Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald

—exhibition cycle in Hamburg, Berlin, and Halle, 2017–18

Fall 2017
Centrum für Naturkunde
Universität Hamburg
 
Spring 2018
Tieranatomisches Theater
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
 
Fall 2018
Naturwissenschaftliches Zentralmagazin
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
 
On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the so-called “Darwin-Wallace paper,” the exhibition cycle Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest] addresses the role of natural history collections in the context of climate justice in the Anthropocene; the exhibition aims to cultivate a deeper acknowledgement of the complex cultural entanglements which mediate human experiences of environmental change.
 
Verschwindende Vermächtnisse will first open in the fall of 2017 at the Zoological Museum of the Centrum für Naturkunde, University of Hamburg, before adapted versions will travel to venues in Berlin and Halle. The project has the aim of realizing the multiplicative potential of art, media, and natural history which, when provocatively exhibited together, solicit transformative engagements with this fragile planet and its perilous forests. Verschwindende Vermächtnisse follows the methodology of the exhibition 125,660 Specimens of Natural History (Komunitas Salihara, Jakarta, 2015), focusing however on both of Alfred Russel Wallace’s tropical expeditions—a first on to Amazonia and a second one to the Malay Archipelago. It combines newly commissioned contemporary works of art, site-based field research, archival materials, and natural history specimens to enable visitors to honestly encounter the legacies of European colonialism in the tropics and to gain an appreciation for heterogeneous and epistemically-diverse stewardship communities in Asia and South America. Artists’ list to be announced in March 2017.

 

Artistic directors: Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin

Scientific advisors: Matthias Glaubrecht, Felix Sattler, Frank Steinheimer
 
The project is realized in partnership with the Schering Stiftung and funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse is realized in cooperation with the Schering Stiftung. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

 

More info on the project website ReassemblingNature.org

 

[Photo by Radjawali Irendra]

The Word for World is Still Forest

—intercalations 04, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, February 2017

 

04 The Word for World is Still Forest
… creates a space for the reader-as-exhibition-viewer to consider how forests may be seen not only for their trees, but also how they can enable experiences of elegance, affirmation, and creation for a multitude of creatures; in response to their violent destruction, which characterizes the Anthropocene, these pages traverse various woodlands by way of their semiotic, socio-political, historical, and epistemic incitements in order to reveal how practices of care, concern, and attention also enable humans to inhabit and flourish in this world as forest.

 

With contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Elise Hunchuck, Eduardo Kohn, Ursula K. Le Guin, Silvan Linden Shannon Castleman, Yanni A. Loukissas, Pedro Neves Marques, Abel Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez, Catalina Vargas Tovar, Paulo Tavares, and others.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
Paperback, thread-bound, 224 pages
Color + black/white images
ISBN 978-3-9818635-0-5
19 Euros

February 2017

 

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

—intercalations 03, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, April 2017

 

03 Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

unfolds an itinerant encounter with nineteenth-century European naturalists in the Malay world, where the theory of evolution by natural selection emerged alongside less celebrated concerns about mass extinction and climate change; by re-considering the reverse hallucinatory condition of colonial science in the tropics—how scientists learned to not see what was manifestly present—the reader-as-exhibtion-viewer may exhume from the remains of this will to knowledge an ethical conviction of particular relevance for confronting forms of neocolonization in the Anthropocene.

 

With contributions by Iwank Celenk, Lucy Davis, Fred Langford Edwards, Christina Leigh Geros, Matthias Glaubrecht, Geraldine Juarez, Radjawali Irendra, James Russell, Slave Pianos, Mark von Schlegell, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
Paperback, thread-bound, 236 pages
Color + black/white images
ISBN 978-3-9818635-1-2
19 Euros

 

February 2017

 

Fantasies of the Library

—a second, expanded edition co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2016

 

Fantasies of the Library lets readers experience the library anew. The book imagines, and enacts, the library as both keeper of books and curator of ideas—as a platform of the future. One essay occupies the right-hand page of a two-page spread while interviews scrolls independently on the left. Bibliophilic artworks intersect both throughout the book-as-exhibition. A photo essay, “Reading Rooms Reading Machines” further interrupts the book in order to display images of libraries (old and new, real and imagined), and readers (human and machine) and features work by artists including Kader Atta, Wafaa Bilal, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Katie Paterson, Veronika Spierenburg, and others.

 

The book includes an essay on the institutional ordering principles of book collections; a conversation with the proprietors of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco; reflections on the role of cultural memory and the archive; and a dialogue with a new media theorist about experiments at the intersection of curatorial practice and open source ebooks. The reader emerges from this book-as-exhibition with the growing conviction that the library is not only a curatorial space but a bibliological imaginary, ripe for the exploration of consequential paginated affairs. The physicality of the book—and this book—“resists the digital,” argues coeditor Etienne Turpin, “but not in a nostalgic way.”

 

With contributions by Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Katharina Tauer, Etienne Turpin, Andrew Norman Wilson, Joanna Zylinska.

 

Hardcover | $24.95 Trade | £18.95
ISBN: 9780262035200 | 160 pp.
5.125 x 8.25 in | 30 color illus., 15 b&w illus.
September 2016

 

Reviewed by Gill Partington, Times Literary Supplement, 18 January 2017, 33.

A Taxonomy of Palm Oil

—an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies" curated by Eben Kirksey and others, 2015/16

 

29 February – 31 March 2016
Princeton University
Butler College
Princeton, USA

 

30 April – 18 June 2016
Kilroy Metal Ceiling
283 Greene Ave
Brooklyn, USA

 

The mixed-media installation A Taxonomy of Palm Oil was first developed for the exhibition 125,660 Specimens of Natural History, Jakarta, 2015. The centerpiece of this installation is a collection of 100 specimens of products containing either palm oil or a palm oil derivative; these samples demonstrate the variety of manufactured goods which use palm oil, and connect every one of their consumer to the deforestation in the tropics.

 

In Jakarta, these products where all sourced on the Indonesian market; when Eben Kirksey asked to include the project in his exhibition Emergent Ecologies, we produced a new version of the piece based on products that are available to customers in America. As an array of specimens nearly as colorful as those nineteenth-century cases of tropical butterflies or beetles, this collection presents the postnatural commodities annihilating tropical biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

 

Design & Research Assistants: Robin Hartanto, Widya Ramadhani
Research Assistant: Louis Steven
Layout: Alexandra Berceanu

The Lesson of Zoology: A Physis is being organized...

—an online collection curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin in collaboration with the Center for Postnatural History as Folder #02 of Unfold: The Volume Project curated by Sara Giannini, 2016

 

Our intervention in Unfold: The Volume Project, “The Lesson of Zoology: A Physis is being organized…,” departed from a lithograph which first appeared in the trash heap of contemporary Lisbon. While researching the role of Lisbon’s Geographical Society in one of the first planetary colonizations, we happened upon an antiquarian bookshop with seemingly endless piles of natural history prints. Among them, “The Lesson” stood out as an especially compelling meta-image of just what a lesson is—an ordering of nature, by way of presentation, about who intended to possess the earth.

 

Based on our found image, we decided to itemize the equipment that makes the discursive reality of a lesson compelling and the following eight terms thus structured our “library of folders” in Unfold: Organ. Apparatus. Report. Anatomy (Comparative). Professor. Model (Cosmos). Bone. Table. We filled these folders with a vast amount of files ranging from book chapters (many of which we scanned ourselves), to video and audio files, reproduction of historical images as well as contemporary art.

 

As a commission within the commission, The Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, co-directed by Rich Pell and Lauren Allen, moreover contributed a selection of archival material from its collection which was digitized especially on the occasion of Unfold#2: The Lesson of Zoology.

 
 

Read the project’s introductory essay, by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin with Walter Benjamin.

 

Read an interview by Sara Giannini with Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin.

 

To access the library of the—now archived—project download the .zip file at unfold.thevolumeproject.com > “FOLDED” > UNFOLD #2.

125,660 Specimens of Natural History

—an exhibition curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) & Museum Zoologi Bogor, 2015

 

15 August – 15 September 2015
Komunitas Salihara
Jakarta, Indonesia

 

The exhibition 125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam (125,660 Specimens of Natural History) was the first iteration of the ongoing curatorial research project—Reassembling the Natural—which addresses colonial natural history collections through the environmental transformations they produced. More specifically, the project engages with the contemporary legacy of the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823– 1913), best known for co-discovering the theory of evolution by natural selection. From 1854 to 1862, Wallace travelled the Malay Archipelago, documenting the region’s biodiversity and amassing a gigantic collection of 125,660 specimens for European museums. In the context of his exploration, he also kept meticulous notebooks and journals, sent letters, and wrote numerous scientific articles and books, most notably the travel chronicle, The Malay Archipelago: The land of the orang-utan, and the bird of paradise—A narrative of travel, with sketches of man and nature, published in 1869 after his return to England.

 

By inviting artists to retrace, re-appropriate, or reassess Wallace’s expedition, specimens, documents, and various artifacts, the exhibition 125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam explored how transcultural collaborative approaches to artistic and scientific practice can address urgent environmental questions. It took place from August to September 2015 at the gallery of the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta, Indonesia, and presented works by 26 contributors—including ten newly created artworks by artists from Indonesia—alongside archival materials, historical objects, and zoological specimens from the Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Science (MZB/LIPI) at Bogor-Cibinong.

 

With artworks and contributions by Ari Bayuaji, Shannon Castleman, Lucy Davis, Mark Dion, Fred Langford Edwards, Sigrid Espelien & farid rakun (EQUANORTH), Theo Frids Hutabarat, Geraldine Juarez, Flora Lichtman & Sharon Shattuck, Cindy Lin & Lintang Radittya, Aprina Murwanti & Bharoto Yekti, Intan Prisanti, Edwin Scholes & Tim Laman, Ary Sendy, Andreas Siagian, Zenzi Suhadi (WALHI), Laleh Torab, Satrio Wicaksono (Towuti Drilling Project), Tintin Wulia, Mahardika Yudha, Robert Zhao Renhui.

 

The zoological specimens presented in the exhibition were selected in collaboration with Prof Dr Rosichon Ubaidillah, Dr Awit Suwito, Dr Amir Hamidy, Ir. Maharadatunkamsi, Dr. Djunijati Peggie, and Mohammad Irham from the Pusat Penelitian Biologi, Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (MZB/LIPI), Cibinong, Indonesia.

 

125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam was realized in partnership with the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara and the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense/Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI/MZB) and in cooperation with Schering Stiftung. Additional support was given by the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, and the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway.

 

For more information see the photo essay “Vestiges of 125,660 Specimens of Natural History” in Stedelijk Studies, No. 04,

or visit ReassemblingNature.org.

Land & Animal & Nonanimal

—intercalations 02, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, 2015

 

02 Land & Animal & Nonanimal
… is an ensemble which contends that the meaning of the Anthropocene is less a geological re-formation than it is trans-formation of both land and animal; once exposed to some of the parameters defining this transition, the reader-as-exhibition-viewer may begin to discern erratic rhythms generated by the creatures of nonconformity that inhabit, with their violence, struggles, and love the vast, machinic reality called Earth.

 

With contributions by Mitchell Akiyama, Biance Baldi, Seth Denizen, Thom van Dooren, Arvo Leo, Natasha Ginwala, Richard Pell & Lauren Allen, Karthik Pandian, Etienne Turpin, Robert Zhao Renhui, Axel Staschnoy, and others.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
Paperback, thread-bound, 160 pages
13 color + 39 black/white images
ISBN 978-0-9939074-1-8
LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE

 

Read a review by Xenia Benivolski

 

Download PDF

 

Fantasies of the Library

—intercalations 01, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, 2015

01 Fantasies of the Library
… is a sequence of pages wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns, rather surprisingly—but with growing conviction—that the library is not only a curatorial space, but that its bibliological imaginary is also a fertile territory for the exploration of paginated affairs in the Anthropocene.

 

With contributions by Kader Attia, Andrew Beccone, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Adam Hyde, Erin Kissane, Raking Leaves, Hammad Nasar, Katie Paterson, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Veronika Spierenburg, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Etienne Turpin, Joanna Zylinska, and others.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
Paperback, thread-bound, 160 pages
30 color + 15 black/white images
ISBN 978-0-9939074-0-1
OUT OF PRINT

 

Read a review by Jason Groves

Read a review by Megan Liberty

Read a review by Ellef Prestsaeter

 

Download PDF

 

intercalations: paginated exhibitions series

—a six-part publication series developed for the SYNAPSE International Curator’s Network, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Co-published by K. Verlag & HKW in the framework of “Das Anthropozän Projekt,” 2015–17

 

The intercalations: paginated exhibition series was developed by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin for the SYNAPSE Curators’ Network at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. The series in paperback format is published both as printed matter and open access, web-based editions. The aim of the series is to expand the discourse of curatorial knowledge production withing a broader multidisciplinary field of research, experimentation, and collaboration. Establishing a compact library of its own, the series asks how the Anthropocene thesis urges us to rethink traditional fields of knowledge. Each of the six volumes provokes thereby questions about the validity of seeming categorical binaries such as culture and nature, human and non-human, subject and object, book and exhibition. The first two volumes were published in January 2015. Four more volumes are forthcoming throughout 2017.

 

The project is co-published by K. Verlag and HKW in the framework of “Das Anthropozän Projekt.” It is made possible by the Schering Stiftung.

 

OUT NOW

 

01 Fantasies of the Library

 

02 Land & Animal & Nonanimal

 

04 The Word For World is Still Forest
 

FORTHCOMING TITLES

 

03 Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

 

05 Decapitated Economies

 

06 These Birds of Temptation

 

For more information and to order copies go to:

Minor Ornithology

—an ongoing curatorial investigation by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin premiering at Pasar Burung Pramuka for the 15th Jakarta Biennale "Siasat," 2013–ongoing

 

Minor Ornithology is an ongoing curatorial research project of Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin; it considers avifauna and their role in the development of human knowledge, aesthetics, and culture from a variety of perspectives and across a wide range of media. To date, the project has been manifest in exhibitions, across different public programs and research talks, and through publications and writing. As part of the 15th Jakarta Biennale (2013), Etienne also curated the performance and installation piece “For a Minor Ornithology” at the Pasar Burung Pramuka in Jakarta, Indonesia. Accompanying the performances are a series of diagrams designed in association with Jono Sturt, and an essay written by Anna-Sophie and Etienne. This essay, “Some Notes For a Minor Ornithology,” considers the remarkable role of avifauna in the history of European scientific experiments, public museum displays, and taxidermy practices. An interview with Etienne about the project from the Biennale is also available here.

 

Other selected instantiations of Minor Ornithology include Anna-Sophie’s essay Inter Folia Aves: Reading Birdbooks as Curatorial-Editorial Constellations” (2016); the workshop “Necroaesthetics: Life and Death of Natural History” (ECAL, 2016); the workshop “Little Birds / Little Machines,” (Berlin Natural History Museum, 2014) organized for SYNAPSE in collaboration with the ornithologists, Frank Steinheimer and Sylke Frahnert; and, a presentation Anna-Sophie gave in the framework of Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s panel at the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014).

 

Minor ornithology will be continued in 2017 in the sixth volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series entitled These Birds of Temptation.

 

Additional forthcoming exhibitions of this material will be announced as they are confirmed.

 

Please also see Etienne’s page

TRAVERSALS: Conversations on Art and Writing

—a collection of interviews edited by Anna-Sophie Springer with book design by Charles Stankievech. Berlin: K. Verlag, 2014

 

TRAVERSALS is based on a series of conceptual interviews with Dora Garcia, Chris Kraus, Mark von Schlegell, Charles Stankievech, and Jacob Wren originally produced for an installation in an art gallery. As a re-issue of these texts, the publication continues my interest in the book-as-exhibition. Each invited contributor has found a unique way to explore the hybrid spaces between genres and art forms, and the discussions focus especially on the role and relationship between visual art and writing. While the interview process was rather formalized—with one set of five identical questions posed to each person in the first round, and then five individual questions asked in a second round in response to the first five answers—the texts themselves delight through a personal tone and a great openness for both idiosyncratic trajectories and unexpected traversals between the five different chapters.

 

The material was originally produced for the piece TRAVERSALS (With Ladder) shown in the exhibition 5x5Castelló2011 at Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain (8 July – 18 September 2011).

 

On the occasion of 5×5 the interviews were pinned to the wall in a grid while a sliding library ladder allowed for a playfully embodied reading experience. The spatialised format revealed the parallels in the conversations as well as their differences—particularly as the conversations evolve.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer
Designed by Charles Stankievech
Cloth-bound hardcover, 86 pages
1 image
ISBN 978-0-9877949-9-4 | 16 €

 

Order the book
via Motto Distribution (Europe)
via Art Metropole (Canada)

 

Published in September 2014

 

Cleave Backster Interrogates Janet Craig

—an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer for the exhibition CounterIntelligence curated by Charles Stankievech, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, 2014

 

24 January – 16 March 2014
CounterIntelligence
Justina M Barnicke Gallery
Hart House, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

 

Cleve Backster (1924–2013) was a CIA interrogation specialist who founded its polygraph (or “lie detector”) unit shortly after WWII. In the 1960s, he not only opened the longest running polygraph school in the world, the Backster School of Lie Detection, but also famously began to conduct biocommunication experiments with plants to see if they were sentient, something which he strongly came to believe. After first publishing his ideas in the International Journal of Parapsychology in 1968, it was not until 2003 that he published the book Primary Perception: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells.

 

On the occasion of Charles Stankievech’s curatorial project CounterIntelligence, the installation Cleve Backster interrogates Janet Craig consisted of a Draceana house plant positioned in the corner of the exhibition’s soundproof interrogation room. The plant Backster experimented on in the 1960s is considered to be a Draceana, whereas Janet Craig is the name of a particularly attractive Draceana species.

 

For more info on CounterIntelligence please see Charles’s page

 

EX LIBRIS

—a curatorial–editorial experiment in various locations, 2013

 

28 June – 31 July 2013
“Books Are For Use”
Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig

 

5 July – 30 September 2013
“Anekdotische Topografien”
Wien Lukatsch | Galerie und Buchhandlung , Berlin

 

Since 15 September 2013
“Commonplace Books” AAAAARG.ORG

 

Realized in the summer of 2013, the multi-part EX LIBRIS project departed from investigating the inside of the book as a potential curatorial space. Initiated from within a series of specific libraries, EX LIBRIS comprised a number of book displays developed within these collections, where each iteration created its own constellation of meanings through the careful organization of selected publications ranging from mass-printed monographs to rare artists’ books and bound volumes to loose-leaf works on paper.

 

EX LIBRIS was purposefully situated between the exhibition and the editorial process. Using the library both as a resource for curatorial connections “from book to book” and as a direct platform, EX LIBRIS expanded my research interest in the book-as-exhibition to include the relationship between the book and its context. If the book traditionally is seen as the strategy for private consumption and research, and the gallery as the space for public exhibition and performance, the library—as the public place of reading—thus becomes the hybrid site for performing the book.

 

Each iteration of EX LIBRIS was accompanied by an individual miniature accordion publication published by K. Verlag and distributed for free in the exhibitions. These booklets include interviews with the respective “hosts” such as the gallerist and publisher Barbara Wien and Sean Dockray, the co-founder of the online platform Arg.org, as well as contextual information and a bibliography of the books engaged at each site.

 

A project curated by Anna-Sophie Springer with publication design by Charles Stankievech.

 

With thanks to Beatrice von Bismarck, Claudia Dahmer, Wilma Lukatsch, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Eve K. Tremblay, Thomas Weski, and Barbara Wien.

 

For more information and to download all publications, see

Books Are For Use

—EX LIBRIS 01: Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, 2013

 

28 June – 31 July 2013
Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig
Wächterstraße 11, EG left
D-04107 Leipzig

 

“Books Are for Use” is the first imperative S. R. Ranganathan discusses in his seminal guide to librarians, The Five Laws of Library Science, from 1931. Examples of historic practices of books kept chained to their shelves, unable “to migrate … beyond the length of the chain,” defend the statement against a seeming triviality and the sole assumption that “books are for preservation.”

 

The first book display in the EX LIBRIS series embraces this attitude of freedom and approaches the site of the public library at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig as a repository full of useful objects, themselves repositories stuffed with ideas, materials, knowledge, memories, relations, and artworks—both in original terms and as countless reproductions and adaptations. Spread throughout the spaces of the library, a selection of books have been opened, arranged and assembled. Presented are images of works on paper, using paper; originals, sometimes themselves based on reproductions, shown in reproduction; books within books. As combinations of materiality, image, and text, the books perform themselves. The books are in use. With works by Marcel Duchamp, Candida Höfner, Martin Kippenberger, Sol LeWitt, René Magritte, Ulrike Ottinger, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Dayanita Singh, Daniel Spoerri, Ian Wallace, Andy Warhol, and others.

 

EKTBF451-EKTFF451: Ève K Tremblay Becoming Fahrenheit 451 – Ève K. Tremblay Forgetting Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) has been the point of departure for an ongoing suite of work in progress by Canadian artist Ève K. Tremblay since 2007. The multifaceted project includes several photographic series, videos, texts, artist’s books, as well as public and private performances of the artist attempting to recite the novel from memory. On the occasion of the opening of EX LIBRIS, Tremblay could be witnessed traversing and occupying various places within the Academy Library, deeply engaged in her own memorization and recitation rituals. Attempting to absorb and learn by heart the text of an entire book is an extreme gesture for the intimate power in which reading shapes the way we think and thus who we are in the world. Furthermore, as a cognitive performance between becoming and forgetting EKTBF451-EKTFF451 pays a tribute to the boundless mental dimension always surrounding the material repository of the library.

 

For more information see

Anekdotische Topografien

—EX LIBRIS 02: Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, 2013

 

5 – 19 July 2013
Wien Lukatsch
Galerie und Buchhandlung | gallery and bookshop for art books
Schöneberger Ufer 56, 3rd floor
D-10785 Berlin

 

Subtitled with an adapted quote of Daniel Spoerri’s multilayered book project, Topographie Anécdotée* du Hasard (1961–98), the second book display in the series of EX LIBRIS emerged from personal conversations with the gallerists and publishers Barbara Wien and Wilma Lukatsch.

 

A desire to support the connections between art and the world of the book lies at the heart of the work of Barbara Wien and Wilma Lukatsch. Founded in 1988 by Barbara Wien as the press and bookshop “Wiens Laden & Verlag” in West-Berlin, by today, a quarter century later, Wien has developed the gallery and bookshop to one of Berlin’s most interesting places for art and publishing. Nowadays located at its fourth address, the gallery has a history of regularly showing exhibitions by artists for whom the book is a central medium and has always been extended by an exquisitely stocked bookshop specialized in rarities of Fluxus and Conceptual Art.

 

In 1994 Barbara Wien edited the collected writings by Arthur Köpcke and in 2002 the collected interviews by Dieter Roth. Since 2008 Wilma Lukatsch and Barbara Wien have co-edited several books published by the press Wiens Verlag. One of these is the interview book Tomas Schmit / Wilma Lukatsch, Dreizehn Montagsgespräche, which is currently being translated into English. The publication series how to write, for which Wien and Lukatsch have co-edited several selected artist’s writings is a serial publishing project started in early 2013.

 

Presented in and on several table vitrines, the display of Anekdotische Topografien is integrated into the everyday scenery of the bookshop. A constellation of publications reflects the history of the place while trying to map these works in a larger context of artists book production and the question of the book-as-exhibition. In the focus are books and bookworks by Nina Canell, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Gundi Feyrer, Arthur Köpcke, George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Tomas Schmit, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams, and others. A complete series of Dieter Roth’s luxury edition of his Collected Works is displayed in a glass cabinet.

 

For more information and to download the publications, see

Commonplace Books

—EX LIBRIS 03: Arg.org, 2013

15 September 2013 and ongoing
GRR.AAAAARG.ORG
http://grr.aaaaarg.org/txt/collection/detail.php?id=52333d4d307888cb75000006

 

Dating back to antiquity and with particular popularity in the Renaissance period, “commonplace books” are a type of scholarly notebook containing a collection of excerpted and copied passages that a person compiled and stored for future purposes such as reference and quotation. How to actually keep and organize a commonplace book was a small science in itself. John Locke’s text A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books (1706) suggested some techniques—one of which is a system of classifying and coding entries into a growing subject index, one’s personal potential encyclopedia. While physical notebooks remain a treasure to keep and even if we do not yet live in a truly paperless age, our commonplace of today is that we access and store a huge amount of information digitally. By engaging an online library, specifically the Arg library, “Commonplace Books” seeks to address shifts in how we approach notions such as the “common” or the “public” more openly and actively than ever.

 

A PDF has been created from excerpted and copied passages of thematically relevant publications available in digital form in the Arg library. It has been uploaded back onto the platform and a link appeared in the “New Texts” section on http://grr.aaaaarg.org making it available to all network users.

 

For more information and to download the publications see

The Subjective Object

—a book-as-exhibition edited by Anna-Sophie Springer. Berlin: K. Verlag, 2012

 

The Subjective Object engages with the controversial site of the ethnographic museum and the role of the archive. In particular, the 1920’s photographic archive of the indigenous people of India by the German physical anthropologist and racist theorist Egon von Eickstedt (1892–1965) serves as a case study for an investigation into the role of historical artifacts in light of contemporary political situations. The nine interviews with curators, artists, anthropologists, and social workers provide the core of the book actively discussing the complicated issues around the archive’s function in producing know- ledge. An annotated thread of images serves as a critical apparatus addressing the visual history of ethnographic display and classification practices—both in the scientific field as well as the cultural field at large. Questioning the assumption that the archive presents the “fact” of the “Other,” three literary texts counterpoint the inherent fantasies within scientific research. Just as the book begins with an archive—the Eickstedt photos—the book ends with a new archive—photos of the exhibition The Subjective Object – (Re)Appropriating Anthropological Images at the GRASSI Ethnographic Museum of Leipzig—illustrating the project’s desire to not only engage with the history of display but also to propose a future of display strategies and social engagement.

 

Interviews with Carola Krebs, Meghnath, Theo Rathgeber, Nora Sternfeld, Alexandra Karentzos, Christopher Pinney, Philip Scheffner, Britta Lange, Jeske Fezer, and Raqs Media Collective.

 

Literary Texts by Franz Kafka, Brion Gyrin, and Suzan-Lori Parks.

 

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition The Subjective Object – Von der (Wieder-)Aneignung anthropologischer Bilder, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.

 

Curated by Nicola Beißner, Anna Dobrucki, Anna Jehle, Julia Kurz, Anja Lückenkemper, Barbara Mahlknecht, Katja Thekla Meyer, Ksenija Orelj, Katharina Schniebs, Nefeli Skarmea, Anna-Sophie Springer, Edda Wilde, und Olga Wostrezowa.

 

A project of “Kulturen des Kursorischen,” Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer
142 Pages (Bilingual Deutsch/English)
Color + black/white images
ISBN: 978-0-9877949-1-8

 

Out of Print.

 

For more information see

The Subjective Object

—an exhibition curated by the participants of Kulturen des Kuratorischen, GRASSI Ethnographic Museum, Leipzig, 2012

TRAVERSALS

—an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer in collaboration with Dora Garcia, Chris Kraus, Mark von Schlegell, Charles Stankievech, and Jacob Wren; Espai d'Art Contemporani, Castello, Spain, 2011

Ha Ha Road

—a group exhibition on the subversive agency of humor curated by Dave Ball & Anna-Sophie Springer for Quad Gallery, Derby, and Mostyn Gallery, UK, 2011

 

Exploring the use of humour in contemporary art, the exhibition, Ha Ha Road, presented the work of 25 international artists who play with “a rupture of sense.” Taking its title from the name of a street, the exhibition plays on its double meaning. Apart from its connection with laughter, a “ha-ha” also refers to a type of sunken boundary: a wall or fence set into a trench, forming a hidden division in a landscape while preserving the scenic view. This invisible frontier serves as a neat metaphor for our relationship to the world of laughter. Strangely indistinguishable from the familiar terrain of normality, a joke transports us to a place where sense breaks down, where the familiar is turned on its head, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and where the world means differently. Nothing has changed and yet everything has changed. This is the paradoxical condition of humour, and the source of its disruptive power. The show explores what it means to step over this barrier and to set foot into the inexplicable and illogical world of humour. The selected artworks demonstrate how acts of absurdity, irrationality or playfulness can interrupt reality and momentarily destabilise our common assumptions. The strategies used by the artists in Ha Ha Road serve to illustrate the liberating freedom of thought at work in humour. They invite us to look at the world from the other side of the fence.

 

With artworks by Boris Achour, Chantal Ackerman, Bobby Baker, Dave Ball, Anna + Bernhard Blume, Stella Capes, Yara El-Sherbini, Fischli + Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Rodney Graham, Ellie Harrison, Debbie Lawson, Mike Marshall, Kirsten Pieroth, Pipilotti Rist, Mathew Sawyer, Ariel Schlesinger, Hank Schmidt in der Beek, Michael Shaw, Roman Signer, Charles Stankievech, Annika Ström, Bedwyr Williams, Dan Witz, and Erwin Wurm.

 

The exhibition was produced by QUAD, Derby, in collaboration with Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, both UK.