A documented collection of books with essays by S Bodman, M Crawford and T Mosely.
The recently established art book fairs at Sydney’s Artspace and Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria have placed the Australian context of artists book practice under a new scrutiny, one that challenges both the ‘fine art’ and ‘independent publishers’ positions in the field. What these fairs have made particularly evident within contemporary independent publishing practices is a highly intuitive engagement with printing that designers are pursuing in counterpoint to the tight space of commercial publishing. Within an Australian context, where the artists books brisbane events (abbe) have been held and from which this project developed, artists books are commonly associated with fine arts practice and the aesthetics of autographic printmaking. The striated machine aesthetic of printed matter from the design, printing, and publishing industries are far less prevalent. This point was highlighted by Dr Amir Brito Cadôr during his keynote lecture at the State Library of Queensland’s 2015 Siganto Foundation Artists Book Seminar. Professor of Graphic Arts at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Cadôr made this observation in contrast to the Brazilian context of artists books, which are generally produced within the machine aesthetic of the commercial printing industry. He nominated the scarcity of accessible printmaking studios in Brazil as a significant reason for this quality. The evident flurry of art book fairs across the globe that pull together diverse creative book practices raises the following question. To what degree does independent publishing’s engagement with the field of artists’ books shape creative practice within the field, and inform the emerging critical discourse on it?
This project, shaped by that question, advances critical discourse in the field both through collecting and writing by the collaborators; Sarah Bodman, Marian Crawford, and Tim Mosely.
Supported by the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, it has generated a small collection of 30 books that identifies intersections between independent publishing and artist’s book practices, and places both within the framework of print culture. Initially shown in the … & So exhibition as part of abbe 2017 at Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art Library, the collection’s first showing was on a round table, a strategy intended to undermine any implied or interpreted hierarchies within the collection.
Featured artists’ books:
Stephen Fowler – Cosmic Forces
Georgia Maitland – limbo
Louis Lim – An Opened Letter
Marian Crawford – Picturing the Island
Ana Paula Estrada de Isolbi – Memorandum
Sarah Bodman – GM Future
Dominic Ford – Ramps, Pools, Ponds and Pipes
Christopher Day – New Reading Order
Thomas Raat – An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth and More…
The Codex Foundation – USUS; typography, and artists’ books
Nuala Gregory – Exploded View
Catherine de Zegher – the (hemi)cycle of leaves and paper
Erin Coates – Kinesphere
Jan Novák – DUST gamebook
indigenous action media – Accomplices not allies
Mark Wingrave – A journey from one reality to another
Bruno Munari – Seeking comfort in an uncomfortable chair
Brad Freeman, AK Milroy & Tim Mosely – Trumped up empathy
Adolfo Aranjuez & Nina Read – Fragmented (# two)
Michael Phillips – The Democracy of Disease
Sarah Nicholls – Wipe the Slate
Rose Nolan – ENOUGH
Bruno Munari – Libro illeggibile
Leonard McDermid – Twelve Sea Pictures
Elizabeth Newman – Whereof one cannot speak…
Bartolomeo Celestino – Surface Phenomena (120416-150608)
Katherine Moline & Peter Hall – Experimental Thinking / Design Practices
Uta Schneider & Ulrike Stoltz – mindmap
Lyn Ashby – Wall to Wall
Angela Gardner & Caren Florance – The future, un-imagine
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