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Bookworks at MUMA

BY MUMA | Monash University Museum of Art | 27-Jul-2019
Bookworks is an exhibition of contemporary artists’ book publishing. Organised by guest curator, designer and educator, Warren Taylor, it brings six leading artists, graphic designers, book-makers and publishers together to explore the materials, procedures, ambitions, economies and critiques around art publishing.
Venue: MUMA | Monash Unviersty Museum of Art
Address: Monash University, Caulfield Campus, 900 Dandenong rd, Caulfield East
Date: 24.07 - 21.09.19
Ticket: Free
Web: https://www.monash.edu/muma/exhibitions/exhibition-archive/2019/BOOKWORKS
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Bookworks at MUMA
The Half-Asleep Pilgrim. West Space, Melbourne, 2011
A spread from the catalogue that was the final outcome of the performance.
Photo: Matthew Stanton.
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 is a contemporary examination of art publishing that features 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.

Bookworks is on now until 21 September 2019.