Sunday Reading

Meg Beaumont interviews two artists every two months, throwing a spotlight on publications in our collection. Be the first to receive our Sunday Reading by signing up to the mailing list.

  • BLOK 62

    BLOK 62 is Imrich Veber’s docufictional tale of government housing in Eastern Europe. “During the Communist era thousands of people were coming to cities from the countryside for work. There was a huge demand for new flats to be built in a very short period. All social classes used to live in blocks of flats, even nowadays you can meet very different types of people there with signs of cheap living,” he says.

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    Joseph Roux once said that “poetry is truth, in its Sunday clothes”, and KALUMET is a book very much in its Sunday clothes.

    Created as an edition of twenty-four, the work is presented as a slim atlas with leather binding housed in a bespoke slipcase. The pages are divided by five continental regions of the world, each containing a poem in a different language by Giuseppe Ungaretti. It could be described as book of poetry – or a book of maps which straddles the divide between the visual and the verbal. And in an unusual collaboration, one half of the partnership is posthumously published.

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  • A Catalogue of Misfortune

    “When glass breaks, its simple smooth transparency is irreversibly destroyed and we are forced to take notice of it instead of looking through it. It reminds us of the fragility of manmade things,” says Sam Hodges, of her project A Catalogue of Misfortune. “I am also concerned with human interaction with these material processes. How do we deal with things falling apart? How do we make sense of accidents? In the last few years I have been particularly drawn to broken glass – tracing and printing crack patterns.”

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  • Dear Love Who Should Have Been Forever Mine

    Marie Jacotey’s book Dear Love who should have been forever mine is a fascinating work. Part book, part portfolio, the pages detail a love affair between a young couple, illustrated in Marie’s trademark pencil style. The pages are loose leaf, giving the viewer the option to read them in any chosen order; the story can begin and conclude at any place, leaving a myriad of possible readings. “This specific book format was born from this notion of fragments at the foreground of my work; indeed I envision my drawings as photographic snapshots, suspended moments excerpted from a bigger story. It made sense with this idea of the recollection of a break up, fading memories awkwardly pieced back together, to have loose pages that you could read distinctively from each other and shuffle with not further care of a specific order.”

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  • All the Paintings in the Museum 

    Guy Bigland is a man of many words, in many senses. His bookworks span diverse fields of interest – he is an artist who makes lists about everything from books found on the shelves of rented holiday accommodation to the old masters in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. His book Things You Have Done was a list of ten nouns combined with ten past tense verbs in all possible sentence combinations, and was one of the winners of the 2015 Sheffield International Artists’ Book Prize. His book All the Paintings in the Museum was selected for KALEID’s 2016 collection.

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  • Book of Lists, Kitab al Fihrist

    “I couldn’t believe that a time capsule of the 10th Century Arab world like this existed,” says Marcelle of the book Kitab al Fihrist, which inspired her own seductive, hand-bound, typeset and printed Book of Lists. Written by Ibn al-Nadim, a Muslim scholar of possible Persian ancestry, in his own words the book is “an Index of the books of all nations, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, which are extant in the Arabic language and script, on every branch of knowledge and every science that has been invented down to the present epoch: namely, the year 377 of the Hijra.”

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  • Simultanéité

    “As an artist who works with books, I’m interested in exploiting the reader’s assumptions in order to gain a deeper understanding of what a book is,” says Patrizia Meinert. The book as a vehicle of communication and distribution has been gathering momentum over the past decade, even in the digital age, artists are reinterpreting the printed page. “But I’m not a graphic designer, a poet or a printmaker who uses the book as a vehicle to disseminate content,” says Patrizia. “The book itself is the starting point — conceptually as well as physically. I’m interested in the form of the book, because it exhibits a comparative or contextualizing way of seeing.”

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  • Töchter

    Clara Bahlsen’s Töchter (Daughters) is a softly spoken, mysterious work. Portraits of young women in their mid to late twenties, whose eye contact is directed towards the viewer, are framed adjacent to concrete assemblages. The work is a meditation on women entering adulthood and the domestic constructions that begin to shape their lives; moving towards the years traditionally governed by marriage and children.

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  • nothing to undo

    “There were no ‘on the road’ shots. We flew from Malmo to Stockholm and back. We were not travelling in our ancestors’ land. We were migrants living away from our home countries, travelling in a foreign land.” And thus begins paula roush’s photo-essay nothing to undo – a simple concept that belies the complexities of an art practice driven by research.

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  • Ishavsgast

    Opening the first page of Hilde Aagaard’s simple black and white tome Ishavsgast (Arctic Seafarer) is to step back in time – to us non-seafaring folk, it is almost to step onto another planet. The black and white publication is a poignant elegy to Hilde’s father, to his years as a Norwegian fisherman and to the men whom accompanied him on these perilous journeys across the North Sea. The photographs and diary entries translated into English to the rear of the book are the work of Asbjorn Trygve Aagaard. “I discovered the collection of photographs when I was a child,” says Hilde. “They were a natural part of our family albums for me to look through now and again. I especially loved the photographs of the icebergs. In my twenties I realised the value of his photographs and text as an important part of my family story and of Norway’s cultural heritage.”

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  • Tectonic

    “As a small child, I collected stones and polished them with special tools,” Johan Rosenmunthe says of a childhood passion turned artist’s book. “To me, energy equals meaning and stones are so full of potential energy – not in a spiritual way, but as historical and physical energy that can be extracted.”

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  • Die Übergänge sind rätselhaft

    When you open The Transitions are puzzling (Die Übergänge sind rätselhaft) there are a lot of expectations – a drawing book is not necessarily one of them. Anna Gille’s unique book of pencil drawings takes inspiration not from the natural world, but from the artificial landscapes of simulations and video games. With more and more of our lives being enacted in the digital sphere, the project is a fascinating exploration of the idea of landscape, raising questions about the idea of nature vs dualism, analogue vs digital.

    Read more here.

  • Dita Pepe Self-Portraits

    “When I was eighteen years old I didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Dita Pepe, the artist behind an extraordinary collection of self-portraits spanning fifteen years. “I ran away from home – lived at a friend’s house. My schoolmates from the grammar school went to university, and I moved to Germany and became an Au Pair.” After meeting her first husband, Francesco Pepe, whom she credits with ‘getting her back on her feet’, she studied photography and the beginnings of Self Portraits was born.

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  • Marie Claire RIP & Jezebel

    “I’d originally seen them at a friend’s house in a copy of Marie Claire magazine.” – EJ Major. An unlikely beginning, perhaps, for a project that would be explored in different ways over the following years, finally culminating in the works Marie Claire RIP and Jezebel, now brought together in one limited edition publication. The photographs in question were featured in an article entitled “Diary of a Heroin Addict” and focused on the decline over a period of several years of a young female addict, her drug induced deterioration marked by her mug shots following various arrests.

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  • New Horizons

    In the summer of 2011, Bruno van den Elshout was working on a photography project about Dutch motorways, trying to work out what his project for the next year, 2012, would be. ‘You may remember that people were talking about the end of times, the end of the Maya calendar and all. To me, it felt like 2012 would be a year of fundamental change. The end of the world – maybe. But at least: the end of the world as we had known it until then. It also felt like the speeding up of just-about-everything was becoming almost unbearable. As if we were about to overtake time.’

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  • Still

    In her seminal work On Photography, Susan Sontag complains: “Photographs create the beautiful and – over generations of picture-taking – use it up. Certain glories of nature… have been all but abandoned to the indefatigable attentions of amateur camera buffs. The image-surfeited are likely to find sunsets corny; they now look, alas, too much like photographs.”

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