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Bookworks

Dates:
24 July – 21 September 2019

Artists:
Adam Cruickshank, Will Holder, Olaf Nicolai, Roma Publications, Batia Suter and Ella Sutherland

Guest Curator:
Warren Taylor, Program Coordinator, Communication Design at Monash Art Design & Architecture

Bookworks was an exhibition of contemporary artists’ book publishing. Organised by guest curator, designer and educator, Warren Taylor, it brought six leading artists, graphic designers, book-makers and publishers together to explore the materials, procedures, ambitions, economies and critiques around art publishing.

The term ‘bookworks’ was first used in the 1960s to refer to inexpensive, mass-produced books conceived and designed by artists and published independently in large or unlimited editions. Distinct from the traditional and precious ‘art object’, the book became a legitimate medium for conceptual artists, operating as:

VEHICLES FOR ARTWORK
DOCUMENTS OF ARTISTIC PRACTICE AND
DEMOCRATIC SITES FOR THE COLLABORATION OF DISCIPLINES

In his influential text ‘The New Art of Making Books’, 1975, Mexican artist Ulises Carrión promoted the book as a ‘space-time sequence’, rather than a mere object of literary work. Carrion’s independent bookshop Other Books and So, along with New York’s Printed Matter, were among the first to support publishing as a site for the exchange of artistic ideas. Books were affordable, popular, sold from the shelf and distributed by mail.

In this spirit, Bookworks was conceived as a contemporary examination of art publishing that featured the work of a diversity of practitioners as well as the independent Art Library, workshops and a lecture series held in partnership with Monash’s School of Design.


Image: Roma Publications #1–367 (1998–2019), detail. Bookworks, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2019. Photo: Christian Capurro

Related Programs
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MADA Art Forum: Ella Sutherland

Wednesday 31 July 2019, 1–2pm

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MADA Art Forum: Olaf Nicolai

Wednesday 4 September 2019, 1–2pm

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MADA Art Forum: Adam Cruickshank

Wednesday 11 September 2019, 1–2pm

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Bookworks Closing Event

Saturday 21 September 2019, 3–5pm

Installation Views
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