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, 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
Softcover, 48 pages, 12 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$16.00 - In stock -
It is said that we know more about far-away galaxies than we do about the bottom of the oceans on earth. One could say something similar about our relationship to the future and to the contemporary. The distant future can seem more familiar than the deep present. We know it will come, regardless of whether or not we are around to witness it. Searching for the present is a bit like deep sea diving. How to dive without drowning in the turbulent waters of now? How to find and share sources of illumination in submarine darkness? When to surface and how to ride a strong current? Why stay afloat on the present moment at all? And what to look for while beachcombing the sea-floor of our time? These are some of the questions that Raqs Media Collective address in their account of contemporaneity, guided by a motley collection of figures lost and found in the turbulence of their practice.
The Contemporary Condition series edited by Geoff Cox and Jacob Lund, Volume 05
Copublished by Sternberg Press, Aarhus University and ARoS Art Museum
Design by Dexter Sinister
$52.00 - Out of stock
This anthology provides the first art-historical reassessment of information-based art in relation to data structures and exhibition curation. It examines such landmark exhibitions as “Information” at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1970, and the equally influential “Les Immatériaux,” initiated by the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 1984. It reexamines work by artists of the 1960s to early 1980s, from Les Levine and N. E. Thing Co. to General Idea and Jenny Holzer, whose prescient grasp of information’s significance resonates today. It also reinscribes into the narrative of art history technologically critical artworks that for years have circulated within new media festivals rather than in galleries.
While information science draws distinctions between “information,” signals, and data, artists from the 1960s to the present have questioned the validity and value of such boundaries. Artists have investigated information’s materiality, in signs, records, and traces; its immateriality, in hidden codes, structures, and flows; its embodiment, in instructions, social interaction, and political agency; its overload, or uncontrollable excess, challenging utopian notions of networked society; its potential for misinformation and disinformation, subliminally altering our perceptions; and its post-digital unruliness, unsettling fixed notions of history and place.
Artists surveyed include
David Askevold, Iain Baxter, Guy Bleus, Heath Bunting, CAMP (Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran), Ami Clarke, Richard Cochrane, Rod Dickinson, Hans Haacke, Graham Harwood, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Steve Lambert and the Yes Men, Oliver Laric, Les Levine, László Moholy-Nagy, Muntadas, Erhan Muratoglu, Raqs Media Collective, Erica Scourti, Stelarc, Thomson & Craighead, Angie Waller, Stephen Willats, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Elizabeth Vander Zaag
James Bridle, Matthew Fuller, Francesca Gallo, Antony Hudek, Eduardo Kac, Friedrich Kittler, Arthur and Marielouise Kroker, Scott Lash, Alessandro Ludovico, Jean-François Lyotard, Charu Maithani, Suhail Malik, Armin Medosch, Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Craig Saper, Jorinde Seijdel, Tom Sherman, Felix Stalder, McKenzie Wark, Benjamin Weil
About the Editor
Sarah Cook is a curator and researcher working at the intersection of art, digital and electronic media, and science. She is the coauthor (with Beryl Graham) of Rethinking Curating: Art After New Media (MIT Press), and in 2004 cocurated the touring exhibition, “Database Imaginary.” She is Dundee Fellow at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.
Softcover, 256 pages, 14 x 21 cm
Published by Valiz / Amsterdam
$42.00 - In stock -
Neoliberalism has taken autonomous professional values and labour firmly in its grasp. Work has become freelance, flexible, mobile, project-based, hybrid and temporary. This way of working is not new to artists. They have seen themselves confronted with these precarious conditions since many years. 'Mobile Autonomy' detects what modes of economy and different innovative working modalities artists and other artistic professionals have developed in order to create their work in today’s social, economic and political conditions.
Contributions by : A Dog Republic, Nico Dockx, Jef Geys, Pascal Gielen, Erik Hagoort, Thomas Hirschhorn, Kirsten Leenaars, Isabell Lorey, Oda Projesi, Louise Osieka, Jason Pallas, Caroline Picard, Raqs Media Collective, Kuba Szreder, Jonas Tinius, Tricia Van Eck, Sara Weyns
Designed by Metahaven
$52.00 - In stock -
The multiple platforms of the digital era have not diminished the role of the magazine for artists as an alternative medium and experimental space. Whether printed on paper or electronically generated, the artist’s magazine continues to be a place where new ideas and forms can be imagined as well as a significant site of artistic production. Intrinsically collaborative, including readers’ active engagement, the magazine is an inherently open form that generates constantly evolving relationships. It was integral to the emergence of art criticism in the Enlightenment period and to the development of artistic dialogues around notions of culture, politics, and the public from the modern era avant-gardes to the present.
This collection contextualizes the current condition and potential of the artist’s magazine, surveying the art worlds it has created and then superseded; the commercial media forms it has critically appropriated, intervened in, or subverted; the alternative DIY cultures it has brought into being; and the expanded fields of cultural production, exchange, and distribution it continues to engender. In addition to surveying case studies of transformational magazines from the early 1960s onwards, The Magazineincludes a wide-ranging archive of key editorial statements, from eighteenth-century Weimar to twenty-first century Bangkok, Cape Town, and Delhi.
Artists surveyed include
Can Altay, Ei Arakawa, Julieta Aranda, Tania Bruguera, Maurizio Cattelan, Eduardo Costa, Dexter Sinister, Rimma Gerlovina, Valeriy Gerlovin, Robert Heinecken, John Holmstrom, John Knight, Silvia Kolbowski, Lee Lozano, Josephine Meckseper, Clemente Padin, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, Seth Price, Raqs Media Collective, Riot Grrrl, Martha Rosler, Sanaa Seif, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Scott Treleaven, Triple Canopy, Anton Vidokle
Saul Anton, Stewart Brand, Jack Burnham, Johanna Burton, Thomas Crow, Edit DeAk, Kenneth Goldsmith, Jürgen Habermas, Martina Köppel-Yang, Antje Krause-Wahl, Lucy Lippard, Caolan Madden, Valentina Parisi, Howardena Pindell, Georg Schöllhammer, Nancy Spector, Sally Stein, Reiko Tomii, Jud Yalkut, Vivian Ziherl