Hans-Ulrich Obrist

  • Sharp Tongues, Loose Lips, Open Eyes, Ears to the Ground

    Sharp Tongues, Loose Lips, Open Eyes, Ears to the Ground

    Hans-Ulrich Obrist and April Lamm

    With an ode by Olafur Eliasson

    Following Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating* *But Were Afraid to Ask, this second volume in the series on international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist presents a selection of his key writings from the past two decades, which elaborate on the manifold thinkers, curators, and events that influence his interdisciplinary practice of exhibition making.

    The collected essays form the compartments of Obrist's curatorial toolbox, along with elucidating his views on stewardship, patronage, and art itself. Influences and interlocutors cited and discussed here include, among others, Alexander Dorner, Édouard Glissant, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jean-François Lyotard, Dominique de Menil, Josef Ortner, Cedric Price, Sir John Soane, and Harald Szeemann.

    • Paperback $16.00
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating*

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating*

    *But Were Afraid to Ask

    Hans-Ulrich Obrist and April Lamm

    Everything you ever wanted to know about Hans Ulrich Obrist but were afraid to ask has been asked by the sixteen practitioners in this book. Spanning the beginning of his “career” as a young curator in his Zurich kitchen to his time most recently as the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs, and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the book is a “production of reality conversations.” It undertakes the impossible: pinning down this peripatetic curator, attempting to map his psychogeography so that silences may be transcribed. In a sense, it organizes a “protest against forgetting” and affirms the sagacity of an artist who told this dontstop curator “don't go” when he “contemplated leaving the art world” for other fields—“to go beyond the fear of pooling knowledge”—in lieu of bringing other fields into the (then) hermetic art world.

    Contributors Jean-Max Colard, Robert Fleck, Jefferson Hack, Nav Haq, Noah Horowitz, Sophia Krzys Acord, Brendan McGetrick, Markus Miessen, Ingo Niermann, Paul O'Neill, Philippe Parreno & Alex Poots, Juri Steiner, Gavin Wade, Enrique Walker

    • Paperback $16.00
  • ...dontstopdontstopdontstopdontstop

    ...dontstopdontstopdontstopdontstop

    Hans-Ulrich Obrist and April Lamm

    Writings from 1990–2006 by visionary curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.

    “If art takes place in a contemporary art museum (where we expect it), what does it mean? Art should not be about filling spaces, but about necessities and urgencies.” Such are the principles conveyed by the visionary Hans Ulrich Obrist, seeking out ways to reinvent and invent museums of the 21st century. Newly edited by April Lamm, gathered together here are the seminal texts written by (what Douglas Gordon once aptly described) a “dontstop” curator. His exhibitions present, as Rem Koolhaas writes in his preface to these prefaces, “a heroic effort to preserve the traces of intelligence of the last 50 years, to make sense of the seemingly disjointed, a hedge against the systematic forgetting that is hidden at the core of the information age and which may, in fact, be its secret agenda....”

    A compendium of texts written between 1990 and 2006, here are exhibition case studies – “Hotel Carlton Palace,” “Cities on the Move,” “Do It,” “Utopia Station” – involving some of the more thought-provoking artists, architects, and scientists of our time such as Paul Chan, Alexander Dorner, Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Douglas Gordon, Pierre Huyghe, Qingyung Ma, Philippe Parreno, Cedric Price, Luc Steels, Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others, from Zurich to Guangzhou and back again. Designed by M/M (Paris), the cover depicts an original Gerhard Richter over-painted picture of Obrist himself. A must-have for anyone interested in the unusual strategies of a curator-at-large.

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Destruction of the Father / Reconstruction of the Father

    Destruction of the Father / Reconstruction of the Father

    Writings and Interviews, 1923–1997

    Louise Bourgeois, Marie-Laure Bernadac, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist

    This first collection of writings by artist Louise Bourgeois is both intellectually rich and psychologically revealing.

    "Every day you have to abandon your past or accept it and then if you cannot accept it, you become a sculptor." Beginning at the age of twelve, the internationally renowned sculptor Louise Bourgeois both wrote and drew, first a diary precisely recounting the everyday events of her family life, then notes and reflections. Destruction of the Father (the title comes from the name of a sculpture she did following the death of her husband in 1973) contains both formal texts and what the artist calls "pen-thoughts": drawing-texts often connected to her drawings and sculptures, with stories or poems inscribed alongside the images. Writing is a means of expression that gained increasing importance for Bourgeois, particularly during periods of insomnia. The writing is compulsive, but it can also be perfectly controlled, informed by her intellectual background, knowledge of art history, and sense of literary form. (She frequently published articles on artists, exhibitions, and art events.) Bourgeois, a private woman "without secrets," gave numerous interviews to journalists, artists, and writers, expressing her views on her oeuvre, revealing its hidden meanings, and relating the connection of certain works to the traumas of her childhood. This book collects both her writings and her spoken remarks on art, confirming the deep links between her work and her biography and offering new insights into her creative process.

    • Paperback $39.95

Contributor

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

    The Commissions Book

    Daniela Zyman and Eva Ebersberger

    A massive anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks.

    "What survives after the artwork?" asks curator and researcher Natasha Ginwala in one of the essays in Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary: The Commissions Book, a new and comprehensive publication by the art foundation Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), founded by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza in Vienna, Austria, in 2002. "The artwork is not just the thing in itself, but also the metaphysical infrastructure and unfinished relationships that produce it," Ginwala writes. In that sense, this anthology of texts, visual material, and research on TBA21's commissions and the foundation's vast collection of over 700 artworks serves as vivid testimony to the processes and relationships that enabled them.

    In over 1,300 pages The Commissions Book engages with more than 100 works of art, proposing a speculative topography that organizes and weaves together sequences of potential narratives and interrogations along with close examinations of different works of art and a collective archive of images. The stories embedded in these works, as well as in TBA21 and TBA21-Academy's practice--an itinerant site of transdisciplinary research and cultural production engaging with the oceans--is a story of making new connections, or rather creating interconnections. Bringing together visual and written material from TBA21's commissioning practice and vast history of exhibitions and live events, The Commissions Book also goes beyond the foundation's archives to present new works and commissions by Cecilia Bengolea, Claudia Comte, SUPERFLEX, and Territorial Agency, amongst many others. New essays by Natasha Ginwala's and such transdisciplinary feminist thinkers as Astrida Neimanis and Eva Hayward transcend individual artistic positions and ask questions that lie at the core of TBA21's program.

    • Hardcover $35.95
  • What about Activism?

    What about Activism?

    Steven Henry Madoff

    Curators and thinkers about contemporary art consider how to engage audiences in creative forms of protest and advocacy.

    With the global rise of a politics of shock, driven by nationalist and authoritarian regimes, what paths to resistance and sites of sanctuary can cultural institutions offer? In this book, more than twenty of the world's leading curators and thinkers about contemporary art offer powerful case studies from their own work, along with historical and theoretical perspectives, that point the way for cultural producers everywhere to engage audiences in creative forms of protest and advocacy capable of confronting the fierce political challenges of today and tomorrow.

    Contributors Defne Ayas, Ute Meta Bauer, Nicolas Bourriaud, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Joshua Decter, Clémentine Deliss, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Boris Groys, Hou Hanru, Pi Li, Maria Lind, Steven Henry Madoff, Antonia Majaca, Gabi Ngcobo, Hans Ulricht Obrist, Jack Persekian with Alison Ramer, María Belén Saéz de Ibarra, Terry Smith, Nato Thompson, Mick Wilson, Brian Kuan Wood, Tirdad Zolghadr

    • Paperback $26.00
  • The Nightmare of Participation

    The Nightmare of Participation

    (Crossbench Praxis as a Mode of Criticality)

    Markus Miessen

    Welcome to Harmonistan! Over the last decade, the term “participation” has become increasingly overused. When everyone has been turned into a participant, the often uncritical, innocent, and romantic use of the term has become frightening. Supported by a repeatedly nostalgic veneer of worthiness, phony solidarity, and political correctness, participation has become the default of politicians withdrawing from responsibility. Similar to the notion of an independent politician dissociated from a specific party, this third part of Miessen's “Participation” trilogy encourages the role of what he calls the “crossbench practitioner,” an “uninterested outsider” and “uncalled participator” who is not limited by existing protocols, and who enters the arena with nothing but creative intellect and the will to generate change.

    Miessen argues for an urgent inversion of participation, a model beyond modes of consensus. Instead of reading participation as the charitable savior of political struggle, Miessen candidly reflects on the limits and traps of its real motivations. Rather than breading the next generation of consensual facilitators and mediators, he argues for conflict as an enabling, instead of disabling, force. The book calls for a format of conflictual participation—no longer a process by which others are invited “in,” but a means of acting without mandate, as uninvited irritant: a forced entry into fields of knowledge that arguably benefit from exterior thinking. Sometimes, democracy has to be avoided at all costs.

    Markus Miessen (*1978) is an architect, consultant, and writer based in Berlin. He runs the collaborative agency for spatial practice Studio Miessen and is director of the Winter School Middle East (Kuwait). Miessen has taught at institutions such as the Architectural Association (London), Columbia, and MIT. He is currently a Professor for Architecture and Curatorial Practice at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany, a Harvard Fellow, and completing his PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture (Goldsmiths, London). www.studiomiessen.com

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Utopias

    Utopias

    Richard Noble

    Utopian strategies in contemporary art seen in the context of the histories of utopian thinking and avant-garde art.

    Throughout its diverse manifestations, the utopian entails two related but contradictory elements: the aspiration to a better world, and the acknowledgement that its form may only ever live in our imaginations. Furthermore, we are as haunted by the failures of utopian enterprise as we are inspired by the desire to repair the failed and build the new. Contemporary art reflects this general ambivalence. The utopian impulse informs politically activist and relational art, practices that fuse elements of art, design, and architecture, and collaborative projects aspiring to progressive social or political change. Two other tendencies have emerged in recent art: a looking backward to investigate the utopian elements of previous eras, and the imaginative modeling of alternative worlds as intimations of possibility. This anthology contextualizes these utopian currents in relation to political thought, viewing the utopian as a key term in the artistic lineage of modernity. It illuminates how the exploration of utopian themes in art today contributes to our understanding of contemporary cultures, and the possibilities for shaping their futures.

    Artistis surveyed include Joseph Beuys, Paul Chan, Guy Debord, Jeremy Deller, Liam Gillick, Antony Gormley, Dan Graham, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul McCarthy, Constant A. Nieuwenheuys, Paul Noble, Nils Norman, Philippe Parreno, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Mark Titchner, Atelier van Lieshout, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Wochenklauser, Carey Young.

    Writers include Theodor Adorno, Jennifer Allen, Catherine Bernard, Ernst Bloch, Yve-Alain Bois, Nicolas Bourriaud, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Alex Farquharson, Hal Foster, Michel Foucault, Alison Green, Fredric Jameson, Rosalind Krauss, Hari Kunzru, Donald Kuspit, Dermis P. Leon, Karl Marx, Jeremy Millar, Thomas More, William Morris, Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist, George Orwell, Jacques Rancière, Stephanie Rosenthal, Beatrix Ru.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Sound Unbound

    Sound Unbound

    Sampling Digital Music and Culture

    Paul D. Miller

    The role of sound and digital media in an information-based society: artists—from Steve Reich and Pierre Boulez to Chuck D and Moby—describe their work.

    If Rhythm Science was about the flow of things, Sound Unbound is about the remix—how music, art, and literature have blurred the lines between what an artist can do and what a composer can create. In Sound Unbound, Rhythm Science author Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid asks artists to describe their work and compositional strategies in their own words. These are reports from the front lines on the role of sound and digital media in an information-based society. The topics are as diverse as the contributors: composer Steve Reich offers a memoir of his life with technology, from tape loops to video opera; Miller himself considers sampling and civilization; novelist Jonathan Lethem writes about appropriation and plagiarism; science fiction writer Bruce Sterling looks at dead media; Ron Eglash examines racial signifiers in electrical engineering; media activist Naeem Mohaiemen explores the influence of Islam on hip hop; rapper Chuck D contributes “Three Pieces”; musician Brian Eno explores the sound and history of bells; Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno interview composer-conductor Pierre Boulez; and much more. “Press 'play,'” Miller writes, “and this anthology says 'here goes.'”

    The groundbreaking music that accompanies the book features Nam Jun Paik, the Dada Movement, John Cage, Sonic Youth, and many other examples of avant-garde music. Most of this content comes from the archives of Sub Rosa, a legendary record label that has been the benchmark for archival sounds since the beginnings of electronic music. To receive these free music files, readers may send an email to the address listed in the book.

    Contributors David Allenby, Pierre Boulez, Catherine Corman, Chuck D, Erik Davis, Scott De Lahunta, Manuel DeLanda, Cory Doctorow, Eveline Domnitch, Frances Dyson, Ron Eglash, Brian Eno, Dmitry Gelfand, Dick Hebdige, Lee Hirsch, Vijay Iyer, Ken Jordan, Douglas Kahn, Daphne Keller, Beryl Korot, Jaron Lanier, Joseph Lanza, Jonathan Lethem, Carlo McCormick, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Moby, Naeem Mohaiemen, Alondra Nelson, Keith and Mendi Obadike, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pauline Oliveros, Philippe Parreno, Ibrahim Quaraishi, Steve Reich, Simon Reynolds, Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, Nadine Robinson, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Alex Steinweiss, Bruce Sterling, Lucy Walker, Saul Williams, Jeff E. Winner

    • Paperback $39.95
  • Participation

    Participation

    Claire Bishop

    Art that seeks to produce situations in which relations are formed among viewers is placed in historical and theoretical context in key writings by critics and artists.

    The desire to move viewers out of the role of passive observers and into the role of producers is one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century art. This tendency can be found in practices and projects ranging from El Lissitzky's exhibition designs to Allan Kaprow's happenings, from minimalist objects to installation art. More recently, this kind of participatory art has gone so far as to encourage and produce new social relationships. Guy Debord's celebrated argument that capitalism fragments the social bond has become the premise for much relational art seeking to challenge and provide alternatives to the discontents of contemporary life. This publication collects texts that place this artistic development in historical and theoretical context.

    Participation begins with writings that provide a theoretical framework for relational art, with essays by Umberto Eco, Bertolt Brecht, Roland Barthes, Peter Bürger, Jen-Luc Nancy, Edoaurd Glissant, and Félix Guattari, as well as the first translation into English of Jacques Rancière's influential "Problems and Transformations in Critical Art." The book also includes central writings by such artists as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Joseph Beuys, Augusto Boal, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. And it features recent critical and curatorial debates, with discussions by Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

    Copublished with Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Did Someone Say Participate?

    Did Someone Say Participate?

    An Atlas of Spatial Practice

    Markus Miessen and Shumon Basar

    A report from the front lines of cultural activism that looks at spatial practitioners who actively trespass into neighboring or alien fields of knowledge.

    Did someone say we need yet another anthology of essays? According to the editors of Did Someone Say Participate?, the answer is an emphatic—or hysterical—"YES!" In fact, they'd go further and argue that the shifts that have taken place in the practice and pedagogy of architecture have been mirrored in other fields, and that this has happened to such an extent that an emerging generation of artists, activists, economists, curators, policy makers, photographers, editors (and, of course, architects) is reshaping how we look at contemporary social and political reality. Despite their apparent disciplinary differences, these professionals are all spatial practitioners. What was once seen as the defensive preserve of architects—mapping, making, or manipulating spaces—has become a new "culture of space" situated in the global market and media arena. Did Someone Say Participate? showcases a range of forward-thinking practitioners and theorists who actively trespass into neighboring or alien fields of knowledge in activities that range from collaborative forms of interdisciplinary practice to identifying practices of ethical terror. For the first time, architecture is here presented as the architecture of knowledge. Participation—social, political or personal—is once again at the forefront of research. Together, the contributions form an atlas of spatial practices resembling the early medieval maps that attempt to show the entire known world. Did Someone Say Participate? will be essential reading not only for those involved in the future of architectural research and practice, but for anyone interested in navigating through current forms of cultural inquiry and debate.

    Contributors Åbäke, Shumon Basar, Johanna Billing, Celine Condorelli & Beatrice Gibson, Keller Easterling, Francesca Ferguson, Justin Frewen, Stephen Graham, Joseph Grima, Mauricio Guillen, Michael Hirsch, Bernd Kniess & Meyer Voggenreiter, Armin Linke, Brendan McGetrick, John McSweeney, Markus Miessen, Matthew Murphy, Lucy Musgrave & Clare Cumberlidge, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Bas Princen, Wendy Pullan, Frank van der Salm, Luke Skrebowski, R&Sie(n) with Pierre Huyghe, Peter Weibel, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss and Eyal Weizman.

    Not for sale in the UK and Europe.

    • Hardcover $29.00
  • Le Grand Livre

    Le Grand Livre

    M/M (Michael Amzalag, Mathias Augustyniak)

    “An image never interests us as such. Its relevance lies in the fact that it contains the sum of preceding dialogues, stories, experiences with various interlocutors, and the fact that it induces a questioning of these preexisting values. This it what makes for us a pertinent image. A good image should be in between two others, a previous one and another one to come.” M/M

    Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak founded M/M in 1992 after meeting at art school in Paris. Since then, they have worked together as graphic designers and art directors mostly in the worlds of fashion (collaborations with designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander, Martine Sitbon, and Calvin Klein), music (Björk, Benjamin Biolay, and Madonna) and art (Centre Georges Pompidou and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, cooperations with artists including Philippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe).

    Published in a limited edition, Le Grand Livre accompanies the exhibitions Antigula at the Ursula Blickle Foundation, November 14 – December 14, 2004, and “Zugabe!” at the Frankurter Kunstverein, March 9 – April 17, 2005. Co-produced by the Ursula Blickle Foundation.

    • Hardcover $150.00