Jill Johnston The Disintegration of a Critic

Published by Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2019, 224 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 10.8 × 18 cm, English

Price: €16

Jill Johnston—cultural critic, auto/biographer, and lesbian icon—was renowned as a writer on dance, especially on the developments around Judson Dance and the 1960s downtown New York City scene, and later as the author of the radical-feminist classic Lesbian Nation (1973). This book collects thirty texts by Jill Johnston that were initially published in her weekly column for The Village Voice between 1960 and 1974. The column provided a format in which Johnston could dissolve distinctions between the personal, the critical, and the political. Her writing took turns and loops, reflecting its times and contexts, and set a stage for the emergence of Johnston as a public figure and self-proclaimed radical lesbian that defied any prescribed position.

Johnston’s original texts are accompanied by three new contributions by Ingrid Nyeboe, Bruce Hainley, and Jennifer Krasinski, as well as an appendix with archival material related to a panel Johnston organized in 1969, titled The Disintegration of a Critic: An Analysis of Jill Johnston. Edited by Fiona McGovern, Megan Francis Sullivan, Axel Wieder. Designed by HIT.

You can read more on Jill Johnston in Jennifer Krasinski’s Art in America article here.

#2019 #axelwieder #brucehainley #hitstudio #jilljohnston #meganfrancissullivan #sternbergpress
The Name of Philippe Thomas / Philippe Thomas’ Name Elisabeth Lebovici

Published by Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2018, 112 pages, 11.5 × 18 cm, English/German

Price: €9

In the artistic activities of Philippe Thomas (1951–1995), there was a determination to disappear: it was his procedure to transfer his title of author onto his collectors. This was the case when selling an artwork, or whenever the author’s credit was needed for a commissioned text, and in the institutional co-operations that Thomas was a participant of. With this strategy Thomas worked against his own historicization, erasing his name from the reigning European and North American art fields and with prescience Thomas “put up obstacles to block his future ‘googleability’” (Hanna Magauer). In recent years, the works and writings of the artist, who also acted on behalf of the semi-fictional agency readymades belong to everyone®, again gained greater visibility and as of current are being assigned a place in art history.

With this book, Elisabeth Lebovici elaborates on Thomas’s strategy to cede and fictionalize authorship and suggests a reading of his work that incorporates questions of gender and reproduction, the multiplicity of the subjects involved, and the unbearable disappearance of Thomas (who died of AIDS-related complications), into the process of enunciation. It is Lebovici’s suggestion that the performativity of Thomas’s work requires two versions at once: “the one where one enters into the fiction and the one where one observes the beauty of the arrangement and the plot at work. The one where one is inside and the one where one contemplates it.”

Designed by HIT Studio

#2018 #elisabethlebovici #hitstudio #philippethomas #sternbergpress
The Drumhead Gerry Bibby

Published by Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2014, 118 pages, 13.2 × 20 cm, English

Price: €16

Artist Gerry Bibby’s first publication is a work of fiction that expands on the use of text in his sculpture, performance, and image work. Evoking William Burroughs’s The Wild Boys and Robert Walser’s The Walk, these “language costumes” pay homage to an unruly tradition of radical and queer literary presences over the last century. Their captivating passages brim with wit, wry observation, and (occasional) disgust, offering viewers “ways out,” even if only while reading.

Commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, The Drumhead follows a two-year collaboration with KUB Arena of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, The Showroom London, CCA Glasgow, and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. The book immodestly distills these institutional encounters into a multipart narrative that delves into the lives and psyches of those in the service industry. Exhaustion and frustration besiege a set of characters and the architecture that barely contains them, all of which are cipher-like in their multiplicity (and duplicity). Designed by HIT.

#1 #2014 #gerrybibby #hitstudio #ifican’tdanceidon’twanttobepartofyourrevolution #sternbergpress