in the same A5 size by artists participating in the CCA
Adrian Piper – Colored People: a Collaborative Book Project. London: Book Works, 1991.
Artists-in-Residence Program. Run by Nobuo NAKAMURA (Director ) and Akiko MIYAKE (Program Director), CCA have invited artists since 1997 for residencies, exhibitions and book production. All books are shown in the exhibition and most of them are still available, some through the BALTIC bookshop.
Davi Det Hompson – You know it has to be a hairpiece. Richmond VA: Hompson, 1977. Kevin Osborn – Real Lush. Arlington VA: Osbornbook, 1981. Alfredo Jaar – A Hundred Times Nguyen. Stockholm: Fotografiska Museet i Moderna Museet, 1994.
Lawrence Weiner – Apples & Eggs Salt & Pepper 1999
Helen Douglas – Wild Wood. Yarrow: Weproductions, 1999.
CLIVE PHILLPOT 1950 – 1999: Edward Ruscha – Twentysix Gasoline Stations 1962. 2nd ed. Alhambra: Cunningham Press, 1967. (First published 1963.) Sol LeWitt – Lines in Two Directions and in Five Colors on Five Colors with all their Combinations. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1981 Telfer Stokes – Passage. London: Weproductions, 1972. Lawrence Weiner – And/or: Green as well as Blue as well as Red. London: Jack Wendler, 1972. Ulises Carrión – Looking for Poetry/ Tras la Poesía. 21 Cullompton: Beau Geste Press, 1973.
2000 – 2003: Monica Ross – Valentine. London: Milch, 2000. Jimmie Durham – Stone Heart. Kitakyushu: Center for Contemporary Art, 2001. Bob & Roberta Smith – A is for Book: a Colouring in Book. London: Mrs. + Mr. Design, 2001. Peter Downsbrough – And Here, As. Châteaugiron: FRAC Bretagne & Rennes: Les Éditions Incertain Sens, 2002. Francine Zubeil – Hors de Contenance. Marseille: La Fabrique Sensible, 2002. Colin Sackett – Theenglshalphabet. Axminster: Sackett, 2002.
While Twentysix Gasoline Stations was not the first artist book that I saw, it and other books from the 1960s by Ed Ruscha helped to shape my view of what an artist book might be. I have chosen the 1967 second edition because, unlike the first edition, the last traces of the fine press tradition have been abandoned. I was given a copy of Sol LeWitt’s Four Basic Kinds of Straight Lines when I started writing for Studio International in 1972. It is still one of my favourite books, but I have chosen instead Lines in Two Directions… of 1981, simply because it is a beautiful book with sumptuous use of colour.
Green as well as Blue… was the first Lawrence Weiner book that I saw. I responded particularly to the space in the book, as well as the minimal text and its repetitions. But I have always hoped to see a new edition that prints the words for colours in colour. So some of the earliest artist books that I saw were by American artists. But probably the first such book that I actually bought was Passage by Telfer Stokes. For me this is a paradigmatic artist book. It opened doors. One characteristic that sets it apart from earlier book traditions is its use of serial photography. A Beau Geste Press book that stood out for me was Ulises Carrion’s Looking for Poetry. Once again the space in the book spoke to me, as well as my enjoyment of changing perceptions of the identical lines on each page plucked by different words. I also admired the elegance of the production despite its simple means. My exposure to artist books rapidly increased when I moved to New York, especially because of Printed Matter and Franklin Furnace. It was partly through them that I discovered the work of Adrian Piper and Davi Det Hompson. The book by Piper that first had an impact on me was Talking to Myself… 1974, but I have chosen her Colored People because I witnessed, and even participated in, its evolution. And some of my friends are included. Davi Det Hompson’s ‘image tellings’ grabbed me immediately. His laid back presentation of short texts exemplifies another characteristic of artist books, their accommodation of visual artists for whom words loom large– verbi-visual artists. Kevin Osborn’s Real Lush also socked it to me. So much so that on first seeing it I picked up the phone and called the editor of Artforum to say that I wanted to review it. And I did. In A Hundred Times Nguyen Alfredo Jaar combines the seriality of artists like LeWitt with moving photographs of the Vietnamese refugee child Nguyen in a Hong Kong detention centre, thereby giving a beautiful book a political charge. The first book that I saw by Helen Douglas
was Threads in 1974. Her evolution from this book to Wild Wood is remarkable. The latter is a moving and beautiful work that takes one deep into nature and the seasons, the experience being dependent on the book form. (I now see that in almost every case my discovery and enthusiasm for such books as I have listed led me to an acquaintance with the artists, many of whom have become very good friends.) Both Monica Ross and Jimmie Durham have given me a new appreciation of a mode of book making that powerfully combines verbal and visual narratives in the book format, in parallel with my enjoyment of minimalist and moving-picture books. Peter Downsbrough is one of the masters of the artist book. As with the other artists, choosing only one book is difficult, but And Here, As is a quintessential recent bookwork that evokes his current practice - and such classics as And from 1977. Hors de Contenance is an evocative minimal narrative laid over beautiful images on semitransparent pages. It takes me back to where I once was, in the heart of mid-town Manhattan, among books, etc. Alphabet books are a genre of artist books into which Colin Sackett and Bob & Roberta Smith have recently made incursions. Theenglshalphabet is a keen example of Colin Sackett’s compelling and idiosyncratic use of words and typography. As for that duo Bob & Roberta their title says it all: A is for Book.
HARRY RUHE 1950 – 1996: Ben (Ben Vautier) – BEN DIEU, Art Total Sa Revue, 42 sheets with mounted objects, selfpublished, Nice, n.d. (ca, 1963). Something between a book and a magazine, this is a ‘self portrait’. Ben made beautiful publications in this period, but to me this is his best.
Boetti, Alighiero – Classifying the Thousand Longest Rivers in the World, (with Anne-Marie Sauzeau-Boetti), 1014p., 500 numbered copies, selfpublished, Rome, 1977. Fascinating concept, beautiful object. I bought a few copies directly from Boetti in the early 70s. There was also a deluxe edition with embroidery on the cover, but that was too expensive for me then. Brouwn, Stanley – 1 m 1 step, (format 100 x 10cm.), 500 copies, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1976. This is more than just a (beautiful) book, it is a measuring instrument. Clemente, Francesco – Undae Clemente Flamina Pulsae, 20p., 800 copies, Art & Project, Amsterdam, 1978. The two Clemente books I like most are Pinxit and this one. I prefer this one because of the format. Eykelboom, Hans – In de krant, 38p., 150 copies, gamm(a), Utrecht, 1978. Fascinating report from an undervalued Dutch artist. Eykelboom tried to get his picture in the newspapers every day, over a certain period … Feldmann, Hans-Peter – 11 Bilder (Zimmermädchen), 12p., self-published, Hilden, 1972. I have chosen this one, but in fact I like all Feldmann’s Bilder-books. What can I say about them? As Feldmann wrote in the early 70s: ’The books are what I do … there is no special fact about my work that you should know … you must find real information about me in my books.’ Gilbert & George – Side by Side, 196p., 600 numbered and signed copies, König Brothers, Cologne/New York, 1972. The first (and best) G&G book I bought. Muehl, Otto – Direct Art, (with Günter Brus), 20p., Direct Art Press, Vienna, 1967. Cover size is the same as Provo the periodical of the Dutch anarchist movement, early 60s. There are more similarities. A provocative and funny publication. I like the cheap paper and the hand-written title on the cover (by Brus, I think). Fantastic!
Roth, Dieter – Daily Mirror Book, ca. 2 x 3.5 x 3 cm., ca. 220 copies, self-published, Reykjavik, 1961. Difficult to say what’s the best book in my collection. But this is my favourite! Weiner, Lawrence – Statements, 64p., 1000 copies, The Louis Kellner Foundation/Seth Siegelaub, New York, 1968. The first Weiner book and the one I like most of all, partly for sentimental reasons: he gave me the book when I visited him for the first time on his boat in Amsterdam.
1997 – 2003: Herrmann, Matthias – Hotel, 96p., Art Metropole, Toronto, 2000. Last year I bought some of Herrmann’s books. The artist asked me: ‘Are you hairy?’ What can you say? ‘Uhhh, well, not so much, I think…’ Herrmann took one of the books and wrote on the first page: ‘to not so hairy Harry’. For detailed information on the man: see the book. McCarthy, Paul – Yaa-Hoo, 32p., Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 1998. One of my favourite artists. A beautiful production, this book, and reduced in price now. Buy it! Parr, Martin – Boring Postcards, 2 volumes, each 176p., Phaidon Press, London, 1999/2000. I like all the books Parr has made. But I prefer these two. There is also a 3rd volume: Langweilige Postkarten. Boring? Fascinating! Pardo, Jorge – Untitled, 16 circular pages (incl. cover), capcMusée, Bordeaux, n.d. (3 variations) I like the anonymous character of these books. And, of course, they are beautiful! Wearing, Gillian – Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say 1992-1993, 96p., 1500 copies, Interim Art, London, 1997. Now and then you can find photographs from this series in auctions. Gallery size, really nice. But I prefer the whole story: in the book.
MARVIN SACKNER 1950 – 1999: de Charmoy, Cozette – The True Life of Sweeney Todd. New York: Da Capo Press. 1977. soft cover book. 27.7 x 21.6 x .9 cm [10.91 x 8.50 x 0.35 in]. 94pp. Classification: Experimental Fiction, Visual/Verbal, Visual Art, Artist Book (mass produced). Drescher, Henrik – Tales from the Crib. San Diego, California: Harvest Books. 1994. soft cover book; pages (unconventionally shaped). cover (unconventionally shaped). 14 x 24.8 x .8 cm [5.51 x 9.76 x 0.31 in]. 80pp. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Surrealism, Calligraphic Text, Visual/Verbal, Calligraphic Markings, Conventional Fiction. Federman, Raymond – Double or Nothing. Chicago, Illinois: Swallow Press. 1971. hard cover book. dust jacket. 26.2 x 19.4 x 2 cm [10.31 x 7.64 x 0.79 in]. 203pp. Classification: Experimental Fiction, Shaped Poetry, Concrete Poetry, Tautologic Text, Typewriter Poetry, Postmodernist Fiction, Artist Book (mass produced). Laxson, Ruth – [HO + GO]2 = It. Atlanta, Georgia: Nexus Press. 1986. hard cover book; pages (offset). cover (unconventionally shaped). 26.6 x 21.2 x .7 cm [10.47 x 8.35 x 0.28 in]. Copies: 500. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Visual Poetry, Letter Picture, Calligraphic Text, Calligraphic Markings, Anagram, Musical Notation, Political Poetry. Midda, Sara – In and Out of the Garden. New York: Workman Publishing. 1981. hard cover book. dust jacket. 21.1 x 15.9 x 2 cm [8.31 x 6.26 x 0.79 in]. 112pp. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Concrete Poetry, Calligraphic Text, Visual Art, Visual Poetry, Autograph Book. Noel, Ann – You. West Berlin: Rainer Verlag. 1982. soft cover book. 15 x 10 x 2.5 cm [5.91 x 3.94 x 0.98 in]. 444pp. Copies: 1000. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Letter Picture, Typography. 23 Pesset, Jano – Le Gribouilloir.
Dicy, France: La Fabuloserie-Bourbonnais.
1996. soft cover book. 29.8 x 21.1 x .3 cm [11.73 x 8.31 x 0.12 in]. 20pp.. Classification: Outsider Art, Visual/Verbal, Calligraphic Text, Artist Book (mass produced). Phillips, Tom – A Humument: Third Edition. London, England: Thames & Hudson. 1997. soft cover book. dust jacket. 17.5 x 12.5 x 2.9 cm [6.89 x 4.92 x 1.14 in]. 374pp. Copies: 4000. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Visual Poetry, Cancelled Text, Visual/Verbal, Typewriter Art, Text Over Text, Fragmented Text, Calligraphic Markings, Letter Picture, Abstract Markings, Documentation. Stairs, David – Boundless. New York: 1983. book object; soft cover book (circular spiral spine). 9 x 9 x 1.3 cm [3.54 x 3.54 x 0.51 in]. . Classification: Artist Book, Conceptual Art. Vassilakis, Nico – sequence nu. Cleveland, Ohio: Burning Press. 1996. soft cover book; insert back cover (paper, printed); insert contents (pamphlet, folded). 14 x 20.7 x .3 (book); 13.9 x 10.8 x .1 (pamphlet) cm [5.51 x 8.15 x 0.12 (book); 5.47 x 4.25 x 0.04 (pamphlet) in]. 20pp. Classification: Concrete Poetry, Typewriter Poetry, Letter Picture, Kabbalah, Critical Text. Zellen, Jody – Pinspot. No.2. [Invisible City Series]. Santa Monica, California: Smart Art Press. 1998. soft cover periodical. 22.4 x 15.2 x .4 cm [8.82 x 5.98 x 0.16 in]. 32pp. Illustrations: 20BW. Classification: Fragmented Text, Text Over Text, Critical Text, Worded Photograph, Political Poetry, Artist Book (mass produced).
2000 – 2003: Beining, Guy R – Several Steps from the Rope. Oysterville, Washington: Xtantbooks Anabasis. 2002. soft cover book. 21.1 x 14.4 x .5 cm [8.31 x 5.67 x 0.20 in]. 33pp. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Visual Poetry, Fragmented Text, Erotica. Danielewski, Mark Z – House of Leaves 2nd Printing. New York: Pantheon Books. 2000. hard cover book. dust jacket (label). 24.3 x 18.6 x 4 cm [9.57 x 7.32 x 1.57
in]. 707pp. Classification: Postmodernist Fiction, Experimental Fiction, Concrete Poetry, Musical Notation, Concrete Poetry, Tautologic Text, Conventional Poetry, Visual Art, Visual/Verbal, Mirror Image, Musical Notation, Fragmented Text, Artist Book (mass produced), Film. Goldsmith, Kenneth – Fidget. Toronto, Canada: Coach House Books. 2000. soft cover book. 21.7 x 14.1 x 1 cm [8.54 x 5.55 x 0.39 in]. 108pp. Classification: Performance Poetry, Documentation, Critical Text, Sound Poetry, Mirror Writing, Body Art, Language Art, Artist Book (mass produced). Gomez-Pena, Guillermo; Chagoya, Enrique; Rice, Felicia – Codex Espangliensis. San Francisco, California; Santa Cruz, California: City Lights Books Moving Parts Press. 2000. hard cover books; pages (accordion). 18.4 x 23.7 x 1.5 cm [7.24 x 9.33 x 0.59 in]. 42pp. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Political Poetry, Comic Strip Art, Picture Poetry, Fragmented Text, Visual Poetry, Visual Art, Text Over Text. Haack, Horst – Chronographie Terrestre (Work in Progress): Exhibition Catalogue. Heidelberg, Germany; Mainz, Germany: Kehrer Verlag Gutenberg Museum. 2002. hard cover book; pamphlet (folded). 29.5 x 23.4 x 1.7 cm [11.61 x 9.21 x 0.67 in]. 112pp. Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Visual Poetry, Experimental Fiction, Postmodernist Fiction, Critical Text. Vicuna, Cecilia – Instan. Berkeley, California: Kelsey St. Press. 2002. soft cover book. 22.7 x 15.2 x .8 cm [8.94 x 5.98 x 0.31 in]. 79pp. Copies: 1450(1500). Classification: Artist Book (mass produced), Concrete Poetry, Calligraphic Text, Palindrome, Documentation, Diary.
When I received the request to provide a list of artists’ books – inexpensive books authored by artists that utilize massproduction printing technology – with examples from 1950 to date, I thought that the task would be simple. I would search my database under the classification Artist Book and be finished in a few hours. Here I am one week later writing the essay
on the artists’ books that I selected from our collection. This is because our database has a single entry for Artist Books that includes one of a kind to press runs of thousands. I had no easy way to pull out books utilizing mass production printing but was able to exclude unique books and those with runs up to 10 copies. I was still faced with reviewing books above 10 copies and cost considerations. I first tackled the definition of inexpensive book and concluded that $35 or less defined “inexpensive” since many trade editions sell for this amount. I arbitrarily decided that mass production meant a run of 500 copies or more. Next I needed a definition for an artist book. The first part of definition appears obvious – a book composed by an artist. Most of us think that visual artists are the only artistic talent making images but writers, poets, performers, and experimental music composers also make images sometimes with visuals, more often with words and less frequently with diagrams. Further, some visual artists such as the conceptual and language artists use words almost exclusively as the media for their images. Therefore, I concluded that an artist, writer, poet, performer or experimental music composer could compose an Artist Book that through the images, words, diagrams, or musical notations provides an unusual, visually appealing presentation. This definition excludes books with fine typography dealing with conventional fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I then changed my database classification for Artist Book according to the number of copies, e.g., Artist Book (mass production) includes books with runs of 500 copies or more, Artist Book (limited edition) from 11 to 499 copies and Artist Book from 1 to 10 copies. For those books from a press not self-published with any tirage recorded, I assumed that the number of copies exceeded 500. I grouped the selected books into the following categories: 1) verbal/visual integration, e.g., concrete poetry, visual poetry, sound poetry, rebus, conceptual art, and pictograph books (16 books); 2) unusual shaped books or bindings (6 books); 3) diarist (4 books); 4) experimental calligraphy (3 books); 5) experimental fiction (2 books); 6) flip pages book (1 book); 7) illustrated book (1 book).
Tom Phillips’ A Humument is an example of altering the pages of another author’s book to produce new verbal meanings and an exciting visual appearance. Beining, Haack, and Noel’s books deal with sound, visual, concrete and typewriter poetry. Vassilakis’s sequence nu explores arrangements of the letter ’n’ that Sackner interprets in Kabbalistic terms in an afterword. de Charmoy’s The True Life Of Sweeney Todd, a revisionist interpretation, is presented as multiple picture poems. Pesset’s Le Gribouilloir, is a book for adults from an outsider artist. Drescher’s Tales from the Crib for children on raising a family is shaped like a twodimensional baby bottle but its contents of surrealistic-like images and scraggly handwriting have appeal to adults as well. Gomez-Pena, Chagoya, and Rice’s Codex Espangliensis combines performance poetry, visual/verbal; collages and innovative typography that deal with the colonial conquest, cultural transformations, linguistic admixtures, and economic interdependences that formed the Americas. It is a reprint of a limited edition book that is bound as an ancient codex whose pages can be navigated as one continuous frieze. Laxson’s [HO + GO]2 = it is her take on the impact of a nuclear explosion in visual poetic calligraphic terms. Stairs’ Boundless is a book object that cannot be opened owing to a spiral spine completely encircling the edges of the pages of the circular book. Goldsmith’s Fidget records every body movement his body made on June 16, 1997 from 10 AM to 11 PM.. Vicuna’s Instan reflects her artwork that deals with installations from thread and weavings. Midda’s In and Out of the Garden reproduces watercolors that celebrate myriad forms of gardens, flowers, vegetables, and herbs. This is accompanied by Midda’s elegant calligraphy. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is postmodernist fiction about a movie of a house whose inner dimensions are larger than its outer dimensions. The daring layout would not be expected from a mainstream publisher nor would many book artists consider it an artist book. But if you only had limited funds to purchase a few books, this would get my highest recommendation for its plot and visual pleasure. I could also say the same thing about Federman’s Double or
Nothing, a hilarious, concrete poetic novel about a young immigrant’s discovery of things American that is printed in the form of the typewritten manuscript. Although I spent more time on this project than expected, it was worthwhile since it forced me to crystallize my thoughts on the Artist Book that improves the content of our database.
ULRIKE STOLZ 1950 – 1999: Tom Phillips – A Humument I don’t know much about this book, not even the year of publishing, but of course I have seen many reproductions of its pages. I know from Ian Tyson personally that he was the first one to publish the book. There must havebeen several reprints later. (I don’t have any.) Jean Cocteau: – Die geliebte Stimme Typografisch inszeniert von Barbara Cain Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag Leipzig/Weimar 1982 This book was originally a diploma (final exam) work from the Hochschule fuer Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (the Art Academy Leipzig), and was because of its excellence published by a regular publishing house. Note the date: that was still way back in the times of GDR. Barbara Cain used a “Staromat”: a phototype setting machine now totally out of use, which has “negatives” of every letter of the alphabet which can be altered in size very easily and are printed one by one in the darkroom, thus producing a film that can be printed offset. She used it freely, making the letters dance across the pages. The result is a typographic performance of Jean Cocteau’s famous theatre play where you can almost hear the woman’s voice just by reading the text. In the Federal Republic this book was passed around almost like a “secret” (which it officially of course was not!) and has influenced many artists and designers. Uli Becker – Frollein Butterfly 69 Haiku, Maro Verlag, Augsburg 1983 Maro Verlag was a small publishing house in Augsburg with great interest in
experimental and modern literature and illustrations (“die tollen Hefte”). This book contains 69 Haiku (written in German language, but strictly sticking to the Haiku principle of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables per line), love poems in a short form: witty as well as poetic. The book is printed letterpress, but in an edition of approx. 1000 copies), and the cover looks like a sort of artificial tiger ... Scott McCarney – In case of emergency Nexus Press, Atlanta 1984 Well, of course you know that book. The reason why I put it on my list, is: I remember there was a stand at the International Frankfurt Book Fair in the mid-eighties, showing a great selection of artists’ books from the United States. And this triangular book stayed in my mind. Ruth Laxson – (HO + GO)2=IT Nexus Press, Atlanta 1986 Like Scott’s book before, I saw this in Frankfurt at the Book Fair first - but I am pretty sure it was another year. Years later, when I met Ruth Laxson in Atlanta, it was great to see all her other work. I like very much the way she plays with language, letters, drawings and different (printing) techniques. Susan King – Lessons from the South Nexus Press, Atlanta 1986 I am sure I saw this book first on the same day and stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair as Ruth’s book. It was not only the structure and the material that was so interesting, but also the “language of the fan” that is included in this book as tiny little footnotes. Helen Douglas, Telfer Stokes – Real Fiction Visual Studies Workshop Press & Weproductions 1987 I met Helen first at a conference in London (“Bookworks: A women’s perspective”), before I had seen any of her/their books. This book is one I very much like to show to my students: an eye-opener. Susan King – Treading the Maze Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester 1993 I put this book in my list for both the subject and the structure and for the close link between the two. I know there is a 2nd edition of this book, done by a commercial 25 publisher who decided to change the original structure
into a traditional codex form as they thought the “two-in-one” structure would be too experimental for the “general audience” - which I doubt. Herta Müller – Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm / Vom Weggehen und Ausscheren Rowohlt Verlag Reinbek bei Hamburg 1993 Herta Müller, who grew up in Romania and emigrated to Germany, is one of our best poets and writers in German language, I think. This book shows the author as artist: during her reading tours through libraries and book shops she used to “write” at night in the hotel by cutting out words from newspapers or other printed matter and glueing it onto white plain postcards. She also added drawings or cut out images. The set of postcards was reproduced by Rowohlt Verlag and published in a box - very unusual for a big commercial publishing house! And a great example for crossover relations in many ways! Yoko Tawada– Ein Gedicht in einem Buch CTL Libretto 1 / CTL-Presse, Hamburg (1997) CTL stands for Clemens Tobias Lange, a book artist working in Hamburg and Venice. “Libretto” is a series of small books, either photocopied or printed offset, either original publications or “transformations” from other techniques and formats into a smaller (and more affordable) size. Helen Douglas – Wild Wood Nexus Press + Weproductions, 1999 No words are needed to lead the viewer/ reader into his or her own wilderness. Clifton Meador – Memory Lapse Nexus Press, Atlanta 1999 Very intense pictures, that seem to show the undescribable.
out which company it is. Accompanied by three texts and a list of those companies who refused to give permission to take photographs. freitags.schreiben 1 - 21.4.2000-1.9.2000 - die basis Wiesbaden 2001 A project initiated by Katja von Ruville: a number of people were asked to write an e-mail each friday - whatever they wanted to write (some sent poetry, other short descriptions of what had happened during the week, various styles.) On mondays the participants would get excerpts to read: montags.lesen. In the beginning the idea was to stay in contact with friends who had moved to various places all over the world, but the whole project soon got a dynamic of its own. After about half a year they decided to publish the results: each friday is one booklet, all booklets are collected in a box. (Two more rounds of freitags.schreiben were run and published so far.) To me, this is an interesting combination of “new” and “old” media: using e-mail and the internet for fast communication, and then turning it into a book to have something in your hands. Uta Schneider & Ulrike Stoltz - boundless Nexus Press + <usus> Atlanta 2002 The center of our boatbook-project: books and boats are both containers as well as means of transport. The book contains 7 folded sheets which can be read as concertinas; each part being one chapter of the book (including our research on the famous bookbinding ships of the 70s). Unfolded you see 7 photographs that add up to one large image of a boat passing under a bridge.
Matthias Klose - Na, dann wolln wir mal wieder Braunschweig 2000/2001
I have always loved books. Even before I went to school I read books. I remember that when I was studying art and visual communication I had a time when I thought I would have to make a decision: should I write texts or should I make pictures? Luckily, I found out that with books I could have both.
Photographs of rooms in bigger (or smaller) companies provided for a small break, for relaxing. Absurd sceneries. Each photograph is on a card, turning the card into one of these rooms as well as into a kind of gallery space. You have to open the card to find
This lead in quite a natural way to the idea that there is no “neutral” way of making a book. The type face you choose, the way you set the text on the page, the interdependencies of text and image, the
2000 – 2003:
paper you print on, the structure and binding of the book - all is part of the story that the book tells. Every book tells a story - even collections can be regarded as a way of storytelling: the story of the collected objects, how they got into the collection, and of course they reflect the collector himself and his story. Books as media of communication have their own ways of functioning, and the world of books can be regarded and questioned in a similar way to the worlds of paintings, films, literature, music etc. The book is an art form of its own. The electronic media, their development and growth, put the book into asituation comparable to the situation of painting after the invention of photography. The question is: what makes a book a book? The extraordinary books are those that explore the limits of the book. But since Mallarmé we already know: everything in the world exists to end up in a book. So each book tells a story, and the good ones tell the old story (which is always the story of birth, love, art, and death) in a new way. Books are intimate, even in large editions it is the individual reader/viewer and the individual book that get together: in the kitchen, on the beach, in bed. Every book is a universe and a love affair.
STEFAN SZCZELKUN 1950 – 1999: John Bently – The Billyman Liver & Lights Scriptorium, London. 1989. “The Billyman was a resident of Carrington House, a doss house in Deptford. One night, drunk and horizontal in the Greenwich foot tunnel, he is visited by Shakespeare’s ghost who invites him to rewrite the sonnets according to his own, more contemporary experience. The ultimate sacrilege?” J.B. Clifford Harper - An Alphabet:Twenty Six Drawings by Clifford Harper Working Press, London 1990 Mathew Fuller – Flyposter Frenzy Working Press, London 1992
Graham Harwood - If Comix, 3: Mental Working Press, London 1991 Jola Scicinska & Maria Jastrzebska – Postcards from Poland Working Press, London 1991 Stefan Szczelkun - Collaborations, Class Myths and Culture, The Conspiracy of Good Taste: William Morris, Cecil Sharp, Clough Williams Ellis and the repression of working class culture in the C20th. Working Press, London 1987, 1990, 1993 (boxed set of three). Jason Skeet – The Fatuous Book of Pleasures, The Fatuous Book of Sayings, The Fatuous Book of the Dead, and The Fatuous Book of Spells. Institute of Fatuous Research, Stoke-onTrent, all 1992. (mail art catalogues) Mark Pawson – Die-Cut Wiring Diagram Book The Artist, London 1994
2000-2003: John Bently - Concerning the Poetry of Lost Things (Harrow) Liver & Lights Scriptorium, London 2001 “A community revealed through an examination of its droppings: standard archaeological practice. A year spent rummaging in bins for discarded handwriting provides a fragmentary yet evocative glimpse into the nation’s troubled soul. The local authority who part funded the book subsequently banned it from its libraries... .” J.B. Clifford Harper and John Gallas – The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Deer Agraphia Press, London 2003 Clifford Harper – The Guardian Country Diary Drawings: 36 drawings Agraphia Press, London 2003 Mark Pawson – Noggins + The Artist, London 2001 Howard Slater - Infopool 2: The Spoiled Ideals of Lost Situations, Some Notes on Political Conceptual Art. Infopool, London, October 2000 Howard Slater & Jakob Jakobsen Infopool 4: Divided We Stand, an Outline of Scandinavian Situationism. Infopool, London & Copenhagen July 2001
‘Working Press, books by and about working class artists’ was an imprint initiated in the 1980s as a response to the general interest in identity politics and my own antipathy to the art world. It was a self-publishing umbrella to investigate what issues working class artists would choose to forward in print. I simply asked every artist I met with a working class ‘background’ if they would like to make and publish a book. We produced mainly offset litho books in editions of 500 to 2000. About eighteen titles were produced between 1987 and 1997. My main selection is from artists who published Working Press books. Graham Harwood and Mathew Fuller collaborated closely with me from the beginning. They have continued to work together, and now have international reputations in the area of new media practice. Jola Scicinska (who worked with the poet Maria Jastrzebska) was a member of my other major identity-based project of the Eighties ‘Bigos artists of Polish Origin’. Clifford Harper’s illustrations regularly appear in the Guardian. The two chapbooks he did with Working Press are now collectors’ items. As I got stuck into the project I realised that we fitted somewhat awkwardly into the category of ‘artist’s books’. This activity hovered uncomfortably between the worlds of book publishing and fine art editions. In the late Eighties the British scene seemed to be fragmented and in decline. I procured an Arts Council grant to research and promote artist’s books in general. This was not without its problems and my broad view that artist’s books should include such genres as self-published comix and graphic novels was not welcomed by the gatekeepers of this area. One of my main allies in following-up this activity, which led to Tanya Peixoto starting the ‘Artist’s Book Yearbook’, was John Bently. My introduction to artist’s books had been through mail art in the early Eighties. Mail art was an extraordinary world-wide phenomenon (still poorly documented) that put me in contact with many people who subsequently became lifelong friends. Jason Skeet and Mark Pawson are two of the most interesting artists I met this way who also produced bookworks. Jason went on to be a leading light of The Autonomous Astronauts and is now a DJ in the Netherlands. Mark is going strong as a one person cottage industry of art ephemera in East London.
JAN VOSS 1950 – 1999: Dogbook – Magnús Pálsson, Edition Hansjörg Mayer, Stuttgart 1973
Death Wish Starring Charles Bronson, Architect – Rob Kovitz, Treyf, Winnipeg 2001 I Piss On The Arts – Jean Toche, Edition Hundertmark, (Köln), 2001.
Boing – Anton Bruhin, Woa Verlag, Zürich, 1998 Zeitschrift für Alles/Review For Everything/Tímarit Fyrir Allt. Nr 10 A/ 1987, edited by Diether Roth, Roth’s Verlag, Basel 1984 At Baere Vand / Carrying Water – Finn Thybo Andersen, Space Poetry, Copenhagen … (The Book of Troy : title in modern Greek) – Henriëtte van Egten, Vossforlag, Amsterdam, 1989 Chasing the Rainbow – Rúna Thorkelsdóttir, Amsterdam 1990 Ade, Jan Voss – Selbstverlag, Amsterdam 1989 Ein Tagebuch (Aus D Jahre 1982) A Diary (From The Year 1982), Diether Roth Verlag, Basel 1982 Seiten, Zeiten – Kilos Kram, Jan Voss, Ritter, Klagenfurt 1992 67, Oey Tjeng Sit, De Vingerpers, Amsterdam 1984
I’m invited to write a ‘short statement’ of between 100 to 500 words to comment on, or to explain, my selection of books. I intend to use the maximum number of words – my 2 lists of 16 different books allow me therefore an average of 31.25 words per title. I’ll have to keep it very short. The first, Dogbook, shows on its pages a series of reproduced photographs. One could think one sees a dog-like object made of plaster out from which a lot of straw is sticking. The artist/author, I think, found it a good idea to sort of store a situation which he had created on his work bench on the pages of a book. The situation on the bench would probably not last there for too long. The photographs, and not just the photographs, but the photographs in a book, I think, have offered him the possibility to show his idea of a rather fleeting creation being kept in something rather lasting, a book. At least that is what I read into it. Boing for me is the result of a visual artist’s and musician’s favourite occupation: he writes and draws, and I see he is happily busy with it. Isn’t he busy with his favourite instrument, his wit? These are already 216 words, in this way I’ll never cover my 16 books.
2000 – 2003: Schrijfblok – Luna Maurer + Jochem van der Spek, Amsterdam 2002 Daytrip – Henriëtte van Egten, Vossforlag, Amsterdam 2000 Frischer Wind – Jan Voss, Selbstverlag, Amsterdam 2002 Rabbitting On – Nr.1-3 - Henriëtte van Egten, 27 Vossforlag, Amsterdam 2002
My 3rd book has 1252 pages filled by 296 contributors, if I counted right. How should I grip that quickly? Then comes a book that must be easy to get a grip on with only a few words. It is a book that invites the feeling that one understands it. When leafing through it one sees the filling and carrying of buckets of water and their being emptied, in a traffic sign-like picture language. The book shows 2 similar but diametrically opposed stories, both no doubt as a symbolical reference to the idea of the futility of man’s efforts. One could think the stories take place in an Eden through which a river runs, and where time
is spent without sweating and without any achievement. The bucket filling and carrying and emptying activities have about them something of a ritual. As actual fun the activities are, in the long run, a bit too monotonous. The advantage of monotony is that it allows the unemployed parts of the brain to think up variations. The water in the river which is meandering through (and out of) Eden, could be exchanged for cider. Dwellers of Eden could get thirsty and secretly take sips from their buckets while taking shortcuts from the one river bend to the next. They should actually be allowed to sweat. Then they could catch their drops of sweat in their buckets and mix them into the river of cider which more downstream would become more a river of sweat. Which makes this bucket of words soon run over (484), and the book a crash course for modern man to understand his history.
(this text is inspired by Oey Tjeng Sit’s book 67, number 10 on my list)
sculpture (inauguration: June 21, 1990). Villeurbanne: Le Nouveau Musée, 1990.
1950 – 1999:
Just Another Thing Taken and Changed (A Wood) (A Stone). 48 pages. Edition of 125, signed and numbered. [English] Travel diary containing cat. # 621, drawings, and an essay on New Guinea. Antwerp and Brussels: Galerie Micheline Szwajcer and Yves Gavaert, 1989. [see 1994 for pocketbook format]
Statements. 64 pages, 1000 copies [English]. Includes cat. # 002, 008-010, 015, 018022, 025, 030-042. New York: Seth Siegelaub/ The Louise Kellner Foundation, 1968. 10 Works. 88 pages. 1000 copies [English/French. Translation: Laurent Sauerwein.] Includes cat. #234-243. produced concurrently with the exhibition at Yvon Lambert (February). Paris: Yvon Lambert Editeur, 1971. Green As Well As Blue As Well As Red, 100 pages. 1000 copies [English] Produced concurrently with the exhibition at the Jack Wendler Gallery. The book was used as a prop and the work as part of the dialogue in the videotape Green As Well As Blue As Well As Red, 1976. The work was also presented in the film Plowman’s Lunch. London: Jack Wendler Gallery, 1972. Pertaining To A Structure. 104 pages. 750-1000 copies. Copies having a magenta cover (i.e. not purple) are a rejected publication. [English] Photographs: Daniel Buren. Includes cat. #442 and stills from the videotape Do You Believe In Water? London: Robert Self Publications, 1977. Factors In The Scope of Distance / A Structure Of Lawrence Weiner. Paradigmatic comic book. 32 pages. 1000 copies. New York and Antwerp: Moved Pictures and Galerie Anny De Decker Uitgeverij: ADD, 1984. Apples & Eggs Salt & Pepper. Design and layout in collaboration with Hedeaki Ohe, Masahide Yoshida. 30 copies signed and numbered. Published by Center for Contemporary Arts, CCA Kitakyushu, Japan, part of CCA Artist’s book series. Printed and bound in Japan. Kitakyushu: CCA, 1999. La Marelle / Pie in the Sky. 24 pages. Edition unknown. [French. Collaborative translation: L.W and Le Consortium, Dijon.] Includes cat.#636, an essay, and drawings related to a public
Trois Petits Canards Une Eau De Vie. 96 pages, colour, serigraphed cardboard cover with linen spine. Luc Vezin & Lawrence Weiner. Edition of 1000 with 100 numbered & signed by the artists in a black barrier board box, including a small bottle of Les Etoiles calvados and three La Perruche brown cane sugar cubes. A collaboration between Vezin and Weiner, their dialogue/ conversation is reproduced in collage and typescript. France: JNF Productions, 2002.
Relative to Hanging. 24 pages. 500 copies. [English/Dutch/ Icelandic/Swedish/Finnish/Norwegian. Tiré À Quatre Epingles. 14 pages, colour, Translation: Dan Turell, Marianne Randhard cover & pages, children’s book [French Hendriksen, Bjorn Hogbjerg, Oscar von text]. France: Editions du Seuil, 2003. Schmalensee, Johannes Kemppi.] Includes cat. #407-411. Ringkobing, Denmark: Edition After Hand, 1975 . EACH OF THE BOOKS SELECTED SPEAK FOR Within Forward Motion. 54 pages. 500 THEMSELVES UPON WHICHSOEVER SUBJECT THEY copies. [English/German. Translation: PRESENT Jurgen Wesseler.] Includes cat. #333-341. Produced concurrently with the exhibition IN ANY EVENT BOOKS DO FURNISH A ROOM at Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst. Work later & used in the film A Second Quarter, 1975. YOU CAN TELL A BOOK BYITS COVER Bremerhaven: Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst, 1973.
2000 – 2003: NYC Manhole Covers / Public Art Fund in Collaboration with Con Edison & Roman Stone. 40 pages, softcover. Photos: Kirsten Weiner (with the exception of Richard Griggs, pg.1.) Documents installation of 19 covers on New York’s streets. New York: Public Art Fund, 2001. Out From Under. Children’s book. 48 pages (in two directions), softcover. [English/Hebrew/Arabic. Translation: Erez Schweitzer, Moshe Hakham.] Tel Aviv: Dvir Gallery, 2001. Blue Moon Over. Comic book, colour 36 pages, staple bound. Edition of 1000 with 100 signed and numbered, in a boxed set with 5:00 min. DVD. New York: Moved Pictures. 2001. Wild Blue Yonder. 112 pages, colour, sewn/ perfect bound. Edition of 1000 with 100 signed and numbered in portfolio edition with 15:15 min. DVD. From the movie / DVD Wild Blue Yonder with graphic translation by Kimberly Hassett. New York: Moved Pictures & Printed Matter, Inc. 2002.
BARBARA WIEN 1950 – 1999: 1) Dieter Roth – MUNDUNCULUM. Ein tentatives Logico-Poeticum, dargestellt wie Plan und Programm oder Traum zu einem provisorischen Mytherbarium für Visionspflanzen. Band 1 : das rot´sche Videum. 336 S., 21x16, Fadenheftg., brosch.. Edition of 1000. Köln 1967 2) Claus Böhmler – Pinocchio. 80 S., 21x15, Ppdg.. Verlag der Gebr. König, Köln, New York 1969 3) Tomas Schmit – das gute dünken. 272 Seiten, hektographiert mit diversen Zeichnungen, Abbildungen, Einklebseln usw., 15x14, brosch.. Edition of 408 Exx.. Selbstverlag, /published by the author Berlin 1970 4) George Brecht – BOOK. 28 S., 30,5x22, Ln., Schuber edition of 50 Galerie Michael Werner , Köln 1972 5) Arthur Köpcke – reading/work-pieces (1963-65) Hektographiertes Typoskript, zusammengestellt zwischen 1963 und 1965, original bearbeitet. Auflage unbestimmt 6) Ernst Caramelle – Forty Found Fakes. 46 S., ca. 34x28, Drahtheftg.. edition of 100 num. copies New York 1979 7) Marcel Broodthaers – Eine Reise auf der Nordsee. 38 S., 78 Abb., 15x17,5, brosch.. Köln, London 1973 8) Booklets by Ida Applebroog. For example: _Say something. A Performance. ed. by Galileo Works. 20 S., 11 s/w Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Aufl. 500 Exx., sign. & dat.. Wir bieten das Ex. Nr. 137/500 an. o.O.. 1977. _ It doesn’t sound right. A Performance. Ed. by Galileo Works. 20 S., 9 s/w Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Aufl. 500 num. & sign. 29 Exx.. Wir bieten das Ex. Nr. 106/500 an. o.O., 1977.
_You’ll see. A Performance. Hrsg. v. Dyspepsia Works. 20 S., 12 farb. Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Handschriftl. datiert. o.O., 1979. _Sure I’m sure. A Performance. Ed. by. Dyspepsia Works. 20 S., 10 farb. Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Handschriftlich datiert. o.O.. 1979. _Now Then. A Performance Ed. by Dyspepsia Works. 20 S., 11 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Handschriftl. dat.. o.O. 1979. _But I Wasn’t There. A Performance. Ed. by. Dyspepsia Works. 20 S., 7 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. Handschriftl. dat.. o.O. 1979. _Stop Crying. A Performance. Ed by Blue Books. 20 S., 20x16, 11 Abb., Drahtheftg.. o.O. 1981. _It’s very Simple. A Performance. Ed. by Blue Books. 20 S., 11 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. o. O. 1981. _So? Ed. by Blue Books. 20 S., 11 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. o.O. 1981. _I Can’t . A Performance. Ed. By Blue Books. 20 S., 11 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. o.O. 1981. _A Performance. Ed. by Blue Books. 20 S., 7 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. o.O.1981. _I mean it. A Performance. Ed. by Blue Books. 20 S., 10 Abb., 20x16, Drahtheftg.. o.O. 1981. 9) Hans-Peter Feldmann. – Die Toten 1967-1993 (Studentenbewegung, APO, BaaderMeinhof, Bewegung 2. Juni, Revolutionäre Zellen, RAF, ...).192 S., 90 Abb., A 5, brosch.. Düsseldorf 1998. 10) Jimmie Durham – Between the furniture and the building / between a rock and a hard place.
Ca. 200 S., 23x15,5, brosch.. Köln 1998 (=Kunstwiss. Biblioth. Bd. 9) (beim Verlag vergriffen) (Texte & Zeichnungen von Durham)
2000 – 2003: 1) Alexandra Leykauf. – Posterbuch (53x40), farbige Poster (gefaltet, ineinandergelegt). published by the author, Berlin 2002 2) Peter Fischli David Weiss – Findet mich das Glück? 168 S., 14,5x10,5, brosch.. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König,(2. Auflage) Köln 2003. _Will happiness find me ? Englische Ausgabe. 168 S., 14,5x10,5. Köln 2003. _Mi trova la fortuna ? Italienische Ausgabe. 168 S., 14,5x10,5. Köln 2003. 3) Isa Melsheimer – Isa. Gouachen. 64 S., 28 farb. Abb., 16x10,5, Fadenheftung, brosch.. Wiens Verlag, Berlin 2002. 4) Piller, Peter. – 3 Hefte / 3 booklets. regionales Leuchten, Auto berühren, überschattete Aufnahmen. “Auto berühren”, 16 S., 16 Abb., “regionales Leuchten” & “überschattete Aufnahmen”, je 12 S., 12 Abb., Fadenheftg., in Klarsicht-Plastikbox. Ediiton of 110 num. & sign. copies, davon 10 als Vorzugsausgabe mit einem Laserdruck, Wiens Verlag , Berlin 2001.
In 2000 the artist Jonas Ekeberg invited me to show my bookshop in his new space “Oslo Kunsthall” in Oslo. It was his idea to bring around 400 art- and artists’ books in this former garage. Till today I admire his courage, not only because the tax problems nearly killed the whole Kunsthall... . Tomas Schmit, who was also invited to participate in this project, wrote in his text for the catalogue: “the word ocean covers some twenty square millimetres.(...) as i said, there is n o relation between the ocean and the word ocean. e x c e p t that, when you
write, or read, or say, or hear the word, something happens in your brain which is s i m i l a r to what happens in your brain, when you really see the ocean, or hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it, or swing in it (what people call ‘our five senses’ are actually six!). of course this ‘similar thing’ is less than the ‘real’ thing. and of course i t i s m o r e than the real thing, because you can have it f.i. in a himalayan cave, thousand miles away from the next drop of salt-water. this ‘more’ has something seductive..: imagine you brought enough paper and a pencil or typewriter with you to your nepalese cave; and a candle or something: then you can start inventing. let’s say a guy – you’ll call him frederic, who is in love with, let’s say: aramalia. in the beginning of your writing this love is rather unhappy. and in the end it is much more happy - or, and here you have to decide which style of literature you want to produce, even more unhappy. and inbetween you have your two people meet and part and eat and drink and travel and make music and meet others and nail things to their walls and solve riddles and throw balls and wash their trousers and all sorts of things. for hundreds and thousands of pages.. – and that is exactly what we – as i could say because there are others too – or what i – because i’m speaking for myself – am n o t interested in! so we/i concentrate on the less, so to speak. which leads to the opposite of fiction: to a certain realism or concretism: writing/reading ‘making love with my favourite person’ is much less than doing it. writing/reading ‘putting words together to a sort of sentence’
is much less less. it’s not more, it’s not less, it’s it.” “Concretism”, concentration on the less, like Tomas Schmit describes it, seem to me helpful terms not only to find the differences between the normal books and the artists’ books but also between the different sorts of artists’ books. In my choice for “Outside of a dog” Dieter Roth “Mundunculum”, Tomas Schmit “das gute dünken”, Marcel Broodthaers “Eine Reise auf der Nordsee”, Arthur Koepcke “Reading-work pieces” and George Brecht “BOOK” are a few examples for the concretism mentioned above. As a playful book about perception and as an example for the so-called market for artists’ books I choose Claus Böhmler “Pinocchio”: it was made in 1969 and is still available for 16 Euro. Ida Applebroogs booklets I choose because I was impressed by the filmlike drawings which tell nothing and also by the surprise that they “turned up” in my book world just recently. As one of the rare examples of a good book with direct political content I choose Hans-Peter Feldmann “Die Toten”. As I estimate very high the writings by some artists I choose as an example: Jimmie Durhams “Between the Furniture and the Building”. There I found the best story about different cultures I ever read: “Dhotsua is a common name for a Cherokee man, and it is also the name of a bright red bird that lives with us. I also knew the name in English is ‘cardinal’. Much later in life, I saw that there were Italian priests that called themselves cardinals and I thought how nice that they named themselves after the bird.” A few words about the section 2000-2003: I offer Isa Melsheimer and Peter Piller, two young artists I published. I suggest to look at Alexandra Leykauf, a very young german artist who is working with photos. Her “Posterbook” shows: a certain independency of artists’ book production is still existing. Leykauf didn’t wait for support from outside - she went to Lithuania to print the book and distributes it by herself. The other book I do not want to miss anymore is “Will happiness find me?” by Peter Fischli and David Weiss. There you find hundreds of questions and not one answer: “What is my dog thinking? Where is my bed? Does she feel it? Is everything I have ever forgotten as big
as a house? Why am I always right?” And now, 14th september 2003, a book comes to my mind I forgot: “Gridblock” by the Korean artist Haegue Yang. She was always missing different paper ruled in millimetre squares she needed for her work ... till she decided to develop it by her own and let it print for herself and for others.
MAMI YOSHIMOTO 1950 – 1999: author : Edward Ruscha title : Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass publisher, place of publication: (artist) 1968 author : Marcel Broodthaers title : Un Coup de Des Jamais n’Abolira le Hasard. publisher, place of publication: Galerie Wide White Space, Antwerpen Galerie Michael Wener, Koeln 1969 author : Dieter Roth (Karl-Dietrich Roth) title : Die die Die DIE verdammte GESAMTE Kacke publisher, place of publication: Rainer Verlag, Berlin edition hansjorg mayer, stuttgart, london, reykjavik 1975 author : George Maciunas title : Flux Paper Events publisher, place of publication: Edition Hundertmark, Berlin 1976 author : Tom Phillips title : A humument : a treated Victorian novel publisher, place of publication: Thames and Hudson, London 1980 author : On Kawara title : I went, I met, I read, Journal 1969 publisher, place of publication: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, Koeln 1992 author : Shinro Ohtake title : AT lanta 1945+50 publisher, place of publication: Nexus Press, Atlanta 1996
2000 – 2003: author : Hans-Peter Feldmann title : Profil Nr. 6 vom 7 02. 2000, ohne Worte publisher, place of publication: museum in progress, Wien / Feldmann Verlag, Dusseldorf 2000 author : Martin Kippenberger title : No Drawing No Cry publisher, place of publication: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, Koeln 2000 author : Fumimasa Hosokawa title : Anonymous Scapes Hello, The Twentieth Century publisher, place of publication: Hosokawa Fumimasa, Tokyo 2002? author : Koo Jeong-a title : Frozen with a Smile publisher, place of publication: Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyusyu, Kitakyusyu 2003
Hosokawa collected information about an unidentified dead body that appeared in official gazettes. He took photographs of the place where they had been found and assembled them with copies of the official gazettes into the book. Ohtake collaged Japanese and American ephemera and other materials and printed them on used billboard sheets with 150 runs on the press. Turn of the pages emphasizes excessive layers of found images and objects; besides this book emerges differently under a black light. Dieter Roth is one of the very important book artists for me but it is difficult to select one book made by him. I chose “Die die Die DIE verdammte GESAMTE Kacke”. It shows deployment “Scheisse” series begun in 1966 and this deployment and accumulation of images are his striking feature. “A Humument” and “I went, I met, I read, Journal 1969” also represent their activities vividly. As for these books, artists choose a book as a medium for artistic expression and show a characteristic of the book form.
Arrangement of original materials is common to Feldmann’s “Profil”, Kippenberger’s “No Drawing No Cry” and Broodthaers’s “Un Coup de Des Jamais n’Abolira le Hasard”. “Profil” is a reprint of Viennese weekly magazine without texts. Kippenberger had drawn on hotel stationery and compiled them into “Hotel” and “Hotel-Hotel”. “No Drawing No Cry” is the other version and an accumulation of blank letter papers. Broodthaers transposed the poem written by Stephane Mallarme into rectangles. Those are different from each other in terms of intention, methods and expression, but we can reconstruct the intent of the artists with recalling original materials, moreover create our imagination by ourselves.
I am interested in artist books that show the feature of the book form, namely a sequence of the pages. That is, I can recognize an accumulation of images or other documents and spread more and more images by myself with turning over the pages. As for “Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass” and “Frozen with a Smile”, artists are fully conscious of the experience of turning the pages. The image of swimming pool emerges occasionally in blank pages. In reading “Frozen with a Smile”, we have to tear out pages carefully, because Koo Jeong-a glued all edges. In these books including “Flux Paper Events”, turn of the 31 pages creates a fresh experience and shows events on the book.
arije van Warmerdam – Promise 2002 Marijke van Warmerdam - Promise 2002 Table, books, handblown glass bowl, water and guppies (90 x 59 x 39cm)
It is only five years since I recognized “artist books”. The books by Dieter Roth and Edward Ruscha changed my idea of book and made a strong impression on me first. Then artist books have attracted me thoroughly ever since. For this exhibition, I choose several titles from which I really see and touch the books in just only five years.
BOOKS ABOUT ARTIST BOOKS Bernard Blistène et al – Poésure et Peintrie: “d’un art, l’autre”. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1993.
Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, 1986. Stefan Klima – Artists Books: a Critical Survey of the Literature. New York: Granary, 1998. Koppány, Márton ed. – Idegen az Ajtóban…. Budapest: Artpool-Balassi Kiadó, 1999.
Stephen Bury – Artists’ Books: The Book as a Work of Art, 1963-1995. Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995. Ulises Carrion – On Books. Geneva: Heros-Limite, 1997. Cathy Courtney – Private Views and Other Containers. London: Estamp, 1992. Cathy Courtney – Speaking of Book Art: Interviews with British and American Book Artists. Los Altos Hills: Anderson-Lovelace, 1999. Johanna Drucker – The Century of Artists’ Books. New York: Granary, 1995. Timothy A. Eaton ed. – Books as Art. 2nd ed. Boca Raton FL: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 1992(?). Michael Glasmeier – Die Bucher der Kunstler: Publikationen und Editionen seit den sechziger Jahren in Deutschland. Stuttgart(?): Institut furAuslandsbeziehungen/Edition Hansjorg Mayer, 1994. Tim Guest ed. – Books by Artists. Toronto: Art Metropole, 1981. Martha Hellion, ed. – Libros de Artista /Artist’s Books. Madrid(?): Turner, 2003. Judith A. Hoffberg – Umbrella: the Anthology. Santa Monica: Umbrella Editions, 1999. Renée Riese Hubert & Judd D. Hubert – The Cutting Edge of Reading: Artists’ Books. New York: Granary Books, 1999. Thomas Kellein – “Frohliche Wissenschaft” Das Archiv Sohm.
David Hammonds – The Holy Bible: Old Testament 2001 1002pp, 225 colour plates, soft cover, leather-bound, gilt edged, gold tooling, plus slipcase. Approximately 30 x 24 x 2.5cm in size. Weight 8.6 kilos. Courtesy of hand/eye projects.
Arthur Brall – Kunstlerbücher…. Frankfurt: Kretschmer & Grossman, 1986.
Cornelia Lauf & Clive Phillpot – Artist/ Author: Contemporary Artists’ Books. New York: DAP & American Federation of the Arts, 1998. Lucy Lippard – Six Years: the Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 New ed. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1997. Joan Lyons ed. - Artists’ Books: a Critical Anthology and Sourcebook. Layton UT: Gibbs Smith/Rochester NY: Visual Studies Workshop, 1985. Anne Moeglin-Delcroix – Esthetique du Livre d’Artiste 1960/1980 Paris: Jean-Michel Place, 1997. Anne Moeglin-Delcroix – Livres d’Artistes. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou B.P.I. & Editions Herscher, 1985. Piotr Rypson – Books and Pages: Polish Avant-Garde and Artists’ Books in the 20th Century. Warsaw: Center for Contemporary Art, 2000. Piotr Rypson – Polska Ksiazka Awangardowa I Artystyczna 1919-1992. Warsaw: Centrum Sztuki Wspólczesnej, 1992. Mitsuru Sakamoto et al – Another Door: Art of Books in the 20th Century. Urawa: Urawa Art Museum, 2000. Mitsuru Sakamoto et al – Books as Art, from Tiasyo Period Book Design to Contemporary Art Objects. Urawa: Urawa Art Museum, 2001. Guy Schraenen – D’Une Oeuvre I’Autre: Le Livre d’Artiste dans l’Art Contemporaine. Morlanwelz-Mariemont: Musee royal de Mariemont, 1996. Keith Smith – Structure of the Visual Book. Rochester NY: Visual Studies Workshop, 1984. Silvie Turner ed. – Facing the Page: British Artists’ Books, a survey 19831993. St.Albans: Estamp, 1993.
SELECTORS BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES Juan J. Agius – book dealer, editor, publisher lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Kaatje Cusse – editor, translator, lives in Brussels, Belgium.
Anne Moeglin-Delcroix – professor at the Sorbonne, curator, philosopher lives in Oulchy-le-Chateau, France. Maurizio Nannucci – artist, founder of Zona Archives lives in Firenze, Italy & Germany.
Simon Cutts – poet, editor, fabricator lives in Clonmel, Ireland.
Sune Nordgren – museum director, curator, publisher lives in Newcastle, England; Oslo, Norway & Åhus, Sweden.
Mirtha Dermisache – plastic artist lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Clive Phillpot – writer, curator, librarian lives in London, England.
Johan Deumens – curator, gallerist, publisher lives in Heemstede, Netherlands.
Harry Ruhé – gallerist, publisher, writer lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Leif Eriksson – artist,writer, publisher, founder of Swedish Archive of Artists’ Books llives in Malmö, Sweden. Alec Finlay – artist, poet, publisher lives in Newcastle, England György Galántai –artist, founder of Artpool Art Research Centre (co-director Júlia Klaniczay, critic, editor) lives in Budapest, Hungary. Conrad Gleber – artist, professor of theory and critical issues of art and design lives in Tallahassee, Florida, USA Gary Goldstein – artist, educator lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Skúta (Helgasson) – artist at large lives in New York, USA & Iceland. Martha Hellion – artist, curator, publisher of artist’s books lives in Mexico City. Márton Koppány - artist, translator, editor lives in Budapest, Hungary. Florence Loewy - owner of bookshop and gallery lives in Paris, France Joan Lyons – works with artists’ books, photographic and digital print media, founder of Visual Studies Workshop Press lives in Rochester, New York, USA. 33 Hansjörg Mayer – publisher
lives in London.
Marvin Sackner – M.D. retired pulmonary physician, inventor, collector, co-founder of the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry lives in Miami Beach, USA. Ulrike Stoltz – book artist, professor for typography lives in Germany. Stefan Szczelkun – author/editor of the three classic Survival Scrapbooks: Shelter, Food and Energy, publisher, artist, educator lives in London, England Jan Voss – artist, writer, one of three caretakers of Boekie Woekie books by artists lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lawrence Weiner – artist lives in New York, USA and Amsterdam, Netherlands Barbara Wien – owner of bookshop and gallery, publisher lives in Berlin, Germany. Mami Yoshimoto – assistant curator Urawa Art Museum lives in Tokyo, Japan
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Clive Phillpot, the curator of Outside of a Dog would like to express his gratitude to his co-selectors and a special thank you to Sarah Martin and Nicola Hood for curatorial support at BALTIC, but also to the following for all kinds of support: Viv Anderson, Boekie Woekie, Bookartbookshop, British Council, Visual Arts Department, Chelsea College of Art & Design, The London Institute, Pippa Coles, Graham Dolphin, Alec Finlay, Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson, David Hammons, Hand/Eye Projects, Anne Howes, John Latham, Liz Lawes, Sara Ley, Lisson Gallery, Florence Loewy, Wendy Lothian, Andrew Lovett, Gary Malkin, Mimi Martel, Northumbria University, Chris Osborne, Tanya Peixoto, Belinda Phillpot, David Platzker, Printed Matter Bookshop, Patricia Railing, Matthew Shaul, Hinda Sklar, John Smith, E. Topliffe, Jan Voss, Liz Ward, Marijke van Warmerdam, Lawrence Weiner and of course, Sune Nordgren, without whom… . And for this second enlarged edition very special thanks indeed to Conrad Gleber and Gail Rubini.
2nd enlarged edition, 2004
Edited by Clive Phillpot and Sune Nordgren Design: Graham Dolphin and Gail Rubini
John Latham – God is Great (#1) 1991 John Latham – God is Great (#1) 1991 Glass, books, resin (91.5 x 91.5 x 48 cm)
Above: Lawrence Weiner – Catalogue #814 1997/98 Cover illustration: Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson
BALTIC, The Centre for Contemporary Art South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA Tel: +44 (0)191 478 1810. Fax: +44 (0)191 478 1922 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.balticmill.com Exhibition Dates: Saturday 27 September 2003 – Sunday 30 May 2004 Preview Evening: Friday 26 September 2003 19.00-21.00 Gallery opening hours: Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat: 10.00 – 19.00 Thurs: 10.00 – 22.00. Sun: 10.00 – 17.00 Free Admission