Saturday, September 23, 2017

8 Accordions from Prague, Summer, 2017

I was in Prague for a week this summer and spent the whole time chasing down cool art places, bookstores and galleries, and with Prague's printmaking history in mind, I was also looking for accordion publications. It was during one of my last days in Prague that I stumbled into the gallery and funky bookstore Galerie Xaoxax (see photos of space below). Pleased to find such a cool place I started exploring the storefront store. Soon enough I noticed a whole table of accordions just sitting there, i couldn't believe my luck! From this great selection I'm presenting 8 of them here.  Talking with with woman in the gallery she said that they had been done for a class with a professor at the University and then taken to the Tabook, the yearly arts & literature festival in Tabor, Czech Republic, presumably for sale. They are all the same size and same paper but they are a smart set of accordions ranging allover the place in content and style, but neverthless a very exciting series of artists' books exploring the accordion format. Xaoxax's website doesn't seem to be up but they have a facebook presence.

Each page 5.5" (h) x 7" (w), double-sided, when open its 28" (2ft 4"). 

The table of accordions, i was in bliss!

Tsai Hsin-Ying

 Zuzana Sagitariova


Katefina Kozakova

Jakub Bachorik

David Dolensky

Sofie Tobiasova

Nikola Logosova

Zuzana Bramborova

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dayanita Singh, Museum Bhavan, Steidl, 2017

This is a really fascinating book object that is made up of a collection of accordions published by this Indian photographer who was born in 1961. The original Museum Bhavan was comprised of a series of nine accordion-like wooden structures which held the black and white photographs that comprised each 'museum'. The present publication is another manifestation of that exhibition but miniaturized for the book medium and it includes 9 'museums', and an explanatory booklet, all of them presented in a handmade box from India. The museums range from Museum of Machines, Museum of Men, to the Little Ladies Museum and the Museum of Vitrines, with all of them presented as one-sided accordions with a varying number of black and white photographs related to each museum's theme. 

Museum Bhavan poses some interesting questions as it sits at the edge of the territory of the book, the archive, the museum and even the catalogue. Singh, however, wants the reader to arrange the books in an exhibition of their own making and of the book she notes "I think it's very difficult to describe the thread that holds the museums together, but I hope when you see them all, you can feel the thread." Furthermore, she notes "I know there's magic in images...I want to do everything to share that magic with you," and "This is not something I want you to look at once or twice. This is not a magazine. This is my archive." []

9 booklets with a page size of 5.5" (h) x 3.75" (w) with varying numbers of pages and a minimum extended length of 8ft. Also included is "Conversation Chambers" with texts prepared by Aveek Sen that includes interviews with the artist talking about her work and the themes she's exploring in her work.

Back of the book with list of museums inside

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Maurizio Cattelan and Myriam Ben Salah, FAQ, (Le Dictateur #5), Milan, Italy, 2016

This is a really wild 25 foot accordion that serves as the 10th anniversary issue (2006/16) of the Italian magazine Le Dictateur. Double-sided and totally visual the curated images are an uneven series of very disparate works that rub up against each other in an unsettling manner. However, this book fits well with the other experimental magazines with their layouts and subject matter that has been the focus of Cattelan's activity within the magazine genre.  Included also is a small booklet with a brief interview about FAQ and a listing that includes details of the 110 works featured in the publication. Le Dictateur was started in 2006 by Frederico Pepe and Pierpaolo Ferrari, and is published in Milan, Italy.

The interview in this booklet answers some questions regarding the publication:

What is FAQ?
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, referencing an attempt to synthesize a recurrent flow, a tenor, an ideal visual representation and very subjective "now."

How was FAQ conceived?
Born out of an acute image eating disorder, FAQ reflects the mental assimilation of a relentless roving within physical and virtual art spaces: from galleries to tumble account, museum or artists studios.

Why is FAQ developed on an accordion paper format?
FAQ is conceived as a portable exhibition, a show on paper, a project of restitution, a hybrid object that you can both leaf and scroll through. It allows the immediacy of a linear exhibition display while being contained in terms of space, time and resources. 

Is FAQ based upon a theme or concept?
Far from being a rational enterprise because of its lack of rules, hierarchy, order - or concept for that matter - it is expressly and brazenly as personal and biased as possible and only reflects the obsessive mannerism of its authors.

What do the artists featured in FAQ have in common?
Like the above, in theory, nothing. In retrospective, they all produce - in different realms, times and materials - strong images that speak loudly through their immediacy.

Booklet of interviews with the artist and a list of the images in the publication.

Double-sided, individual pages 8.25" (h) x 5.75" (w), with a total of 54 pages and fully extended at 25ft 10.5 inches.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Scott Helmes, 5, Stamp Bad Press/The Hermetic Press, 2016 [ed. 30]

A quiet little one person exhibition of a 5 piece series by this Minnesota-based visual and concrete poet. 

Individual pages 7.25" (h) x 5.5" (w) with a total of 8 pages, and fully extended 3ft 8inches.

And a big thank you to the infamous scott macleod (oakland) for sending this accordion to me!