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, 120 pages, 25 x 18 cm
Published by Koenig Books / London
$42.00 - Out of stock
This unique volume contains the last abstract images series made by Hilma af Klint in the 1920ʼs which are previously unpublished in their entirety. These images are followed by ground breaking essays which shed new light on the pioneering abstract artist af Klint and her importance for artists today.
The texts also address a need for an evolved understanding of art history in the 21st century.
$37.00 - In stock -
Edited by Fabian Schöneich
Texts by Helke Bayrle, Kirsty Bell, Daniel Birnbaum, Sunah Choi, Nikola Dietrich, Nikolaus Hirsch, Brigitte Kölle, Kasper König, Angelika Nollert, Melanie Ohnemus, Sophie von Olfers, Philippe Pirotte, Fabian Schöneich, Jochen Volz
In 1992, Helke Bayrle began videotaping the installation of each exhibition at the Portikus exhibition space. These videos form a remarkable and intimate archive of the storied Frankfurt contemporary art institution and the exceptional artists and personnel that have worked within it. Coinciding with the launch of a website containing all of Bayrle’s Portikus videos, this publication pays tribute to the artist’s extraordinary work, through a comprehensive timeline, video stills, and statements by past and current directors and curators. Art critic and historian Kirsty Bell writes about the history of Portikus and the meaning of Bayrle’s work. Also included in the book is a conversation with the artist and Sunah Choi, who, since 2001, has edited the videos that comprise Bayrle’s truly unique undertaking.
Copublished with Portikus, Frankfurt am Main
Design by Ronnie Fueglister
$15.00 - In stock -
How did art escape the deadlock of the Situationists’ anti-art refusal? Did the relational artists, with their repetitions of Situationist slogans and techniques, outline a sustainable, micro-political alternative to Guy Debord’s dream of surpassing art and realizing philosophy? Looking back at some of the Situationists’ confrontations with the museum, this book traces a path beyond the tragedy of negativity and the litany of recuperation. At the center is the concept of play; originally adopted as the principle of reconciled life, it returns as the lever of instrumentalization. But in the extraterrestial wasteland of the present, spaces of ludic coexistence and experimentation may remain possible, provided that pessimism can be adequately organized.
part of the All the King’s Horses Series, edited by Daniel Birnbaum and
Copublished between Sternberg Press and Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Design by Studio Christopher West
2012, English / Swedish
Softcover, 224 pages (ill. colour & b/w), 28 x 21.7cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$45.00 - In stock -
After the second world war, a number of painters in different parts of the world began to attack painting’s fundamental assumptions in ways that were at once both aggressive and playful. The creative act itself was as important as the painting that resulted from it.
In this borderland between painting and performance, chance or the spectator were often recruited as co-creators of the work. In recent years, interest in performance art has increased, and with it interest in its roots.
Explosion! Painting as Action explores the connections and cross fertilisations between painting, performance and conceptual art. Featured artists include the Japanese Gutai group, Lynda Benglis, Cai Guo-Qiang, Allan Kaprow, Yves Klein, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jackson Pollock, Carolee Schneemann, Shozo Shimamoto and Yoko Ono.
Published to accompany the exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2 June – 9 September 2012.
Softcover, 192 pages, 25 x 20 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$55.00 - Out of stock
Hilma af Klint is now regarded as a pioneer of abstract art. While her paintings were not seen publicly until 1987, her work from the early 20th century pre-dates the first purely abstract paintings by Kandinsky, Mondrian or Malevich. Af Klint sought to express her feelings transmitted to her form nature and the unseen spiritual world.
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm in 1887, af Klint took a studio in the city where she produced and exhibited traditional landscapes, botanical drawings and portraits. However, by 1886 she had abandoned the conventions she learned at the Academy in favour of painting the invisible worlds hidden within nature, the spiritual realm and the occult.
She privately joined four other female artists to form a group called ‘The Five’. They conducted séances to encounter what they believed to be spirits who wished to communicate via pictures, leading to experiments with automatic writing and drawing, which pre-dated the Surrealists by several decades.
This catalogue focuses primarily on af Klint’s body of work, The Paintings for the Temple (1906-1915), and numerous works from the key series never published before. Consisting of 193 predominately abstract paintings in various series and subgroups, she painted a path towards a harmony between the spiritual and material worlds; good and evil; man and woman; religion and science.
Texts by Daniel Birnbaum, Jennifer Higgie, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Julia Peyton-Jones, Julia Voss
Published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 3 March – 22 May 2016.
$53.00 - Out of stock
Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) was an abstract pioneer who eschewed representational painting as early as 1906. Her radical spiritual imagery strives to provide insights into the different dimensions of existence.
Besides Hilma af Klint's important and radical abstract paintings, she left behind a plethora of notebooks and drawings. Taking one of these, A Work on Flowers, Mosses and Lichen, as a starting point, nine contemporary artists were invited to respond to Hilma af Klint and her legacy. Hilma af Klint did not want her works to be seen until several decades after her death.
The artists included in this book are Amy Sillman, Cecilia Edefalk, Christine Ödlund, Eva Löfdahl, Fredrik Söderberg, Helen Mirra, Karl Holmqvist, Rebecca Quaytman, Sophie Tottie.
Published alongside an exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 16 February – 26 May 2013.
English and German text.
Softcover, 64 pages, 18.7 X 26 cm
Published by Archive Books / Berlin
$20.00 - Out of stock
The Exhibitionist #12
Journal on Exhibition Making
Jens Hoffmann, Julian Myers-Szupinska, and Liz Glass
Exhibitions are a social and collective form. Whether the products of a single artist or of a group, they gather together artworks (or objects, projects, residues) and construct from them an image of a social field. Just as understanding an exhibition involves thinking about the relations that exist among, and engender the possibility of imagining, that field, no less are exhibitions produced by a group. Beyond the artists and the exhibition maker(s) involved, an exhibition radiates from an expansive network: conservators, shippers, installers, writers, editors, designers, administrative types of all sorts, interns, guards, funders, promoters, and so on. Exhibitions are, furthermore, perceived by an audience or a public—another group—who are themselves internally divided and classed, cohesive or cacophonous....
Response I: Artists and curators
Fia Backström and Anthony Huberman
Re: family dynamics
Anne Ellegood and Kerry Tribe
Long Term Relationship
Claire Fontaine and Jens Hoffmann
Artistic Bitches and Curatorial Bastards
Inés Katzenstein and Juan José Cambre
Response II: Archival
Introduced by Liz Glass
Dear King Harry
James Lee Byars: Correspondence with Harald Szeemann (1988)
Triple Candie: Let the Artists Die
Emiliano Valdés: Who Has the Power?
Nontobeko Ntombela: Remastered
Daniel Birnbaum: Hijacking the Situationists
Slavs and Tatars: The Splits of the Mind, If Not the Legs
Rachel Rose: Artist, Curator, Meaning
An Illustrated Bibliography of the exhibitionist, Issues IX–XII