Featuring installations by Caroline Achaintre, Black Palm, Karma Clarke-Davis, Display Distribute, Annika Larsson, The Paper Channel, Lorenzo Sandoval, Gitte Villesen, Robin Watkins.
Caroline Achaintre’s A.D.O., 2017 is an installation comprised of new works including two hand-tufted wool sculptures and a small ceramic sculpture. Achaintre, a London-based French/German artist, cites the ‘crude aesthetics’ of German Expressionism and post-war British sculpture as influences on her bold and striking installations. Conceived in two presentations, A.D.O., 2017 will also be shown as an exhibition at the Berlin project space Farbvision, opening 6 October 2017. As part of an ongoing series, Farbvision commissions a limited edition Risograph print with each exhibiting artist, and is launching Achaintre’s new print at Friends with Books.
Visit Farbvision (Table W11) to view the Caroline Achaintre Rigograph print.
Presented in partnership with Farbvision.
A Coat for Gloria Swanson: Composition of Objects, 2017
Black Palm, a curatorial initiative for art objects, editions and services founded by the artist Sonja Cvitkovic, has created an installation on view during Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin. An online boutique www.blackpalm.de, offering objects exclusively created for Black Palm by artists, serves as a multifaceted hybrid reflecting on the relationship between art and its public manifestations in terms of emotions, aesthetics and economic values.
Taking the form of conceptualised exhibitions and performances, the platform is an observational stage showcasing a diversity of creative positions with a generous vision of art and life. Examining the contrast between the internet's immaterial aesthetics and the handcrafted object is intrinsic to Black Palm and relates to material culture and the way in which objects are created and used and the reinvention of the essential function of art.
FUTURE. TRANSGRESSIVE., 2017
A performance inside the installation is ongoing (10 minutes, every hour at the :15- and :45-minute marks)
Karma Clarke-Davis’ new performative installation is both a personal visual poem and a paean to books, the act of reading, and the ‘pre-digital experience’ that occurred (and still occurs) in the mind during the process of delving into the abstract world, the age-old ‘virtual reality’ experience that happens during the act of reading. Her acknowledgement of the recent transformation of reading – once an everyday prosaic activity – into one of curiosity and spectacle leads us to the point of what may soon actually become a ‘transgressive’ act in the future:
Picture if you will, a time in which books and the act of reading are obsolete. Positioned amongst a backdrop of dramatic swathes of fabric painted with abstract imagery similar to the networked neurons of the mind, a solitary woman, obscured in ceremonial vestments, lounges while reading in a haven-like cocoon. Known as THE READER, she is the priestess/dominatrix of the act of reading in a future where there are no longer words, speech or writing, enacting a ritualistic, eroticised, yet threatening experience to a tantalized and titillated public, much like a cross between a religious sacrament and an antithetical strip show…
– Karma Clarke-Davis, September 2017
RESERVED for DISPLAY DISTRIBUTE, 2017
Display Distribute’s durational installation and market intervention reflects its activities as a thematic investigation, distribution service, now and again exhibition space, and sometimes shop in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Exportation to Berlin is not necessarily a question of movement but rather in this instance a durational tactic of merely staying in place. Incoming packages, crates and parcels build up, turning the museum's historic hall into a port-of-entry, docking ground and temporary sublet. Artistic services and logistics gone awry engage the administrative and institutional as a question of multifunctionality. For the eleven-day duration from the Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞ (14-17 September) to Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin (22-24 September), this anti-spectacular moment of stasis traces the grey subjectivities behind bottom-up processes and mass production as a negotiation in movement.
The Discourse of the Drinkers, 2017
Annika Larsson’s new film installation and artist book The Discourse of the Drinkers explore the bar as a social and political space. The title is borrowed from a chapter in François Rabelais’ 16th century comic novel The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel. Interested in acts of transgression (identities and borders), the project explores the political and social potential of the body, its capacity of overturning our habitual course and to subvert the order of things (through intoxication, poetry, music, movement, performance and laughter). Filmed in two Berlin bars during six months, it moves between documentation, fiction, observation, music and dialogue. The artist’s book consists of historical and present imagery, lyrics, texts and poetry.
Visit Annika Larsson (Table N1) to browse her artist book, and attend the accompanying public programme and performance, see Public Programmes schedule.
Support by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee; The Embassy of Sweden, Berlin; Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.
The Paper Channel
Office for Relevant Studies, 2017
The Paper Channel presents an interactive installation that investigates the question of artists’ books and art publications – how and why do they come to exist?
During the course of Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin, The Paper Channel’s Office for Relevant Studies seeks to shed light on the initiatives behind various types of art publications. The office’s clerks and scientists ask art book publishers, artists and enthusiasts what drove them to the realm of the art world centred on art book creation and/or consumption. The office will eventually publish the results of this investigation as an art book. Avi Bohbot, Dana Gez, Yosi Lampel, Oz Malul, Judith Poppe and Elinor Talmor serve as the office’s clerks and scientists.
Visit The Paper Channel (Table W12) to browse their publications.
Broken Parliament, Vol. V., 2017
Lorenzo Sandoval’s installation is connected to his ongoing Broken Parliament series realised in different international and institutional contexts. Often situated within the constraints of a particular architectural space, Sandoval‘s work reveals the possibilities of these locations as sites for formal and informal public encounters. Sandoval’s modular sculptural display creates a scenario for an audience to participate in reading and discussing selected books. For this iteration, the publishers Broken Dimanche Press, and the Berlin project space S A A V Y Contemporary, facilitate events taking place that explore intersecting points between space, architecture, politics, and publications. Composed of an arrangement of seating and displays, the work also features a rug and digitally printed fabric “flags” hung throughout the area to both signify the commencement of activity demarcate the space.
Events inside installation, Friday, September 22: John Holten of Broken Dimanche Press leads a discussion at 18:00 h; Al-Qaisi Jasmina, Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein and Gwen MItchell of S A A V Y Contemporary lead a collective reading at 19:00 h.
Visit Broken Dimanche Press (Table W5) to browse their publications.
Presented in partnership with Broken Dimanche Press and supported by Instituto Cervantes, Berlin.
I stick my hands into the earth, and I think for a while, 2017
Gitte Villesen’s installation, is derived from her artist book (Archive Books 2017) of the same title. Inspired by utopian and feminist perspectives in classic science fiction literature, Villesen often explores these topics in her work.
‘Travelling through the forest in Mexico, I reread Ursula Le Guin’s The Word for World Is Forest, set on a forested planet. The inhabitants have mastered their dreams, and dream-time and world-time are equally real. Colonising earthlings arrive, and their dreams are without control or awareness, often using hallucinogens sending their dreams out of control. On this planet there is no word for murder or killing, but the inhabitants realise they must defend themselves or be annihilated'.
Visit Archive Books (Table V7) to browse the publication, and attend the accompanying public programme and film screening, see Public Programmes schedule.
Presented at Friends with Books in partnership with Archive Books and supported by The Danish Arts Foundation.
Solar Activity and Global Conflicts (1945–2015), 2017
Robin Watkins’ new webpage and installation on view during Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin is based on a diagram that outlines the relationship between sunspots and universal human military and political activity (1749–1922). Watkins’ installation has been created in conjunction with his new artist book, Physical Factors of the Historical Process (ATLAS Projectos, 2017), that features both the title of Alexander Chizhevsky’s 1924 paper, and a reprint of the original text, with historical research and diagrams compiled by Watkins. Establishing a statistical parallel between solar activity and global conflicts (1945–2015) and functioning as a speculative extension of Chizhevsky’s theories and work today, Watkins has developed the website www.helio.graphics where digital diagrams, alongside real-time solar data, are published online.
Visit ATLAS Projectos (Table N11/12) to browse the publication and hear related audio from Watkins’ project.
Presented in partnership with ATLAS Projectos.