a selection by #bookadviser, available @ampersand
Bas Jan Ader, Discovery File 143/76, New Documents, 2017
Bas Jan Ader, Le Magasin, 1996
Derek Beaulieu, a, a novel, Jean Boîte Editions, 2017
Walead Beshty, Industrial Potraits -2008-2012, JRP Ringier, 2017
Beni Bischof, Texte 1, Edition Patrick Frey2015
Beni Bischof, Texte 2, Edition Patrick Frey, 2016
Karl Holmqvist, Word Squares, Motto Books, 2017
Jutta Koether, f., Sternberg Press, 2015
Enzo Mari, autoprogettazione ?, Edizioni Corraini, 2016
Enzo Mari, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Walter König, 2008
Bern Porter, Hold on To Your Hat, miekal and 2013
Wolfgang Stoerchle, Le Magasin, 1996
Daan van Golden, Made in Tokyo, Misako & Rosen, 2014
Bernar Venet, Poetic ? Poétique ?, Jean Boîte Editions 2017
Jean-Michel Wicker, e industrial, donlon books, Motto Books, 2014
" The plant is like me : too big to be cute / I often talk about that time, but she has never told anyone / You can call an ocean the lake, but you can't call a lake the ocean" a solo exhibition by Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen
Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen (b. 1991, Denmark) is currently doing her studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and has for the past year been studying under artist Angela Melitopoulos. We met Mai in Lisboa while she was doing the ISP at Maumaus. She exhibited in 2016 at Void in Athens and produced recenlty two books that we are glad to present in the space.
Ampersand hosts Vis-à-Vis, a project initiated in 2012 by the bookseller, publisher & bookadviser Christophe Daviet-Thery on the shelves of his bookshop on Rue Louise Weiss in Paris. A reflection about forms and formats of reading an exhibition by a person who lives and works with books in a specific economic context, Vis-à-Vis is both a working method and a device : isolating two works in dialogue in a single room. Books, editions, sound recordings, sculptures, films, the possible combinations are multiple; the display format somewhere between a lecture, a double page spread and a promotional strategy. This month, we replay Vis-à-Vis numbers 2 & 4, and present two new iterations of the project, number 6 and 7.
Joseph Grigely & Pierre Von-Ow
Interview dates: February 22, March 8th & 25, 2015, July 3rd 2017.
Place: Artist’s loft, Chicago, Illinois; around a table stamped ‘Property of Gallaudet College’; TV playing hockey game in the background, sound turned mute.
Pierre Von-Ow: To what extent are you deaf?
Joseph Grigely: Very rare degree of deafness, total. It’s very hard to categorize degrees of deafness since it is a logarithm of scale (frequency in Hz/loudness): 70 decibels is ten times worse than 60, 80 ten times worse than 70, etc. And I am in the realm of 120+, which means that I could only hear something really really really fucking loud. That’s like a jet taking off behind me. But there’s a big difference between being born deaf and being deafened later on life like Beethoven for example and myself, since we both spoke and other people write.
PVO: But writing is not merely a leftover in this kind of situation.
JG: I believe that writing has emotion. And I really believe that conversations are a kind of talking on paper. It is between speech and writing in many ways. But that’s not an argument I want to get in as an artist.
PVO: Are you a ‘deaf artist’ by the way?
JG: Here in America, people are more interested in the artist over the art. This country loves taxonomies. (Dog’s barking) We are obsessed with identities. In Europe, you’re much more concerned to imbricated identities. You’ve got so many countries with different languages, like Belgium or Switzerland. One conversation I had with a German dealer when I did my first show in Paris was particularly striking; he was telling me how people are going to read it as being about deafness while underlined issue is about communication and difference. And he was really right about that because what’s interesting as a sociological fact is when I approach someone or somebody approaches me and says something I say: “I’m deaf, would you write that down?” To me that is normal. My everyday life. But they become the disabled persons because they have to communicate by writing, that’s very unusual and not normal for that person. So basically, sociologically, I turned it around: I was a normal person and they were disabled by our encounter.
PVO: Would you consider yourself as a ‘conversationist’?
JG: On many ways, no. Ironically enough, no. The conversations themselves written on papers are merely a starting point for me. When I have the conversations, they are historical facts, historical documents. But when I rearrange them into the wall pieces, they become fictions at that point, just as painting squeezed out of a tube. They become the material for another structure. But that structure is often, shall we say, detached from the origins of conversations. What I am doing is juxtaposing, at one level, a verbal narrative: one paper beside another paper creates a narrative between them. Like Josef Albers said in the book Interaction of Color (1963), you can’t put one color beside another color without also changing both. You can’t put a word beside another word without also changing both. The conversations like these are also very formal pieces, dealing with grids, dealing with the color of the paper and the way the lines are inscribed on the paper. It becomes very abstract at that level too.
PVO: It reminds me of what Clement Greenberg claimed about Mallarmé in his famous “Towards a Newer Laocoon” (1940): “Poetry subsists no longer in the relations between words as meanings, but in the relations between words as personalities composed of sound, history and possibilities of meaning. […] The poem still offers possibilities of meaning – but only possibilities. Should any of them be too precisely realized, the poem would lose the greatest part of its efficacy, which is to agitate the consciousness with infinite possibilities by approaching the brink of meaning and yet never falling over it.”
JG: I bring some new coffee.
Ampersand is pleased to launch its program with Here Comes Everybody’s Don’t Book, a selection of Bern Porter’s works.
An American poet, writer, artist, publisher, gallerist and physicist, Bern Porter (1911-2004) is considered a pioneer of the artist book and “found poetry”. From 1941 until his death he produced hundreds of books made out of experiments in collage, text and typography.
The self-proclaimed inventor of mail art, Porter actively sent his works through the post every week of his life. A highly active and influential publisher, Porter published works by figures including Henry Miller, Kenneth Patchen, James Schevill, Robert Duncan and Dick Higgins.
A polymath at the crossroads of the 20th century, he was an acquaintance of, among others, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, Allen Ginsberg, Dieter Roth and Shozo Shimamoto (Gutai Art Group). With a master's degree in Science from Brown University, Bern Porter was also an eminent physicist. He contributed to the invention of television, worked on the Saturn V rocket for NASA, and was closely involved in the Manhattan project – which he immediately renounced upon learning of the bombing of Hiroshima, dedicating the rest of his life to creative pursuits. After circling the world three times and visiting 43 countries, Porter spent the last decades of his life running The Institute of Advanced Thinking from his own home in Belfast, Maine. At this time, he developed a strong friendship and collaboration with the poet and publisher Mark Melnicove (The Dog Ear Press) with whom he performed for many years and created The Eternal Festival of Poetry.
Ampersand will offer a selection of Porter’s work including an extensive collection of his output in printed matter, alongside collages, ephemera, sounds, records and videos. The project would not have been possible without the kind support and generous help of Mark Melnicove (director of Bern Porter’s estate). This presentation prefaces a 2018 publication that will be edited by Alice Dusapin & Geraldine Beck and published by &: Christophe Daviet-Thery in close collaboration with Martin Laborde and Mark Melnicove.
Do Not Delay, 1980, (1’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
Shave, 1980, (1’03), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
May All Be Well, 1982, (1’06), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded during a performance at Maine Poets Festival
The Daily Regimen, 1984, (6’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, a re-mixed version by Mark Melnicove from a performance in Syracuse, NY
Thanks to Fredrik Averin, Anne-Laure Chamboissier, Diogo da Cruz, Theo Dusapin, Justin Jaeckle, Douna Lim, Teo Pesso, Baptiste Pinteaux, Elisa Pone & Charles Veyron