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, 72 pages, 17 x 24 cm
Published by Art Against Art / Berlin
$18.00 - In stock -
The art market is being kept alive with constant stimulus in the form of Venice-Basel-Kassel-Athens-Frieze-TEFAF. As the series of electric shocks continue, the art market is still in a period of reconfiguration trying to find longevity in the new. Whereas the art fair format inherently lacks culture – merely being a market place/forum for where exchange takes place – the biennial format has become too broad to create lasting cultural meaning; therefore the art market must look elsewhere for metrics of value. But if it only finds mirrors of its own logic (the free market itself), it will do nothing more than to accelerate the process upon which it has been organizing itself.
Definitions of culture have traditionally meant that the market can reflect on them too to prevent it from being flippant and volatile. The free market functions anchorless and incomprehensible without definitions – landmines of bubbles created without any meta signifier or even private collections and museums springing up that hang on the whim of the collector/personality/entrepreneur rather than frames of reference that create wider cultural value.
Contemporary art will only be able to reach the appreciation and longevity of modern art when...
Iain Robertson – What Drives the Value of Art?
Taslima Ahmed – Burning Man and the New Face of Art
Interview with Klaus Theweleit – No One Wins, It’s a War of Men - The Need for Cyborgs with Enhanced Human Potentials
Image Spread by Guan Xiao
Andrew Rankin – The Dangerous Art of Yukio Mishima
Antek Walczak – Boredom Year Point Oh
Image spread by Jeff Berwick
Samuel Veissière – Is the Self a Tulpa?
Artist edition by Marina Pinsky
Softcover, 80 pages, 17 x 24 cm
Published by Art Against Art / Berlin
$18.00 - In stock -
When considering the art field as being a raft in speculative time, the tendency is to seek comfort in numbers, regressive ideas such as another return to painting or hedging bets on all sides whilst pursuing an unreasonable personal growth fetish.
These are classic reactions to a perceived risk that arises as a result of readjusting to new data. Uncertainty, if left unmediated, will pose a risk not just to market stability but to conceptual stability as it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between artists and ads; artworks and hype-objects; or content and sponsored content – keeping us in a state of high drama too complex to decode. For example artists who consciously use marketing strategies as art are contextually mixed up with masses of artists who simply run a marketing strategy. Or, equally, galleries with a reputation for long-term quality regularly use their weight to inflate very short-lived speculative art. It is in these differences that art barters itself off very quickly to sometimes uninteresting effects holding us in a certain inappropriate narrative if we are not careful.
Up until a hundred years ago, it was normal to assume that all art aimed at “beauty” or varying degrees of “representation” and that anything but, would not be considered art. Later, after The Fountain, this evolved into the politics of mass production leading to whatever fallacy that we have today – perhaps a speculative bias targeted at an erroneously projected future consensus. It may be worth considering ditching all retroactive rhetoric about “safe places” in favor of heightening one’s own form of perception (perhaps even through enhancement), to adapt to the new environment and to filter through informational debris.
Inside the art world [...]
Kenny Schachter – Art After the Apocalypse
Linda Yablonsky – Plus Ça Change
A Conversation with Michael Gross – Quid pro Quo – How the sausage gets made at the Met
Joseph Walsh – An Image that is Nothing to be Desired
Image spread by Natasha Vita-More
Paul Mason – Eleven Theses on Postcapitalist Art
Christian J. Haye – More Art
Casey Jane Ellison – 2 Ones Chat and Then End
Armen Avanessian – Present Tension: Notes on Preemption, Hyperstition,
Contemporary Art and the Post-Contemporary Condition
Artist edition by Phillip Zach
Softcover, 86 pages, 17 x 24 cm
Published by Art Against Art / Berlin
$18.00 - In stock -
London, Paris, New York, Milan, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Palo Alto – art is moving faster than capital like a god wind that no-one can stop let alone control. Meanwhile a lot of art writing and ‘critical theory’ is stuck in the comfort zone of the 70-90s when there actually was an avant garde or subculture.
For art writing to get back on track it needs to shake out of this nostalgia and start engaging with the nuances of what is going on by covering the new breeds of involvement that have emerged since 2009 – the new sincerities and ironies, the more subtle art practices and social variations of market participation that have developed to deal with the institutional grip. For some time an aesthetic suspension of disbelief helped to provide an alibi that allowed us to participate as if we did believe the market was the key to “validation”, but then quickly vanished into feelings of depression after any agency seemed like an impossibility. As the contradictions got wider, different problems have emerged such as whether art is concurrent with the transitional moments of our present culture or technology, or whether art altogether has reached its informational limit.
The art world has slowly transitioned from modernist pretensions that seem like delusional excuses to the public, to developing a new sensibility – one of silent, shared communion, retributions and confessions. It has taken the step into a reality that is more in keeping with the real world of business, design and branding than creating stark ‘alternatives’. Beyond short-term pragmatism and adaptability, how can artists aesthetically work alongside their authentic desire to participate in a logic of the market that by necessity must scale? How can we realistically judge the work of art institutions if they are frozen into following instrumental logics rather than relevance? With the availability of information online, there is no way these logics are not transparent to a committed internet user.
Narratives like these happened in Pop Music years ago. Just as the Music Industry had to face up to its own protocols, the Art Industry needs to be judged on its changing developments; the ways art is being used as a financial instrument, art’s new marketing techniques, art as representation of different sociological interests, art as access to power, status, fame, participation and the rest of it. Until art writing gets really into these driving forces, it won’t be able to say anything interesting about art. It also won’t be able to grow or be writing that anyone really wants to read.
Art Against Art marks a turning point – the one that says by breaking from the overbearing logic of what seems like an inevitability, we can get closer to the conceptualizations we would like society to experience but don’t.
Marion Maneker - Art is Not an Asset, It’s a Reserve Currency
Ben Vickers - Strange Objects and Their Discontents
Martin G Fuller - A Sociology of Art for Artists
Steven Shaviro - Feed
Taslima Ahmed - Left to the Mercy of Roussel
Image spread by Michael Farin
Roberto Ohrt - Needle and Balloon
Manuel Gnam - Centralization and Globalization of Art leading to One Global Hierarchy That Creates Less Options and Forms a Function of Limited Growth
Carles - Creativity vs. Scalability
Artist edition by Megan Marrin