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.
Softcover, 152 pages,
1st Edition, Out of print title / used / very good
Published by Craftsman House / St Leonards
$38.00 - Out of stock
In April 2000, the Australian art critic Rex Butler was invited to present a series of lectures to students and members of the public at Metro Arts, Brisbane. Now out of print, Rex Butler's "The Secret of Australian Art" compiles these lectures, offering insight into what a critic does and introduces issues of interest in contemporary Australian art, such themes as the problem of irony in post-modern art, the relation of art to everyday life and recent post-colonial approaches in Australian art history and Aboriginal art, illustrated with case studies.
Lecture 1. Camp: The rise and fall of the smile; The case of Michael Stevenson
Lecture 2. The Real: 'Every Day', the task of mourning; The case of Dale Frank; The case of Richard Dunn
Lecture 3. Abstraction: The anamorphic monochrome; The case of John Nixon
Lecture 4. The Feminine: Radical revisionism; The case of Merilyn Fairskye
Lecture 5. Post-Colonialism: Australian art history and revisionism; The case of Augustus Earle
Lecture 6. Aboriginality: 'Bright Shadows': art, aboriginality and aura; The case of Kathleen Petyarre.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Professor Rex Butler is an art historian, writer and Professor (Art History & Theory) at Monash University. His research interests include contemporary Australian art and art criticism; Post-war American art; and Postmodernism. Rex Butler is currently editing a collection entitled 'Radical Revisionism' on Australian post-colonial art and two volumes of Slavoj Zizek's selected writings. He is the author six books including, What is Appropriation? (1996); Jean Baudrillard: The Defence of the Real (1999); A Secret History of Australian Art (2002); and Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide (2010).
$52.00 - In stock -
Animals have become the focus of much recent art, informing numerous works and projects featured at major exhibitions including dOCUMENTA (13) (2013), the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014), and the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Contemporary art has emerged as a privileged terrain for exploring interspecies relationships, providing the conditions for diverse disciplines and theoretical positions to engage with animal behavior and consciousness.
This interest in animal nature reflects a number of current issues. Observations of empathy among nonhumans prompt reconsiderations of the human. The nonverbal communication of animals has been compared with poetic expansion of the boundaries of language. And the freedom of animal life in the wild from capitalist subordination is seen as a potential model for reconfiguring society and our relationship to the wider environment. Artists’ engagement with animals also opens up new perspectives on the dynamics of dominance, oppression, and exclusion, with parallels in human society. Animal nature is at the heart of debates on the Anthropocene era and the ecological concerns of scientists, thinkers, and artists alike. Centered on contemporary artworks, this anthology attests to the trans-disciplinary nature of this subject, with art as one of the principal points of convergence.
Artists surveyed include
Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Julieta Aranda, Brandon Ballengée, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, Marcus Coates, Jimmie Durham, Marcel Dzama, Simone Forti, Pierre Huyghe, Natalie Jeremijenko, Joan Jonas, Eduardo Kac, Mike Kelley, Henri Michaux, Robert Morris, Henrik Olesen, Lea Porsager, Julia Reodica, Carolee Schneemann, Michael Stevenson, Rodel Tapaya, Rosemarie Trockel, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Haegue Yang, Adam Zaretsky
Giorgio Agamben, Steve Baker, Raymond Bellour, Walter Benjamin, John Berger, Jonathan Burt, Ted Chiang, Simon Critchley, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, David Elliott, Carla Freccero, Maria Fusco, Tristan García, Félix Guattari, Donna J. Haraway, Seung-Hoon Jeong, Miwon Kwon, Chus Martinez, Brian Massumi, Thomas Nagel, Jean-Luc Nancy, Ingo Niermann, Vincent Normand, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Will Self, Jan Verwoert, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro
About the Editor
Filipa Ramos is editor-in-chief of art-agenda and a Lecturer in Experimental Film at Kingston University and Moving Image at Central Saint Martins, London. She is the author of Lost and Found: Crisis of Memory in Contemporary Art (2009).
Softcover, 147 pages, 20.5 x 29 cm
Published by Städelschule / Frankfurt
$26.00 - In stock -
Bookbook is a project of the Simon Starling Class at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunst – Städelschule
List of Contents
Anonymous Stage I Contribution
Primary/Secondary (Information) by Benjamin Lobko
Donald Duck Hitler and the Chocolate Factory – a work in progress by Dan Starling
Anonymous Stage I Contributions
Stage II Contributions
Anonymous Stage I Contributions
The Hermit & The Sea by Michael Stevenson
Stage II Contributions
Before This (An Afterword) by Simon Starling
Unlrelated Things Related by Patrick Keaveney
Published by the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunst – Städelschule
Softcover, 328 pages, 17 x 24 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$38.00 - In stock -
Edited by Brigitte Oetker and Nicolaus Schafhausen
Interviews with Saâdane Afif, Thomas Bayrle, Michael Beutler, Monica Bonvicini, Mike Bouchet, Ulla von Brandenburg, Angela Bulloch, Andrea Büttner, Keren Cytter, Simon Denny, Thea Djordjadze, Ólafur Elíasson, Harun Farocki, Dani Gal, Katharina Grosse, Eberhard Havekost, Florian Hecker, Christian Jankowski, Susanne Kriemann, Antje Majewski, Olaf Metzel, Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Nicolai, Marcel Odenbach, Silke Otto-Knapp, Willem de Rooij, Cornelia Schleime, Michael Stevenson, Hito Steyerl, Haegue Yang, Tobias Zielony
The 60th Jahresring takes the form of a compilation of artist interviews and offers a snapshot of a highly active art scene that stretches from Berlin, as a new international center for art. Nicolaus Schafhausen put a series of questions to thirty-one art practitioners, less geared toward the artists’ respective praxis and more toward the conditions under which it arises.
Art’s presence in the field of new media has never been more pronounced; access to media images and Internet-based possibilities for research have significantly altered contemporary art production. The art market too has changed, gaining influence in the field of contemporary art as even art institutions take a different approach today than they did twenty years ago.
The focus in these interviews is on the respective self-positioning by the artists in an era shaped by such far-reaching changes. What emerges are temporally fixed positions within an activity that is, for the most large part, associated with precarious working conditions and the logistics of the market more than ever before. This book offers insight into this “other” dimension of an artist’s existence and registers attention economy as a central component of contemporary art production.
Design by Tobias Donat
$35.00 - Out of stock
In March 2008 the artist Michael Stevenson self-published a slender document entitled Fables to accompany his project Lender of Last Resort at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands. It was a series of some nine texts in fable form, and each suggested further allegorical readings on a tableau the artist assembled in the museum. All were co-written by Stevenson and the art critic Jan Verwoert. The project itself was developed around the notion of the bilateral loan contract, both in the financial sense, but also regarding the museological. A loan is perhaps best defined as an inter-temporal transfer of value through time. It is probably the oldest financial instrument, dating at least from the birth of writing. Some of the first ever written documents describe loans, bad loans in fact (default being the real reason the record has remained). The tableau itself was constructed from objects related to the founding of the museum, a process that unfolded in and among the banking crisis of 1924. The publication was only available in the space itself and has long since been out of print.
Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Times is an artist’s book by Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert which expands upon the themes of this earlier document and re-examines them more specifically in the light of our current times. It is based on a collaborative process, a process that resembles a game. Stevenson and Verwoert developed a working method in which plot structure remained open, a kind of partial exquisite corpse, i.e. text fragments passed back and forth without prior discussion as to any through line. These stories were co-illustrated in a similar way by the artist and Margaret Stevenson, his mother—the moral guide; the results were then made into a publication by Christoph Keller. A page at the end of the book announces the contributors thus: artist, mother, critic, and spirit maker.
The stories themselves take classic fable form and so most are concerned with arrangements between two parties or what could be called informal bilateral contracts. Galvanized and translated within parallel realities they produce a world in which the Beginning of the World has a voice and dares to question the might of the Bull. A world where the Shareholder sips wine at the dinner table with the Jackal, and the Lion, in a crisis, calls on his Hairdresser for council in matters of sovereign security. “Haircuts … Severe haircuts!”
Text by Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert
Illustrations by Michael Stevenson and Margaret Stevenson
2013, English / Spanish
Softcover, 164 pages (35 colour / 70 b&w ill.), 300 x 235 mm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$63.00 - In stock -
A plane is lodged in the Portikus attic to be seen across the river.
In keeping with Stevenson’s commitment to producing objects that animate historical narratives, often as replicas, facsimiles or architectural re-constructions, the object will be transformed into an image through the very fragile and the most minute effects of optical lenses and mirrors, so that it appears in the main exhibition space.
Published on the occasion of Stevenson's exhibitions at Portikus, Frankfurt, and Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City in 2012
English and Spanish text by authors: Nikolaus Hirsch, Carmen Cuenca, Sophie von Olfers, Magnolia de la Garza, Roberto Bolaño, Giovanni Intra, José de Jesús Martínez, Marilyn Strathern, Michael Taussig, Laura Preston, Mark von Schlegell, and Jan Verwoert.
With supplement publication, Teoria del Vuelo; José de Jesús Martínez Publication, a 42 page reprint of the original Spanish document compiled with a new English translation
Softcover, 272 pages (96 color ill.), 13 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$28.00 - In stock -
“To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.”
Put together in the wings of the “Dystopia” exhibition at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, acting as a resonance chamber, this illustrated novel raises the issue of possible futures in the form of a critical fiction, and involves the outposts of the novel to come. About New Dystopia, the city in which the novel’s protagonists live, the narrator states: “As an American … one only came to New Dystopia City to become an artist. That only there was it a way of life.” According to von Schlegell, we are living in that new metropolis. He states, “Dystopia is today.”
After Venusia (2005) and Mercury Station (2009), both published by Semiotext(e), New Dystopia is Mark von Schlegell’s third novel.
Artists: Wallace Berman, Cosima von Bonin, Brian Calvin, Tony Carter, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Peter Coffin, Simon Denny, Andreas Dobler, Roe Ethridge, Keith Farquhar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Aurélien Froment, Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Sebastian Hammwöhner, Roger Hiorns, Ull Hohn, Des Hughes, Peter Hutchinson, Eugene Isabey, Sergej Jensen, On Kawara, Michael Krebber, Jesus Mari Lazkano, Rita McBride, John Miller, Pathetic Sympathy Seekers, Manfred Pernice, Stephen G. Rhodes, Glen Rubsamen, Sterling Ruby, Julia Scher, Frances Scholz, Michael Scott, Markus Selg, Reena Spaulings, Michael Stevenson, Tommy Støckel, Josef Strau, Blair Thurman, Mathieu Tonetti, Oscar Tuazon, Franz West, Jordan Wolfson
Co-published with CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
Softcover w. dustjacket, 370 pages, 10.5 x 14.9 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$28.00 - In stock -
Interviews: Mai Abu ElDahab by Will Holder, Guy Ben-Ner by Jan Verwoert, Mariana Castillo Deball by Giovanni Carmine, Sancho Silva by Luca Cerizza, Michael Smith by Larissa Harris, Yael Davids by Frédérique Bergholtz, Mark Aerial Waller by Mike Sperlinger, Anne Daems by Ronald Van de Sompel, Chris Evans by Francesco Manacorda, Antonio Ortega by David G. Torres, Sharon Hayes by Roger Cook, Christian Jankowski by Raimundas Malašauskas, Michael Stevenson by Esperanza Rosales; glossary by Dexter Sinister
The publication includes a series of interviews with artists who exhibited at Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, over a two-year period, along with a collection of secondary and parallel material produced in collaboration with each artist. Ranging from the humorous to the pseudo-scientific, the artists discuss the methods by which their research is transformed into practice. Both the artists and the interviewers constitute a community of active and concerned arts practitioners who, through art-making, writing, curation and teaching, deal with issues of representation, behavioral patterns and historical legacy.
Co-published with Objectif Exhibitions
Design by Will Holder
Inside cover design by Frances Stark