World Food Books is a book shop in Melbourne, Australia.
Founded in 2010, World Food Books is a book service dedicated to the presentation of a rotating, hand-selection of quality international art and design journals, artists’ monographs, exhibition catalogues, artists’ editions, collected writings and printed ephemera.
Presenting new titles alongside rare and out-of-print publications spanning the fields of contemporary art, modern art, cultural theory, photography, film, poetry, fiction, fashion, architecture, interior design, typography, illustration, politics and much between, World Food Books wishes to encourage active and thoughtful reading, looking, writing, publishing, and exchanging of art and design press, both contemporary and historical.
As well as our book shop, located in Melbourne's historical Nicholas Building, all of our inventory is available internationally via our online mail-order service. We also have outposts at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art) and Westspace, both also in Melbourne.
World Food Books semi-regularly co-ordinates "Occasions", a program of exhibits and events at the bookshop and in partnership with other hosts (such as museums and art galleries) that develop out of the activities, relationships and content of the bookshop itself.
World Food Books
The Nicholas Building
Studio 19, Level 3
37 Swanston Street
FRI 12-7 PM
SAT 12-4 PM
& OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
MAIL ORDER RUNS EVERY DAY
World Food Books
PO Box 435
Theory / Essay
Architecture / Interior
Graphic Design / Typography
Fiction / Poetry
Film / Video
Sculpture / Installation
Performance / Dance / Theater
Sound / Music
Group Shows / Collections
Illustration / Graphic Art
Ceramics / Glass
Italian Radical Design / Postmodernism
"Various Works 1986 - 1999"
02 February 16 - September 10, 2016
Various works 1986 - 1999, from two houses, from the collections of John Nixon, Sue Cramer, Kerrie Poliness, Peter Haffenden and Phoebe Haffenden.
Including: Geometry of Cakes (various shelves), 1993; Poor People’s Law (black and white plate), 1993; White Absence (glasses, ruler, set square, silver spoon, silver ladel with skin photograph and wooden cubes), 1990-1996; Exploitation of the Dead (grey and red star painting, wooden painting, black spoon with red table, red plate), 1984-1990; Money and Zeros (zero tie, paintings made for friends in Australia (Sue, John, Kerrie), numbers painting), 1991-1992; Words - Slogans (various t-shirts) - “they talk about the death of art...help! someone is trying to kill me”, “my sweet little lamb”, “work is a disease - Karl Marx”; Various artist books, catalogues, monographs, videos; Poster from exhibition Insulting Anarchy; "Circular" Croatian - Australian edition; Artist book by Vlado Martek (Dostoyevsky); more.
Thanks to Mladen Stilinović and Branka Stipančić.
Curated by Nic Tammens
March 26 - April 4, 2015
B.Wurtz works from a basement studio in his home on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
This local fact is attested to by the plastic shopping bags and newsprint circulars that appear in his work. As formal objects, they don’t make loud claims about their origins but nonetheless transmit street addresses and places of business from the bottom of this long thin island. Like plenty of artists, Wurtz is affected by what is local and what is consumed. His work is underpinned by this ethic. It often speaks from a neighborhood or reads like the contents of a hamper:
“BLACK PLUMS $1.29 lb.”
“USDA Whole Pork Shoulder Picnic 99c lb.”
“RITE AID Pharmacy, with us it’s personal.”
“H. Brickman & Sons.”
“Sweet Yams 59c lb."
Most of the work in this exhibition was made while the artist was in residence at Dieu Donne, a workshop dedicated to paper craft in Midtown. Here Wurtz fabricated assemblages with paper and objects that are relatively lightweight, with the intention that they would be easily transportable to Australia. This consideration isn’t absolute in Wurtz’s work, but was prescriptive for making the current exhibition light and cheap. Packed in two boxes, these works were sent from a USPS post office on the Lower East Side and delivered to North Melbourne by Australia Post.
Wurtz appears courtesy of Metro Pictures, New York.
Thanks to Rob Halverson, Joshua Petherick, Sari de Mallory, Matt Hinkley, Helen Johnson, Fayen d'Evie, Ask Kilmartin, Lisa Radon, Ellena Savage, Yale Union, and "Elizabeth".
December 15 - January 20, 2014
The presentation of John Nixon's archive offered a rare showcase of this extensive collection of the artist's own publications, catalogues, posters, ephemera, editions and more, from the mid 1980s onwards, alongside a selection of his artworks.
Organized by John Nixon, Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley.
at Minerva, Sydney (curated by Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley)
November 15 - December 20, 2014
Lupo Borgonovo, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley,
Lewis Fidock, HR Giger, Piero Gilardi, Veit Laurent Kurz,
Cinzia Ruggeri, Michael E. Smith, Lucie Stahl, Daniel Weil, Wols
“...It contained seven objects. The slender fluted bone, surely formed for flight, surely from the wing of some large bird. Three archaic circuitboards, faced with mazes of gold. A smooth white sphere of baked clay. An age-blackened fragment of lace. A fingerlength segment of what she assumed was bone from a human wrist, grayish white, inset smoothly with the silicon shaft of a small instrument that must once have ridden flush with the surface of the skin - but the thing’s face was seared and blackened.”
William Gibson, “Count Zero”, 1986
"Autumn Projects Archive"
Curated by Liza Vasiliou
March 6 - March 15, 2014
World Food Books, in conjunction with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2014, presented the Autumn Projects archive, consisting of a selection of early examples in Australian fashion with a particular interest in collecting designers and labels from the period beginning in the 1980’s, who significantly influenced the discourse of Australian Fashion.
Curated by Liza Vasiliou, the exhibition provided a unique opportunity to view pieces by designers Anthea Crawford, Barbara Vandenberg, Geoff Liddell and labels CR Australia, Covers, Jag along with early experimental collage pieces by Prue Acton and Sally Browne’s ‘Fragments’ collection, suspended throughout the functioning World Food Books shop in Melbourne.
presented by CENTRE FOR STYLE
November 14, 2013
"Hey Blinky, you say chic, I say same"
H.B. Peace is a clothing collaboration between great friends Blake Barns and Hugh Egan Westland. Their pieces explore the divergences between 'character’ and ‘personality’ in garments....etc
Special Thanks to Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley of WFB and Gillian Mears
and a Very Special Thank you to Audrey Thomas Hayes for her shoe collaboration.
Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley
May 10 - June 8, 2013
The first of our occasional exhibitions in the World Food Books office/shop space in Melbourne, "Aesthetic Suicide" presented a body of new and older works together by artists Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, including videos, prints, a wall work, and publications.
During shop open hours videos played every hour, on the hour.
$49.00 - In stock -
Edited by Daniela Zyman, Cory Scozzari
Contributions by Nabil Ahmed, Keller Easterling, Carles Guerra Rojas, Celina Jeffery, Laleh Khalili, Rosa Lleó, Gabriele Mackert, Jegan Vincent de Paul, Allan Sekula, Sally Stein, Daniela Zyman
This publication intersperses essays from scholars, historians, and thinkers with a selection of Allan Sekula’s seminal texts and excerpts from his private notebooks. The title is a reference to Okeanos—son of Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth—who ruled over the oceans and water. Made and written across the decades, Sekula’s sketches and texts focus on maritime space and the material, economic, and ecological implications of globalization. In projects such as his magnum opus Fish Story (1989–95), or films like Lottery of the Sea (2006) and The Forgotten Space (2010), Sekula provided a view from and of the sea. This publication expands on these oceanic themes, seeking to honor the scope and complexity of the late artist-theorist’s work, and situate his ideas in current political, social, and environmental discourses.
The book is divided thematically: the section “Containerization” focuses on the sea as a site of infrastructural complication; Sekula’s work Black Tide / Marea negra (2002–3) is also revisited, which explores environmental violence and contamination as well as their social implications; a selection from Sekula’s personal drawings are accompanied by an essay by photo historian Sally Stein; various essays readdress Sekula’s legacy in the age of the Anthropocene; and a number of case studies by contemporary artists, writers, and thinkers examine ideas that overlap with Sekula’s and expand on his interests.
Design by Kristin Metho
Softcover, 280 pages, 21.8 x 27.3 cm
Published by MACK / London
$79.00 - In stock -
Long out of print, this seminal collection of essays and photographs are by artist, theorist and filmmaker, Allan Sekula. Originally published by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984, in these essays and images Sekula sought to portray the inextricable bond between labour and material culture, drawing deeply on Marxist theory to argue passionately for a collective model of progress. Sekula taught at California Institute of Arts (CalArts) from 1985 until his death in 2013, and from that insider's position he critiqued photography and the circumstances of its production and consumption, exposing what the medium failed to represent – women, labourers, minorities and the institutional structures that reinforce cultural biases.
Allan Sekula (1951–2013) was an American artist, whose work spans multiple media: long form photographic series (Aerospace Folktales, 1973; School as a Factory,1980; War Without Bodies, 1991/96), critical texts (The Body and the Archive, 1986 and Debating Occupy, 2012) and film (The Forgotten Space, 2012).
Softcover, 87 pages, 18.5 x 12.7 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / as new
Published by ICA / Pennsylvania
$45.00 - Out of stock
Conceptions of “nothing” are one of the driving themes of twentieth-century art. One thinks of Piet Mondrian's reductivist approach to abstraction, Marcel Duchamp's contention that art resides in ideas, not objects, Mark Rothko's painterly reach for the sublime, Andy Warhol's affirmations of the vacuity of Pop culture. The Big Nothing will focus on themes of nothing, nothingness and negation in contemporary art and culture, surveying the legacy of these and other manifestations of absence made manifest in contemporary art. Artist include Gareth James, Jutta Koether, Louise Lawler, Richard Prince, Yves Klein, Bernadette Corporation, John Miller and James Welling, among others. Given its broad connotations, “nothing” provides general audiences with immediate access to looking at and thinking about the art of today.
Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with show held May 1 - August 1, 2004. Curated and with essays by Ingrid Schaffner, Bennett Simpson, and Tanya Leighton. Additional essay by Paula Marincola. Artists include: Bas Jan Ader, Richard Artschwager, Michael Asher, Michel Auder, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Bernadette Corporation, James Lee Byars, Maurizio Cattelan, Thomas Chimes, Bruce Conner, Day Without Art, Jessica Diamond, Roe Ethridge, Lili Fleury, Rene Gabri, Jack Goldstein, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nicolas Guagnini, David Hammons, Heavy Industries, Nancy Holt, Richard Hoeck, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, Gareth James, Ray Johnson, Yves Klein, Joachim Koester, Jutta Koether, Yayoi Kusama, Louise Lawler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Allan McCollum, Patrick McMullen, John Miller, Matt Mullican, Eileen Neff, Gabriel Orozco, Raphael Ortiz, Charlemagne Palestine, Philippe Parreno, William Pope.L, Doris Salcedo, Karin Schneider, Allan Sekula, Arlene Shechet, Santiago Sierra, John Smith, Robert Smithson, Paul Swenbeck, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Andy Warhol, James Welling, John Wesley, and Steve Wolfe. Includes checklist of the exhibition.
Softcover, 248 pages, 21 x 24 cm
Published by The MIT Press / Massachusetts
$59.00 - In stock -
It may be time to forget the art world--or at least to recognize that a certain historical notion of the art world is in eclipse. Today, the art world spins on its axis so quickly that its maps can no longer be read; its borders blur. In Forgetting the Art World, Pamela Lee connects the current state of this world to globalization and its attendant controversies. Contemporary art has responded to globalization with images of movement and migration, borders and multitudes, but Lee looks beyond iconography to view globalization as a world process. Rather than think about the “global art world” as a socioeconomic phenomenon, or in terms of the imagery it stages and sponsors, Lee considers “the work of art’s world” as a medium through which globalization takes place. She argues that the work of art is itself both object and agent of globalization.
Lee explores the ways that art actualizes, iterates, or enables the processes of globalization, offering close readings of works by artists who have come to prominence in the last two decades. She examines the “just in time” managerial ethos of Takahashi Murakami; the production of ethereal spaces in Andreas Gursky’s images of contemporary markets and manufacture; the logic of immanent cause dramatized in Thomas Hirschhorn’s mixed-media displays; and the “pseudo-collectivism” in the contemporary practice of the Atlas Group, the Raqs Media Collective, and others.
To speak of “the work of art’s world,” Lee says, is to point to both the work of art’s mattering and its materialization, to understand the activity performed by the object as utterly continuous with the world it at once inhabits and creates.
About the Author
Pamela M. Lee is Professor of Art History at Stanford University and the author of Object to Be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-Clark and Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s, both published by the MIT Press.
“Pamela Lee makes a major contribution to our understanding of art’s globalization through her brilliant exploration of ‘worlds’ as a medium and ‘worlding’ as a process by which unruly networks of financial, political, and spectacular forces are crystallized as works of art.”
—David Joselit, Carnegie Professor, History of Art, Yale University
“For those who want to chart the difference between the world and world markets, for those nostalgic for genuinely intellectual depth in art criticism, and for those wanting to understand the outer, digital limits of art, this book will be your guide. Forgetting the Art World sets a new stage—a picture theory for art practice.”
—Molly Nesbit, Professor of Art History, Vassar College
“Pamela Lee presents an exciting, highly original discussion of what constitutes an art world at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Forgetting the Art World examines not only the processes sustaining the reciprocal relationship between globalization and contemporary art, but also what the art world needs to forget in order to assume its current condition. The analysis is timely and provocative, and will be essential reading for anyone concerned with contemporary art.”
—Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity
$69.00 - In stock -
In The Return of the Real Hal Foster discusses the development of art and theory since 1960, and reorders the relation between prewar and postwar avant-gardes. Opposed to the assumption that contemporary art is somehow belated, he argues that the avant-garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative practice in the present. And he poses this retroactive model of art and theory against the reactionary undoing of progressive culture that is pervasive today.After the models of art-as-text in the 1970s and art-as-simulacrum in the 1980s, Foster suggests that we are now witness to a return to the real -- to art and theory grounded in the materiality of actual bodies and social sites. If The Return of the Real begins with a new narrative of the historical avant-garde, it concludes with an original reading of this contemporary situation -- and what it portends for future practices of art and theory, culture and politics.
Includes the work of David Hammons, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Jasper Johns, Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, Michael Asher, Hans Haacke, Fred Wilson, Silvia Kolbowski, Larry Bell, Sol Lewitt, Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Tony Smith, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, Jeff Koons, Haim Steinbach, Peter Halley, Ashley Bickerton, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Allan McCollum, Gerhard Richter, Richard Estes, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, John Miller, Zoe Leonard, Gran Fury, Renée Green, Dan Graham, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Lothar Baumgarten, Fred Wilson, Jimmie Durham, and many more.
$42.00 - In stock -
During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art's production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum's entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue's symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork. Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher's situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher's environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.
Contributors: Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula
Softcover, 272 pages, 21.3 x 28 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / Used*,
Published by Illinois State University University Galleries / Illinois
$250.00 - Out of stock
Dismal Science is the definitive edition of seven acclaimed photographic projects made by Allan Sekula over the last 24 years, and also includes a number of critical essays by Sekula on contemporary photography.
His hybrid works, incorporating photographic sequences, slide projections, texts, and audio recordings, question the conventions of documentary photography, while tracing strange linkages between everyday life and the global economic system.
Dismal Science is published in conjunction with an exhibition organized by the University Galleries of Illinois State University that travelled to eight venues between 1996-1998 including the Netherlands foto institute, Rotterdam, the Munich Kunstverein, and the John Curtin Gallery, Perth, Australia.
Softcover, 294 pages (81 b/w and 52 color ill.), 13 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$40.00 - In stock -
Tone Hansen, Lars Bang Larsen (Eds.)
Contributions by Emanuel Almborg, Nils Christie, Carl Hegemann, Ane Hjort Guttu, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Adelita Husni-Bey, Carsten Rene Jørgensen, Lars Bang Larsen, Sharon Lockhart, Magnus Marsdal, Marit Paasche, Allan Sekula
One of the few things we have in common in contemporary society is the future of our children. But it seems that even the “we” of childhood, of learning and free play, has turned into a common ground for instrumentalization and competition. Today, the pedagogical paradox—Kant’s meditation on the paradox that the subject’s predisposition for freedom must be learned—is increasingly lost in governmental obsession about the efficiency of education and schooling. From another perspective, artists are addressing questions of childhood, play, and pedagogy.
What ideological and moral transformations is the school system currently undergoing? What do the psychiatric diagnoses and treatments mean that are increasingly applied to children and youth? What happened to the reform pedagogy of the twentieth century? What is the status of childhood in the era of the consuming child and the playing adult? These are some of the questions addressed by The Phantom of Liberty, which sets out to reestablish a social and aesthetic dialogue between visual art and psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and critical journalism.
The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox is published following the exhibition “Learning for Life” curated by Tone Hansen and Ane Hjort Guttu, November 11, 2012–February 24, 2013, at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK).
Copublished with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Design by Eriksen/Brown