Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 at Kunsthalle Wien

Exhibition title: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017

Curated by: Luca Lo Pinto

Exhibition and Graphic Design: Rio Grande and Dallas

Venue: Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Date: November 8, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunsthalle Wien

Note: Full press release can be found here. Exhibition booklet can be found here. Journal can be found here

What is the role of art publishing today? How have artists adapted modes of publishing as a tool for their practice? How has the notion of artists’ publishing activity changed, given the ever-increasing amount of fairs and an ever-evolving number of book-related collections in contemporary art museums?
Publishing has become, especially since the 1960s, a favourite site and medium for aesthetic and artistic experimentation. It has also become an alternative space for promoting unrestricted individual or collective discourse. New modes and approaches to publishing in an artistic context have been renegotiated in recent times. Publishing is a force of agency to be reckoned with, questioned, explored and debated in all its manifestations.

The multi-part exhibition project Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 explores the potentials of publishing – in the form of books, magazines, journals, artistic interventions, websites – as a particular medium and context both to circulate information and knowledge – and to produce art.

Instead of looking at the already historicized and analyzed period of the 1960s and 1970s, the exhibition will highlight how a recent generation of artists use publishing as a productive tool for their practice. The focus lies on the period from 1989 until 2017, taking 1989 as symbolic date to underline the shift from analogue to digital. On a political level, 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall marks a significant date. On a social level, it is an important year as it indicates the invention of the World Wide Web.

The project, like a toolbox itself, is composed of different parts, sections, and components. Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 opens up and unfolds through different propositions, partly by material exhibits on display, partly through the presentation of time-based events, as well as through an offsite project. The white cube is perhaps not the ideal space for experiencing books, which, in contrast to the collective reception of film and music, remains largely an individual affair. Rather than transform the white cube into a library or reading room, the exhibition acts as an index and invites the visitors to experience the materials presented outside of the institutional space.

Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017 is intended as a three-dimensional index rather than an encyclopaedic approach to understanding the multitude methodologies of publishing.

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Stephan Wyckoff

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Stephan Wyckoff

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Jorit Aust

Exhibition view: Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien 2017, Photo: Stephan Wyckoff

Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989–2017, Kunsthalle Wien, Photo: iStock.com/Thomas-Soellner

Le Dictateur, 2006/2016, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Michael Riedel, Muster des Kunstsystems, Berlin: Distanz, 2017, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Roses Tatouées #6, 2004, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Sarah Ortmeyer, Grandmaster Worldchampions, Franz West, Fama & Fortune Bulletin, 2017, Courtesy the artist

Judith Eisler, Intervention in Adolf Loos, Trotzdem, Prachner Verlag, 1982, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Florian Graf, Intervention in Ludwig Goldscheider, Leonardo da Vinci, Phaidon, 1945, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Gelitin, Intervention in Pierre Klossowski, Die lebende Münze, Kulturverlag Kadmos, 1998, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Hugo Canoilas, Intervention in Klaus Bitterman, Guy Debord präsentiert Potlatch 1954-1957. Informationsbulletin der Lettristischen Internationale, Edition TIAMAT, 2002, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

Julie Ryan, Intervention in Henry Perl, Venezia, Sampson Low, Marston and Company Limited St. Dunstan’s House Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.C., London, 1894, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

THE THING Quarterly Issue 28, 2015, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

THE THING Quarterly Issue 24, 2014, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

FAQ, Le Dictateur, 2016, Photo: Kunsthalle Wien 2017

West Studio, Photo: Nathan Murell

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