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.
2017, English / German
Softcover, 272 pages + DVD, 23 x 17 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$45.00 - In stock -
This is a long-awaited account of the work of the great publisher and designer Hansjörg Mayer in the fields of concrete poetry, typography, artist’s publications and ethnographic books over six decades. It includes the first bibliography of his works.
Identified as a print prodigy by Max Bense in the late 1950s, Mayers unique expertise and virtuosity with print technologies of the time allowed for the casting of works in various experimental formats which stretched, fragmented and expanded the concept of the poem.
He combined an interest in chance and randomness with a mathematically precise attention to use of graphic space, which makes his works now seem anticipatory of networked systems whilst holding a more modernist purity of form. His works made seminal explorations into the possibilities of concrete and computational convergence.
Mayer had a retrospective exhibition at Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1968 at the young age of 25. After this he concentrated on making experimental publications with artists.
Through his edition hansjörg mayer he issued publications of Dieter Roth, Richard Hamilton, Tom Phillips, André Thomkins and Emmett Williams.
From the late 1970s he also began to research, collect and publish an extraordinary series of books about vanishing cultures.
English and German text.
Softcover, 60 pages (plus inserts), 21 x 19 cm
1st edition, Out of print title / used*,
Published by Zürich Kunstgesellschaft / Zürich
$50.00 - Out of stock
Beautiful Daniel Spoerri exhibition catalogue published in 1972 on the occasion of his exhibition at Zurich Kunstgesellschaft - Helmhaus Zurich, April 16 to May 22. Includes detailed biographical notes on Spoerri, a conversation about Spoerri in the CNAC by Claus Bremer, numerous illustrations of his sculptural works, a full list of works, and a detailed chronology and bibliography of Spoerri. Comes with the enclosed seperate prints from the artist's glossary of Switzerland XX. and "The Mythological Travels...", Emmett Williams' "Preface to the Translation of the Symi-Cycle" (8 pages).
Daniel Spoerri (born 27 March 1930 in Galați) is a Swiss artist and writer born in Romania. Spoerri is best known for his “snare-pictures,” a type of assemblage or object art, in which he captures a group of objects, such as the remains of meals eaten by individuals, including the plates, silverware and glasses, all of which are fixed to the table or board, which is then displayed on a wall. He also is widely acclaimed for his book, Topographie Anécdotée* du Hasard (An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), a literary analog to his snare-pictures, in which he mapped all the objects located on his table at a particular moment, describing each with his personal recollections evoked by the object, with illustrations by the great Roland Topor. In the 1950s he was active in dance, studying classical dance with Olga Preobrajenska and in 1954 becoming the lead dancer at the State Opera of Bern, Switzerland. He later staged several avant-garde plays including Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Picasso’s surrealist Desire Trapped by the Tail. During that period he met a number of Surrealist artists, including Meret Oppenheim, Jean Tinguely, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, and also a number of artists subsequently associated with the Fluxus movement, including Robert Filliou, Dieter Roth and Emmett Williams. Closely associated with the Fluxus art movement, a movement “characterized by a strongly Dadaist attitude, [whose] participants were a divergent group of individualists whose most common theme was their delight in spontaneity and humor.” It has been said that his Anecdoted Topography of Chance “seems perfectly to embody aspects of its spirit.” Spoerri was also one of the original signers of the manifesto creating the Nouveau réalisme (New Realism) art movement, which involved artists such as Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, Niki de Saint Phalle, César, Jean Tinguely, Mimmo Rotella, Gérard Deschamps, and the Ultra-Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé, an avant garde endeavor begun in 1960. His use of everyday life as the main subject-matter of his art reflects his involvement in the New Realism movement.
A major theme of Spoerri’s artwork is food, and he has called this aspect of his work “Eat Art.” This is seen not only in his snare-pictures of eaten meals, but in a variety of other contexts. For example, in 1961 he sold in an art-gallery in Copenhagen store-bought canned food which he had signed and rubber-stamped “Attention: Work of Art.” In 1963, he enacted a sort of performance art called Restaurant de la Galerie J in Paris, for which he cooked on several evenings. Art-critics took over the role of waiters, playing on the idea of the critic bringing the art to the consumers and giving them an understanding of the work. On June 18, 1968, Spoerri opened the Restaurant Spoerri in Düsseldorf, and on September 18, 1970, he opened the Eat-Art-Gallery upstairs.He also published in 1970 a diary of his life on the Greek island of Symi, in which he included numerous recipes of the dishes he ate there. Originally titled A Gastronomic Itinerary, it was later republished under the title Mythology & Meatballs.
Softcover, 350 pages, 16 x 23 cm
Ed. of 3000,
Published by Primary Information / New York
$59.00 - Out of stock
First published by the legendary Something Else Press in 1967, An Anthology of Concrete Poetry was the first American anthology on the international movement of Concrete poetry. The movement itself began in the early 1950s, in Germany–through Eugen Gomringer, who borrowed the term “concrete” from the art of his mentor, Max Bill–and in Brazil, through the Noigandres group, which included the de Campos brothers and Decio Pignatari. Over the course of the 1960s it exploded across Europe, America and Japan, as other protagonists of the movement emerged, such as Dieter Roth, Öyvind Fahlström, Ernst Jandl, bpNichol, Mary Ellen Solt, Jackson Mac Low, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Bob Cobbing, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Pierre Garnier, Henri Chopin, Brion Gysin and Kitasono Katue. By the late 1960s, poet Jonathan Williams could proclaim: “If there is such a thing as a worldwide movement in the art of poetry, Concrete is it.” The work of the 77 writers collected in this anthology varies greatly in its aims and forms, but all can be said to emphasize the visual dimension of language, manipulating individual letters and minimal semantic units to produce poems that are for contemplating as much as for reading. Emmett Williams, the book’s editor, added explanatory commentary for the poems and biographies of their authors, making this volume–long out of print–the definitive anthology of this movement, which has so influenced artists and writers of subsequent generations.
Writers and artists included: Friedrich Achleitner, Alain Arias-Misson, H. C. Artmann, Ronaldo Azeredo, Stephen Bann, Carlo Belloli, Max Bense, Edgard Braga, Claus Bremer, Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos, Henri Chopin, Carl Friedrich Claus, Bob Cobbing, Paul de Vree, Reinhard Döhl, Torsten Ekbom, Öyvind Fahlström, Carl Fernbach-Flarsheim, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Larry Freifeld, John Furnival, Heinz Gappmayr, Ilse and Pierre Garnier, Matthias Goeritz, Eugen Gomringer, Ludwig Gosewitz, Bohumila Grögerova and Josef Hiršal, José Lino Grünewald, Brion Gysin, Al Hansen, Václav Havel, Helmut Heissenbüttel, Åke Hodell, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Ernst Jandl, Bengt Emil Johnson, Ronald Johnson, Hiro Kamimura, Kitasono Katue, Jiri Kolar, Ferdinand Kriwet, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Jackson Mac Low, Hansjörg Mayer, Cavan McCarthy, Franz Mon, Edwin Morgan, Maurizio Nannucci, bp Nichol, Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, Seiichi Niikuni, Ladislav Novák, Yuksel Pazarkaya, Décio Pignatari, Vlademir Dias Pino, Luiz Angelo Pinto, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, Diter Rot, Gerhard Rühm, Aram Saroyan, John J. Sharkey, Edward Lucie Smith, Mary Ellen Solt, Adriano Spatola, Daniel Spoerri, Vagn Steen, Andre Thomkins, Enrique Uribe Valdivielso, Franz Van Der Linde, Franco Verdi, Emmett Williams, Jonathan Williams, Pedro Xisto and Fujitomi Yasuo.