PLAY The Play

Published by Bat Editions, Paris, 2014, 796 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 25.6 × 36.3 cm, English / French / Japanese

Price: €50

The reprint of two out-of-print artist’s books self-published in the 80’s by the Japanese artists collective The Play, with a previously unreleased documentation.

Staging most of their actions, “without particular reason,” in “natural outdoor spaces,” and admitting they “only like[d] the infinite time and space of open air,” The Play is a fluctuating art collective gathering individuals with various personalities and skills, formed in 1967 in the Japanese Kansai region. Still active today the group has constantly devised its own methods for collective actions and the ways for transmitting them, its members coming together to create the possibility of an event without any concern for its result. Its persistence and longevity have set The Play apart from other groups in Japanese art history, never completely integrated, yet never completely at the margins. Refusing to distinguish art from life, The Play underlines an attitude and an outlook focused on playing, sincerity and humour, notions that remain crucial today.

#2014 #japaneseavant-garde #theplay
PAUL THEK IN PROCESS. COMMENTARIES ON/OF AN EXHIBITION

Published by Revolver Publishing, Berlin, 2014, 212 pages (b/w ill.), 14.8 × 21 cm, English / German / Swedish

Price: €18 (Temporarily out of stock)

Paul Thek in Process. Commentaries on/of an Exhibition includes all research material which was made public in different formats in the exhibition series Paul Thek in Process. The exhibition was born out of the desire to memorialise Paul Thek’s spatial work that the artist realised in Europe in the 1970s and to make it possible to experience it in a larger historic context. Thanks to the historic distance, the latter is possible today. As exhibition, documentation and inscenation at the same time, the project not only traced the tracks of a lost artistic practice, but also questioned the importance of ephemeral material in exhibition contexts, the boundaries of the artwork, the exhibition and institution history, the reception and today’s practice of re-inscenation. The publication is conceived as a work list, a biography and a history of objects, an image documentation of the exhibitions and, last but not least, as a self-critical curatorial review on this past project.

#2014 #paulthek #revolverpublishing
Vogliamo Tutto Nanni Balestrini

Published by Telephone Publishing, Melbourne, 2014, 198 pages, 13.8 × 20.5 cm, English

Price: €16 (Out of stock)

“Vogliamo tutto: We want everything – all the wealth, all the power, and no work.”

Torino, 1969. Fiat’s giant Mirafiori plant is a magnet for thousands of young southern workers, who go north to escape oppression, poverty and underdevelopment and find only exploitation and abuse on the assembly lines.

Nanni Balestrini draws on interviews, flyers and the movement’s bulletins to document workers’ experiences on the factory floor, in the meetings and demonstrations and, finally, at the barricades, creating a poetic remix of a novel, a searching documentary and a call to arms for a just society.

Translated from the Italian by Matt Holden. Designed by Warren Taylor.

#2014 #nannibalestrini #warrentaylor
Premonition Etel Adnan

Published by Kelsey Street Press, Berkeley, 2014, 64 pages, 11.7 × 17 cm, English

Price: €17

Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, visual artist, and essayist. Her rich body of work documents an unblinking witness to beauty in nature, human beings and art; to cruelty, especially as enacted in the mindless violence of war; and to the power of love and human perseverance. In Premonition the voice is wise and paradoxical, opening with the observation, “There’s always a conductive thread through space for untenable positions.” Sentences are set apart in aphoristic cuts never wholly separate from this “conductive thread,” and always shaped by the gem-like compressions of poetry. Premonition is a short book that refuses finality in a world of contingencies and human unpredictability.

#2014 #eteladnan #kelseystreetpress
Representing the Possible Stephen Willats

Published by Victoria Miro, London, 2014, 32 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 14.8 × 21 cm, English

Price: €12

Stephen Willats has made work examining the function and meaning of art in society since the 1960s. His work has involved interdisciplinary processes and theory from sociology, systems analysis, cybernetics, semiotics and philosophy. This manifests in wall installations, project works, films & computer simulations, drawings & diagrams, bookworks and texts.

Produced on the occasion of the exhibition Representing the Possible at Victoria Miro, London, in spring 2014. Representing the Possible brings together previously unseen works on paper from the 1960s and the present day in a specially conceived installation. Comprising four large-scale site-specific wall drawings, the installation transformed the gallery’s architecture into an immersive drawn environment with 37 individual works on their surfaces.

#2014 #stephenwillats
From Cross To Crib Paul Thek

Published by Walther König, Köln, 2014, 112 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 22 × 28 cm, English / German

Price: €28

This publication is devoted to a little-known temporary artwork of Thek’s, made in the winter of 1973/74 while he was a guest of the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg. His expansive environment Ark, Pyramid – Christmas (“The Manger”) filled a whole room. This exhibition, organised by the director of the museum at the time, Siegfried Salzmann, was the fourth in Thek’s series of atmospheric, large-scale projects in Europe, which engaged with individualised religious symbols. The festive period provided Thek with the occasion to present, for the first time, a self-written theatre piece in the form of a nativity play featuring children from Duisburg. A great quantity of original material and documents have been discovered in the museum’s repository and enable a reconstruction of the exhibition in this book, accompanied by an interview that Marietta Franke conducted with Franz Deckwitz, who helped with the installation in 1973.

#2014 #paulthek #waltherkönig