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
THURS 11-5 PM
FRI 11-7 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, 360 pages, 10.8 x 17.8 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$30.00 - In stock -
Edited by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Stephen Squibb, Anton Vidokle
With contributions by Paul Chan, Keti Chukhrov, Cluster, Antke Engel, Hu Fang, Brian Kuan Wood, Lee Mackinnon, Chus Martínez, Tavi Meraud, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Elizabeth A. Povinelli and Kim Turcot DiFruscia, Paul B. Preciado, Martha Rosler, Virginia Solomon, Jalal Toufic, Jan Verwoert, Slavoj Žižek
It is often said that we no longer have an addressee for our political demands. But that’s not true. We have each other. What we can no longer get from the state, the party, the union, the boss, we ask for from one another. And we provide. Lacan famously defined love as giving something you don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it. But love is more than a YouTube link or a URL. Love’s joy is not to be found in fulfillment, it is to be found in recognition: even though I can never return what was taken away from you, I may be the only person alive who knows what it is.
In our present times—post-human, post-reality, or maybe pre-internet, post-it, pre-collapse, pre-fabricated by algorithms—what does love have to do with it? Since 2009, need and care and desire and admiration have been cross-examined, called as witness, put on parole, and made the subject of caring inquiry by e-flux journal authors. These writings have now been collected to form this comprehensive volume.
Series edited by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Stephen Squibb, Anton Vidokle
Design by Jeff Ramsey, front cover design by Liam Gillick
2016, English / Korean
Softcover, 116 pages, 15.6 x 22 cm
Published by Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite / Berlin
$35.00 - Out of stock
Texts by Hu Fang, Jenny Jaskey, Hyo Gyoung Jeon, Fionn Meade, Hyunjin Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Kari Rittenbach, Anja Isabel Schneider, Monika Szewczyk, Jason Wirth, concept by Nina Canell and Robin Watkins, edited by Hyunjin Kim, Hyo Gyoung Jeon
For Canell there is no mediation that is lossless—an output is never the pure transmission of a source—but always as much the distance it has travelled, the things it has come in contact with or bounced with or off. She is interested in the consistency of distances that can be traced through an arbitrary sense of material precision: utilising water, viscosity, synthetic carpets, electricity, surface tension, stray socks and chewing gum. This consistency, at times imperceptible and at times palpable, is what the artist describes as “an extra-linguistic or non-verbal modulation of content—articulating the impurities of a medium or assemblage.”
For her first solo exhibition in Asia, Canell made research into the production and distribution of fiber optic sheaths in the outskirts of Seoul, where cable mounds are sorted according to colour and eventually remoulded into the synthetic circumferences of future relations. Literally caught in between melting and being repurposed, several hundred meters of gutted sheaths are compressed into dense lumps of immaterial distance. The accompanying book consists of ten short new texts around which fragments of communication with the authors have been punctuated by observational photographs and sculptural documentation. Contextualized by both recent and earlier works, the exhibition and book considers sculpture as a medium of storage, transmission and reception.
Softcover, 160 pages, 11.5 x 17.8 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$25.00 - In stock -
Hu Fang’s Dear Navigator is a collection of ten short stories that reflect on contemporary society, politics, and the human condition. The author takes us on a journey across time and space to hidden realities where we meet culture workers, astronauts, airplanes, Zen masters, and hunger artists. The title story “Dear Navigator” is a collection of letters written during a 520-day simulated space mission to Mars—to test if humans can endure travel from Earth to Mars and back again. “Whale Song” tells the story of XP, a lonely male escort, as he goes on a surreal journey to self-realization, and “The Shame of Participation” tells a tale of two thieving artists who legally steal objects from those living in a city in desperation. When the reality turns into fiction, and the science fiction becomes reality, Hu draws on the experience of everyday life, the past, and the unknown future to create stories of otherworldly melancholy and humor.
Hu Fang is a fiction writer and cofounder of Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, and The Pavilion, Beijing. He lives and works in Guangzhou and Beijing. Previously published titles include Troubled Laughter (2012), Garden of Mirrored Flowers (2010), and Pavilion to the Heart’s Insight (2008). His stories have been published in e-flux journal, Manifesta Journal, and various publications including Ming Wong: Life of Imitation, Drone Fiction, Odyssey: Architecture and Literature, and Gwangju Folly.
Copublished with The Pavilion
Design by Sam de Groot
Softcover, 216 pages, 24 b/w ill., 10.8 x 17.8 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$20.00 - In stock -
Contributions by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Boris Groys, Raqs Media Collective, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hu Fang, Jörg Heiser, Martha Rosler, Zdenka Badovinac, Carol Yinghua Lu, Dieter Roelstraete, and Jan Verwoert
This book began as a two-part issue of e-flux journal devoted to the question: What is contemporary art? First, and most obviously: why is this question not asked? That is to say, why do we simply leave it to hover in the shadow of attempts at critical summation in the grand tradition of twentieth-century artistic movements? A single hegemonic “ism” has replaced clearly distinguishable movements and grand narratives. But what exactly does it mean to be working under the auspices of this singular ism?
“Widespread usage of the term ‘contemporary’ seems so self-evident that to further demand a definition of ‘contemporary art’ may be taken as an anachronistic exercise in cataloguing or self-definition. At the same time, it is no coincidence that this is usually the tenor of such large, elusive questions: it is precisely through their apparent self-evidence that they cease to be problematic and begin to exert their influence in hidden ways; and their paradox, their unanswerability begins to constitute a condition of its own, a place where people work.”
E-flux journal: What Is Contemporary Art? puts the apparent simplicity and self-evident term into doubt, asking critics, curators, artists, and writers to contemplate the nature of this catchall or default category.