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, 496 pages, 18 x 22 cm
Published by The MIT Press / Massachusetts
$65.00 - In stock -
The artist Francis Picabia -- notorious dandy, bon vivant, painter, poet, filmmaker, and polemicist -- has emerged as the Dadaist with postmodern appeal, and one of the most enigmatic forces behind the enigma that was Dada.
In this first book in English to focus on Picabia's work in Paris during the Dada years, art historian and critic George Baker reimagines Dada through Picabia's eyes. Such reimagining involves a new account of the readymade -- Marcel Duchamp's anti-art invention, which opened fine art to mass culture and the commodity. But in Picabia's hands, Baker argues, the Dada readymade aimed to reinvent art rather than destroy it. Picabia's readymade opened art not just to the commodity, but to the larger world from which the commodity stems: the fluid sea of capital and money that transforms all objects and experiences in its wake. The book thus tells the story of a set of newly transformed artistic practices, claiming them for art history -- and naming them -- for the first time: Dada Drawing, Dada Painting, Dada Photography, Dada Abstraction, Dada Cinema, Dada Montage. Along the way, Baker describes a series of nearly forgotten objects and events, from the almost lunatic range of the Paris Dada "manifestations" to Picabia's polemical writings; from a lost work by Picabia in the form of a hole (called, suggestively, The Young Girl) to his "painting" Cacodylic Eye, covered in autographs by luminaries ranging from Ezra Pound to Fatty Arbuckle. Baker ends with readymades in prose: a vast interweaving of citations and quotations that converge to create a heated conversation among Picabia, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and others. Art history has never looked like this before. But then again, Dada has never looked like art history.
George Baker is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an editor at October magazine and October Books. He is the editor of James Coleman (MIT Press) and a frequent contributor to Artforum.
$45.00 - In stock -
Edited by Helen Molesworth
With Taylor Walsh
Louise Lawler has devoted her art practice to investigating the life cycle of art objects. Her photographs depict art in the collector’s home, the museum, the auction house, and the commercial gallery, on loading docks, and in storage closets. Her work offers a sustained meditation on the strategies of display that shape art’s reception and distribution. The cumulative effect of Lawler’s photographs is a silent insistence that context is the primary shaper of art’s meaning. Informed by feminism and institutional critique, Lawler’s witty, poignant, and trenchant photos frequently pay attention to a host of overlooked details—almost Freudian slips—that ineffably and tacitly shore up what we conventionally think of as art’s “power.”
This book includes the earliest published text on Lawler’s work; an examination of her ephemera (Lawler produced, among other things, matchbooks and paperweights); a rare interview with the artist, conducted by Douglas Crimp; a conversation between George Baker and Andrea Fraser on Lawler’s work; and essays by writers including Rosalind Krauss, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Helen Molesworth, the volume’s editor. The book traces the changing reception of Lawler’s work from early preoccupations with appropriation to later discussions of affect.
About the Editor
Helen Molesworth is Chief Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston. She edited Louise Lawler’s Twice Untitled and Other Pictures (looking back), published by the Wexner Center for the Arts and distributed by the MIT Press.
Hardcover (w. dustjacket), 304 pages, 24.8 x 28.4 cm
Published by Yale University Press / New Haven
$93.00 - Out of stock
The incredible Paul Thek monograph, published by Yale University Press in 2010 to accompany Thek's first retrospective in the United States, at the Whitney Museum in New York.
An American sculptor, painter, and installation artist, Paul Thek (1933--1988) is primarily known for hyper-realistic works of human body parts executed in fleshlike beeswax and for his strongly symbolic, room-size installations constructed from transitory materials. A major figure on the 1960s New York art scene, Thek also spent time in Europe, where he paved the way for artists adopting collaborative strategies. Although he gained a large following and was featured in more than one hundred solo and group exhibitions, the anti-establishment "artist's artist" was practically forgotten at the time of his death. Major exhibitions abroad and critical attention from younger artists have done much to revive his reputation, and Paul Thek: Diver expands on those efforts by bringing the artist's resounding influence on the art world up to date. Published to accompany Thek's first retrospective in the United States, this landmark publication includes nearly 300 chronologically arranged illustrations of sculptures, paintings, prints, and other works featured in the exhibition as well as four special "in-depth" image sections focusing on key installations, projects, and pages from the artist's journals. An extensive selection of documentary photographs, many never before published, illuminate Thek's artistic aesthetic and production process. With a bibliography, exhibition history, and checklist of works in the exhibition, this overdue acknowledgment of Thek's brief, but broad-reaching career will be the authoritative volume on the artist for years to come.
Edited by Lynn Zelevansky and Elisabeth Sussman, Contributions by George Baker, David Breslin, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Eleonora Nagy, Susanne Neubauer, Michael Nickel, Scott Rothkopf, Ann Wilson
$140.00 - Out of stock
From the mid-1970s, Mike Kelley assembled an incredibly diverse and often controversial body of work. A multi-disciplinary impresario, he created works on paper, paintings, sculpture, video, installation, and performance art that managed to be at once shocking yet humorous, and complex yet accessible. This companion volume to the much-anticipated 2013 exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) brings a fresh understanding to the artist's work by seeking to address the more poetic aspects of Kelley's work through Eva Meyer-Hermann's unique curatorial approach. Here she presents individual works in new combinations that cross the boundaries of chronology, bodies of work, and former artistic project groups. Identifying themes such as architecture, language, identity, Informe, power, modernisms, nostalgia, and religion, the book represents ideas that have informed Kelley's work throughout his career. As a result, the overarching lines of his oeuvre become visible and accessible. This book features essays (by John C. Welchman, Eva Meyer-Hermann, Branden W. Joseph, and George Baker), a fully annotated plate section of abundant full-colour images of Kelley's history of work, and a newly researched and revised biography and bibliography of Kelley's work.
The publication promises to be the definitive work on the artist.
A huge publication! Extra shipping charges may apply.
Softcover with dust jacket, 148 pages, 11 b/w ill., 12 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$22.00 - In stock -
Contributions by George Baker, Johanna Burton, Merlin Carpenter, Melanie Gilligan, Isabelle Graw, Tom Holert, Branden W. Joseph, John Kelsey, André Rottmann, Julia Voss
Canvases and Careers Today brings together contributions from the eponymous conference organized by the Institut für Kunstkritik, Frankfurt am Main. Its goal is to provide deeper insights and more complexity to current debates on the relationship between criticism, art, and the market.
“It was especially interesting for us to watch a kind of transatlantic divide happening. While the US-American participants mostly declared criticism as obsolete while hoping for turning its weakness into a strength, most European participants departed from the opposite diagnosis: that criticism has never been as strong as it is today, since it is now part of a knowledge-based economy.” Isabelle Graw/Daniel Birnbaum
Design by Surface, Frankfurt am Main/Berlin
Softcover, 208 pages, 21 x 27 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$46.00 - Out of stock
With contributions by Caroline Busta, George Baker
This book presents the work of London-based artist Merlin Carpenter. With essays by critic Caroline Busta and art historian George Baker, the book represents the final part of a series of exhibitions entitled, The Opening. These exhibitions were marked by the fact that all the paintings presented were produced at the galleries during the exhibition openings. Hundreds of photos of these opening events offer a fascinating view of the art world from 2007 to 2009. The paintings by the artist are also reproduced, as are numerous gallery invitations announcing Carpenter’s referential, at times irreverent, politically-charged painting actions.
Design by Non-Format
Hardcover (cloth bound), 160 pages (62 color and 57 b/w ill.), offset, 170 x 240 mm
OUT OF PRINT,
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$48.00 - Out of stock
Edited by Vanessa Ohlraun Edited by Adam Szymczyk Essays by George Baker, Chris Kraus, Bill Horrigan, Eric Rosenberg Interview with the artist. Moyra Davey’s practice encompasses photography, film, and video, as well as reading and writing. She conceives of the latter two activities as inseparable and equally significant techniques of working: her alert, incisive readings of philosophy and literature prompt new writing, which in turn reflects back on already existing texts, building, as it does, on fragments, memories and quotations. By suggesting an affinity, or even a reciprocal mode of influence, between the acts of reading and writing, Davey locates the point at which the desire for non-differentiated production-consumption makes the two usually opposed sides of the process of communication meet and cross; that is to say, in Davey’s work, writing is reading. The monograph Speaker Receiver brings the diverse aspects of Davey’s work together. It features “Index Cards”, a new piece of writing by Davey, in which she reflects on subjects such as a recent illness, her personal mapping of Paris and her habit of reading newspapers. Rather than formulating a systematic argument, the essay unfolds in a series of short “takes” or fragments. Photographs distributed in order of their appearance within the texts interrupt the various writers’ contributions. Furthermore, for Davey’s own essay, and for the interview, the artist chose to reproduce her photographic “Mailers”, a unique series and format of work that Davey likes to refer to simply as “mail art”. Speaker Receiver was published on the occasion of the same-titled exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, June 17 – August 29, 2010. Co-published with Kunsthalle Basel Design by Julia Born