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, 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.
Hardcover, 312 pages, 22 x 29 cm
Published by Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College / New York
$67.00 - In stock -
'Invisible Adversaries' was a major exhibition curated by Lauren Cornell and Tom Eccles inspired by the 1976 feature film by the radical Austrian artist Valie Export. The film presents a woman’s struggle to retain her sense of self against hostile alien forces that appear increasingly ubiquitous, colonizing the minds of all those around her. Motifs from the film – among them, architecture’s influence on identity; feminist critique; and the power of political fantasy – operate as filters through which to consider significant pieces from the Marieluise Hessel Collection.
With works by over 50 artists including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Chantal Akerman, Kai Althoff, Janine Antoni, Ida Applebroog, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Benglis, Barbara Bloom, Paul Chan, Patty Chang, Anne Collier, Rineke Dijkstra, Trisha Donnelly, VALIE EXPORT, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, K8 Hardy, Rachel Harrison, Mona Hatoum, Roni Horn, Emily Jacir, Annette Kelm, Leigh Ledare, Nikki S. Lee, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Christian Marclay, Helen Marten, Ulrike Müller, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Philippe Parreno, William Pope.L, Seth Price, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose, Thomas Ruff, Ilene Segalove, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Diane Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Jo Spence, Hito Steyerl, Tunga, Gillian Wearing, Martha Wilson, and Krzysztof Wodiczko, amongst others.
This 300-page publication designed by Zak Group with original essays by nine influential writers, scholars and artists: Zach Blas, Johanna Fateman, Nav Haq, Vít Havránek, J. Hoberman, Alex Kitnick, Tavia Nyong’O, Lauren O’Neill-Butler, and Julian Rose. The catalogue also includes original interviews with VALIE EXPORT, Trevor Paglen, and Hito Steyerl.
$45.00 - In stock -
Anyone undertaking a study of the concept of "life" in our culture will observe that it never gets defined as such, writes Giorgio Agamben. Instead, he claims, this indeterminate thing - life itself - gets articulated and divided time and again through a series of oppositions that give it a function in the sciences without ever being defined as such. These theoretical and literary articulations are what this book is about, and what the 173 texts by authors, scientists and philosophers from all times and all disciplines will try to answer.
Ernst Haeckel, speculative biologist and naturalist, coined key concepts as phylum and ecology. In the years 1899-1904 he published Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms of Nature), one hundred prints depicting organisms many of which were first described by Haeckel himself, who with this project took an unusual step from science to art. His sketches thus create a bridge between this book and the exhibition at Moderna Museet, appearing in the margins of both. Otherwise there is no art in this publication and the division of labor strict: the exhibition is art?s chance to answer the topic spelled out in the subtitle to Life Itself: "On the question of what it essentially is; its materialities, its characteristics, considering that attempts to answer this question by occidental sciences and philosophies have proven unsatisfactory."
Exhibition featured the work of Giovanni Anselmo, Olga Balema, Hicham Berrada, Joseph Beuys, Karl Blossfeldt, Constantin Brancusi, Victor Brauner, Nina Canell, Lygia Clark, Trisha Donnelly, Monica Englund, Valia Fetisov, Dirk Fleischmann, Katharina Fritsch, Ernst Haeckel, Barbara Hauser, Tamara Henderson, Eva Hesse, Damien Hirst, Tehching Hsieh, Pierre Huyghe, Carsten Höller/Rosemarie Trockel, On Kawara, Josh Kline, Hilma af Klint, Edward Krasinski, Mark Leckey, Helen Marten, Henri Michaux, Barnett Newman, Otobong Nkanga, Katja Novitskova, Philippe Parreno, Giuseppe Penone, Leo Reis, Ulf Rollof, Rachel Rose, Anri Sala, Sebastian Stöhrer, Sturtevant, Paul Thek, Rosemarie Trockel, Rosemarie Trockel/Günter Weseler, Christine Ödlund.
Softcover, 464 pages, 15.5 x 21 cm
1st edition, Out of print title / used*,
Published by Purple Institute / Paris
$110.00 - Out of stock
PURPLE magazine ("Fashion, Prose, Special, Fiction, Interior") Number 2, Winter 1998-1999.
A rare copy of this early edition of Purple, edited by Elein Fleiss and Olivier Zahm, this wonderful early issue features work by: Mark Borthwick, Alex Bag, Tobjorn Rodland, Antek Walzcak, Andrea Zittel, Martin Margiela, Bernadette Corporation, Laetitia Benat, Susan Cianciolo, Doug Aitken, Maurizio Cattelan, Karl Holmqvist, Arto Lindsay, Dora Garcia, Phillipe Parreno, Takashi Noguchi, Viktor & Rolf, Bernadette Van-Huy, Richard Prince, Banu Cennetoglu, Comme des Garcons, Rita Ackermann, Katja Rahlwes, Terry Richardson, Nathaniel Goldberg, Annette Messager, Helmut Lang, Colin De Land, Dan Graham, Marcelo Krasilcic, Takashi Homma, and many many more.
In 1992 Olivier Zahm and his partner Elein Fleiss printed the first issue of Purple Prose, a Parisian literary art zine that over the years has evolved into Purple Fashion Magazine. Soon after the birth of Purple Prose, Zahm and Fleiss created spin-off publications like les cahiers purple, Purple Sexe, Purple Fiction, and of course, Purple Fashion. Zahm aimed at fusing together his two worlds, fashion and art, in creating Purple Fashion.
2015, English / Italian
Softcover (newspaper), 302 pages, 37 x 26 cm
Published by Mousse Publishing / Milan
$18.00 - In stock -
In this issue:
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Art and Literature, Darja Bajagić, Walter Dahn, Fiction in Reality, Have We Become the Internet?, Lynn Hershman Leeson, The History of Exhibitions, Intimacy in Art, Nicholas Mangan, Park McArthur, The Multiplication of Moving Perspectives, Opening up to the Unexpected, Philippe Parreno and Paul B. Preciado, Systems Prosthetics, Time as Material, The Withdrawal of the Artist, Betty Woodman, Steina and Woody Vasulka.
Driven by the energy of art writing and artists' writing, contemporary literature seems to be consciously migrating into the art world. Some artists exist halfway between the two worlds and are evolving the most innovative characteristics of the literary canon. Brian Dillon attempts to analyze this type of writing, its practice and its potential.
Philippe Parreno and Paul B. Preciado, a philosopher, writer and activist at the helm of the Independent Studies Program of the MACBA, raise ground-breaking questions ranging from the coercion of the public by the institution to processes of disidentification from dominant sexual identities, in a conversation conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Starting in the 1990s, the history of exhibitions has taken on greater resonance in art writing. One precursor of this fundamental type of research was Bruce Altshuler, with his The Avant-Garde in Exhibition. Altshuler, Jens Hoffmann and Elena Filipovic engage in an extensive conversation on the history of exhibitions and the role artists have in organizing them.
Chus Martínez analyzes the beauty of an ecology of events of little interest for the market, but driven by an energy that might pressure the system to open to the unexpected, to balance out the impulse to guarantee results before any attempts have been made to break new ground.
The work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan reveals how the forensic linguistics applied to test the accents of political asylum applicants is often unreliable, on a par with the many audio charlatans hired to ascertain the origins of individuals. The artist discusses all this with Mihnea Mircan.
Youthful transgressions, previously fueled by romantic literature, have been transformed into desire for extreme self-assertion modeled on "first-person-shooter" video games and action movies. Ingo Niermann wonders about how it might be possible to reverse this trend, through the introduction of a positive kind of transgression.
What does it mean to be human in the light of increasingly pervasive technological developments? Omar Kholeif moderates a conversation between Constant Dullaart, Zach Blas and James Bridle, artists who have reflected at length on the impact of the integration of software and algorithms on everyday life.
Michael Wang explores the aesthetics of an art that actively engages with different systems, and the perspective of artists as they consider the objectives, limits and structure of a work that is no longer a matter of objects, but nimbly moves through the folds of these systems as energy.
A handful of artists over the last 50 years have "self-absconded" from the public eye and the social whirl of the system. Martin Herbert discreetly tracks several of them to formulate a hypothesis that reflects an increasing schism between the needs of artists and those of the art world.
Lynn Hershman Leeson's work is an incessant exploration of the nature of consciousness and its extension via technology. Kathy Noble gives an exhaustive overview of her versatile output, from the early pieces to films on identity, cloning and feminist politics featuring Tilda Swinton.
Confession in art can lead to works plagued by egocentric attitude or can bring results of genuine "alongsideness," where the social becomes visible without recourse to reconstruction. Lauren Cornell and Johanna Burton analyze works and artists that have been able to make critical use of intimacy.
Nice to Meet You:
The theme of access and the tensions involved in its possibility are the fulcrum of Park McArthur's production and the focus of this interview with Daniel S. Palmer.
Natalia Sielewicz talks to Darja Bajagić whose work recontextualizes saucy images seen as stereotypes by Western eyes, granting them a sort of liberating ambiguity.
Steina and Woody Vasulka are leading exponents of the video experimentation that began in the late 1960s. Elyse Mallouk analyzes their works from various decades in the light of our growing relationship with the inorganic systems that nurture our relationships of feedback.
Joan Jonas, Ken Okiishi, Jennifer West, and Lucy Raven meet on the common ground of work located at the intersection between visual arts, moving image and performance. In a conversation introduced and moderated by Filipa Ramos they share their ideas and discuss their practice and its relation to time, history, popular culture, theater and narrative.
Australian artist Nicholas Mangan talks to Mariana Cánepa Luna about his work that investigates the troubled relationship between man and the natural environment, and analyzes contexts and objects capable of freeing up narratives that take stock of reality.
Andrew Berardini visits the big clay-dusted studio-vase of Betty Woodman. Her chubby ceramic odalisques, with their alluring forms, covered with fragments of precious stones, embroideries and miniatures, tug him into a grand theater of forms and colors, wild things and aquatic creatures.
Walter Dahn indicated a path for art after conceptualism with his new way of thinking about painting. Daniel Schreiber met with the artist in his home in Cologne to talk about the artist's story and recent works, a series of silkscreens linked to the revolutionary power of music.
After the linear perspective of the Renaissance, new perspectives have been explored, starting with chronophotography and the overturning of vertical or bird's-eye perspective. Jennifer Allen investigates these various perspectives in relation to a number of contemporary artists who have reached multiple, mobile and fragmented visions.
The Artist as Curator
Issue #6 an insert in Mousse Magazine #47
Mel Bochner, Working Drawings And Other Visible Things On Paper Not Necessarily Meant To Be Viewed As Art, 1966
Hank Bull, Shen Fan, Zhou Tiehai, Shi Yong, and Ding Yi, Let's Talk About Money: Shanghai First International Fax Art Exhibition, 1966
$44.00 - Out of stock
This anthology provides a multivocal critique of the exhibition of contemporary art, bringing together the writings of artists, curators, and theorists. Collectively these diverse perspectives are united by the notion that although the focus for modernist discussion was individual works of art, it is the exhibition that is the prime cultural carrier of contemporaneity. The texts encompass exhibition design and form; exhibitions that are object-based, live, or discursive; projects that no longer rely on a physical space to be visited in person; artists’ responses to being curated and their reflections on the potential of acting curatorially. Set against the rise of the curator as an influential force in the contemporary art world, this volume underlines the crucial role of artists in questioning and shaping the phenomenon of the exhibition.
Artists surveyed include:
Rasheed Araeen, Art & Language, AA Bronson, Daniel Buren, Graciela Carnevale, Andrea Fraser, Piero Gilardi, Group Material, Richard Hamilton, Huang Rui, Laboratoire Agit-Art, Louise Lawler, Glenn Ligon, Konrad Lueg, Matsuzawa Yutaka, Palle Nielsen, OHO (Marko Pogagnik), Hélio Oiticica, Philippe Parreno, Victor Pasmore, Raqs Media Collective, Gerhard Richter, Ruangrupa, Situationist International, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Andy Warhol, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi
Judith Barry, Martin Beck, Charles Esche, Patricia Falguières, Elena Filipovic, Patrick Flores, Liam Gillick, Thelma Golden, Hou Hanru, Geeta Kapur, Pablo Lafuente, Lisette Lagnado, Lucy R. Lippard, Miguel A. López, Stuart Morgan, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Yvonne Rainer, Moira Roth, Seth Siegelaub, Wan-kyung Sung, El Hadji Sy, David Teh, Margarita Tupitsyn, Marion von Osten, Anton Vidokle, Peter Wollen
About the Editor:
Lucy Steeds is Pathway Leader in Exhibition Studies at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.
Softcover, 456 pages (115 color and 30 b/w ills.),15.5 x 22 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$40.00 - In stock -
The essays in this collection were written in the first decade of the new millennium by the critic, editor, and curator Chantal Pontbriand. Pontbriand examines themes of being-in-common in today’s world and their relation to the development of art practices. As these practices are implemented, other ways of seeing, understanding, and making appear. Contemporaneity functions as a flow, a space-time being that cannot be fixated. The body is in the forefront—a thermometer of the world lived in and with, marked by dynamics of change and sharing.
The work of Claire Fontaine, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Ion Grigorescu, Carsten Höller, Mike Kelley, Sigalit Landau, Rabih Mroué, Yvonne Rainer, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Jeff Wall, among other artists, is examined in this book, together with Pontbriand’s insights into the seminal issues stirring the field of contemporary art.
Design by Agnès Dahan
2007, English / French
Hardcover, 280 pages (66 colour & 13 b/w ill.), 140 x 185 mm
Published by JRP Ringier / Zürich
$48.00 - Out of stock
For this pleasingly compact introduction to the wilder shores of contemporary European and American art, the BSI Art Collection in Geneva invited several writers, critics, artists and scientists--including Luca Cerizza, Joachim Koester, Helen Mirra and Hans Ulrich Obrist--to write responses to the works of artists held in its collection. The results, which range from the essayistic to outright fiction, make Maps and Legends an excellent example of the sheer scope of possible responses one can have to an artwork. Reproductions and installation shots of 11 artists--Franz Ackermann, Alighiero e Boetti, Marine Hugonnier, Joachim Koester, Deborah Ligorio, Jonathan Monk, Philippe Parreno, Kirsten Pieroth, Daniel Roth, Tomas Saraceno and Christopher Williams--make this book an informative read and a delightfully designed publication.
The book is published by the commissioner, BSI (Banca della Svizzera Italiana), as part of their Art Program, relaunched in 2005 by the Italian curator and critic Luca Cerizza. Stemming from a program of site-specific commissions for the bank, the books in this series are conceived as individual monographs and catalogues on each artist’s contribution. Gathering preparatory material, documentation on the works, and essays by critics or the artists themselves, these volumes contribute to the discussion around commissioning, the notions of public vs. private collection, and the relationship between artists and patrons.