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, 92 pages (colour & bw ill.), 21 x 28 cm
Published by Raven Row / London
$35.00 - Out of stock
This is the first survey of work by Stephen Willats from the sixties. Willats (born and lives in London) was introduced to art as a teenage gallery assistant in 1958 and by 1962 was producing advanced artwork. He embraced the transdisciplinarity of the time, juggling the roles of social scientist, engineer, designer and artist, and developed an art about social interaction, using models derived from cybernetics, the hybrid post-war science of communication.
As well as the clothing and furniture made in 1965 when he briefly described himself as a 'conceptual designer', Willats' earliest sculptural series of 'Manual Variables' is haptic and interactive. These will be shown alongside early issues of Control, the still-operating magazine he founded in the same period. Its title is a provocation, invoking the cybernetic idea that people can take control of their environments, thereby deflecting the controls of a dominant hierarchy.
In 1968 Willats made an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford in which he presented constructions involving movement and light – some wall-mounted, others large-scale environments – that were informed by his interest in contemporary theories: about probability and prediction, behavioural science, subliminal advertising, and colour in relation to motivation and learning. The display of these at Raven Row will be based on the darkened maze in which they were installed at Oxford, where they were proposed as experimental stimuli for 'states of consciousness'.
Willats' works on paper from this period elegantly combine cybernetic modelling, architectural graphics and constructivist geometries, and are consistent with his practice of today. However, he abandoned his dynamic constructions at the end of the sixties in pursuit of an art of social interaction beyond gallery and art object, for which he became well-known. This exhibition reconvenes this earlier work for the first time.
With texts by Antony Hudek, Emily Pethick, Christabel Stewart and Andrew Wilson.
$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, 208 pages (40 colour & 20 b/w ill.), 22.5 x 15 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$35.00 - In stock -
As part of a generation of artists that emerged in the US in the early 1980s, Johnson is the 'artist's artist' par excellence, highly respected by fellow practitioners and students but little known outside of these circles.
This publication addresses this glaring bibliographic gap by offering an accessible overview of his work, through analyses of some of his main preoccupations: queer politics, the urban landscape of L.A and Hollywood mythologies.
Alongside numerous illustrations of Johnson's artworks spanning his career from the early 1980s to the present, the book also includes images specially selected by the artist from his personal archives and other sources. Among these are photographs by Mel Roberts and from the Athletic Model Guild.
Johnson's work bears the marks of a generation of artists sampling readymade images and texts to create seductively laconic pictures. Yet the colourful sheen of his photo-based works is also a foil for sexual, political and semantic tensions.
The artist’s pictures are encryptions of a Hollywood demi-monde, referring to the cultures from which his work emerges – queer, political, filmic and theoretical.
This rich visual selection provides a unique perspective on Johnson's personal connections to queer history, the city of Los Angeles – where he has lived all his life – and to American politics.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Larry Johnson: On Location at Raven Row, London, 11 June – 9 August.
Softcover, 240 pages, 145 x 210 mm
$43.00 - Out of stock
Edited by Antony Hudek
Artists increasingly refer to “post-object-based" work while theorists engage with material artifacts in culture. A focus on “object-based" learning treats objects as vectors for dialogue across disciplines. Virtual imaging enables the object to be abstracted or circumvented, while immaterial forms of labor challenge materialist theories. This anthology surveys such reappraisals of what constitutes the “objectness" of production, with art as its focus.
Among the topics it examines are the relation of the object to subjectivity; distinctions between objects and things; the significance of the object’s transition from inert mass to tool or artifact; and the meanings of the everyday in the found object, repetition in the replicated or multiple object, loss in the absent object, and abjection in the formless or degraded object. It also explores artistic positions that are anti-object; theories of the experimental, liminal or mental object; and the role of objects in performance. The object becomes a prism through which to reread contemporary art and better understand its recent past.
Artists surveyed include
Georges Adéagbo, Art in Ruins, Iain Baxter, Louise Bourgeois, Pavel Büchler, Lygia Clark, Claude Closky, Brian Collier, Jimmie Durham, Fischli & Weiss, Luca Frei, Meschac Gaba, Isa Genzken, Gruppe Geflecht, Eva Hesse, Mike Kelley, John Latham, Antje Majewski, Gustav Metzger, Cady Noland, Gabriel Orozco, Adrian Piper, Falke Pisano, Eva Rothschild, Aura Satz, Kenneth Snelson, Hito Steyerl, Josef Strau, Alina Szapocznikow, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Erwin Wurm
Homi K. Bhabha, Jack Burnham, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Lynne Cooke, Gillo Dorfles, Jean Fisher, Ferreira Gullar, Charles Harrison, Paulo Herkenhoff, Julia Kristeva, Bruno Latour, Bracha Lichtenberg-Ettinger, Jean-Fran?ois Lyotard, Lev Manovich, Ursula Meyer, Bruno Munari, Georges Perec, Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Dieter Roelstraete, Howard Singerman, Nancy Spector, Marcus Steinweg, Anne Wagner, Gérard Wajcman, Slavoj Zizek
Softcover, 112 pages (b&w ill.), 250 x 170 mm
Published by Occasional Papers / London
$24.00 - Out of stock
The Portable John Latham features a selection of documents from the personal archive of the late British artist John Latham, presently maintained in his last home and studio in Peckham, South London. Through reproductions of letters, invitation cards, exhibition reviews, performance scripts and images, the publication retraces Latham’s pioneering practice over six decades, from the late 1940s to his death in 2006. Published on the occasion of John Latham: Anarchive in association with Whitechapel Gallery, the book also includes an interview of John Latham by Charles Harrison from 1968 and a glossary section.
Edited and introduced by Antony Hudek and Athanasios Velios
Funded by Ligatus/Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London
With the support of Cassochrome, the John Latham Foundation and the AHRC