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.
$50.00 - Out of stock
Without boredom, arguably there is no modernity. The current sense of the word emerged simultaneously with industrialization, mass politics, and consumerism. From Manet onwards, when art represents the everyday within modern life, encounters with tedium are inevitable. And starting with modernism’s retreat into abstraction through subsequent demands placed on audiences, from the late 1960s to the present, the viewer’s endurance of repetition, slowness or other forms of monotony has become an anticipated feature of gallery-going.
In contemporary art, boredom is no longer viewed as a singular experience; rather, it is contingent on diverse social identifications and cultural positions, and exists along a spectrum stretching from a malign condition to be struggled against to an something to be embraced or explored as a site of resistance. This anthology contextualizes the range of boredoms associated with our neoliberal moment, taking a long view that encompasses the political critique of boredom in 1960s France; the simultaneous aesthetic embrace in the United States of silence, repetition, or indifference in Fluxus, Pop, Minimalism and conceptual art; the development of feminist diagnoses of malaise in art, performance, and film; punk’s social critique and its influence on theories of the postmodern; and the recognition, beginning at the end of the 1980s, of a specific form of ennui experienced in former communist states. Today, with the emergence of new forms of labor alienation and personal intrusion, deadening forces extend even further into subjective experience, making the divide between a critical and an aesthetic use of boredom ever more tenuous.
Artists surveyed include:
Chantal Akerman, Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, Vanessa Beecroft, Bernadette Corporation, John Cage, Critical Art Ensemble, Merce Cunningham, Marcel Duchamp, Fischli & Weiss, Claire Fontaine, Dick Higgins, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, Robert Morris, John Pilson, Sigmar Polke, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Situationist International, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Andy Warhol, Faith Wilding, Janet Zweig
Ina Blom, Nicolas Bourriaud, Jennifer Doyle, Alla Efimova, Jonathan Flatley, Julian Jason Haladyn, The Invisible Committee, Jonathan D. Katz, Chris Kraus, Tan Lin, Sven Lütticken, John Miller, Agné Narušyté, Sianne Ngai, Peter Osborne, Patrice Petro, Christine Ross, Moira Roth, David Foster Wallace, Aleksandr Zinovyev
About the Author
Tom McDonough is Associate Professor of Art History at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He is the author of “The Beautiful Language of My Century”: Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945–1968 (MIT Press)
From the "Documents of Contemporary Art" series.
$66.00 - In stock -
Edited by Martin Clark, Anne Pontégnie, Steinar Sekkingstad
Texts by Ina Blom, Martin Clark, Anne Pontégnie, Steinar Sekkingstad
Fredrik Værslev’s work navigates between different painterly traditions, and demonstrates the possibilities and relevance of the medium today. He treats his paintings as objects, often created through more or less laborious, serial, or deterministic processes where time itself, as well as various external factors, become active cocreators in the making of the work. In several series, he has left his paintings outdoors for long periods of time, allowing the weather and external wear to complete the work. Other works employ apparently clichéd techniques, motifs, or art-historical quotations (i.e., dripping and splattering). More recently, Værslev has been working with a tool used for marking painted lines on roads and sports fields.
Published in conjunction with Fredrik Værselv’s exhibition “All Around Amateur” at the Bergen Kunsthall and Le Consortium, Dijon, this publication, comes in two different versions, with each book comprising 320 one-to-one digital images scanned from eight of Værslev’s new “sunset” paintings. Each canvas produces a total of eighty scanned images, which are reproduced in the book sequentially, left to right, top to bottom. The full-bleed scans in each “volume,” together, reproduce an entire wall of paintings from the exhibition. The paintings, based on photographs of sunsets taken by Værslev on his iPhone from airplane windows, evoke the work of art-historical figures such as J. M. W. Turner, Mark Rothko, and Edvard Munch.
The catalogue also includes newly commissioned texts by Ina Blom, Martin Clark, and Steinar Sekkingstad as well as an interview with artist Anne Pontégnie.
Copublished with Bergen Kunsthall, and Le Consortium, Dijon
Design by Fraser Muggeridge Studio
Softcover, 376 pages, 11.5 x 18.5 cm
Published by Archive Books / Berlin
$35.00 - Out of stock
The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: Part Two is the second volume in a series which maps out the complex terrain of cognitive capitalism as an ontogeny in which its earlier phase has transitioned into a later phase that we are now beginning to experience. This volume collects together papers from a conference of the same name held at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, in the spring of 2013. The first part of the book delineates the recent emergence of characteristic psychopathologies of cognitive capitalism, which have resulted from the unique concatenation of social-political-psychological-economic relations that have produced distinct stresses and forms of derangement upon the factory of the brain. This leads to the second stream, referred to as “the cognitive turn”in cognitive capitalism. For example, as a result of the necessity for an efficient brain-mind to labor in the advanced and constantly accelerating conditions of the knowledge economy highly sophisticated and nuanced forms of attention have become compulsory well beyond what was considered essential in the older regimes of the modern. As such new dispositifs of normalization and governmentalization have arisen to, on the one hand, diffuse the attention necessary for multi-tasking, and on the other, to enhance the production of a hyper-attention. It is upon these and other similar conditions that this book concentrates. It calls for the identification of the causative factors of these psychopathologies as well as attempting to invent the counter conditions with which to thwart their emergence.
About the series
A series that attempts to broaden the definition of cognitive capitalism in terms of the scope of its material relations especially as it relates to the conditions of mind and brain in our new world of advanced telecommunication, data mining and social relations. It is our hope to first improve awareness of its most repressive characteristics and secondly to produce an arsenal of discursive practices with which to combat it. Published in connection with the cycle of conferences “The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism”.
Edited by Warren Neidich
Texts by Ina Blom, Arne De Boever, Pascal Gielen, Sanford Kwinter, Maurizio Lazzarato, Karl Lydén, Yann Moulier Boutang, Warren Neidich, Matteo Pasquinelli, Alexei Penzin, Patricia Reed, John Roberts, Liss C. Werner, Charles T. Wolfe
Softcover, 244 pages, 16 x 23 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$38.00 - In stock -
In this innovative take on early video art, Ina Blom considers the widespread notion that analog video was endowed with lifelike memory and agency. Reversing standard accounts of artistic uses of video, she follows the reflexive unfolding of a technology that seemed to deploy artists and artistic frameworks in the creation of new technical and social realities. She documents, among other things, video’s emergence through the framework of painting, its identification with biological life, its exploration of the outer limits of technical and mental time control, and its construction of new realms of labor and collaboration. Enlisting a distinctly media-archaeological approach, Blom’s new book—her second from Sternberg Press—is a brilliant look at the relationship between video memory and social ontology.
Ina Blom is a professor at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, as well as visiting professor at the Department of Art History, University of Chicago.
This is a phosphorescently brilliant exploration of the birth and life of video. In the times when electronic media meant the flow of televisual signals, video became a uniquely glimmering force of idiosyncratic memory and the ordination of time. Blom’s focused beam of histories and ideas superlatively traces the crackling and flickering scanlines of this new reality as it came into being in art.
—Matthew Fuller, author and professor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
With this extraordinary study, early video has finally found its chronicler. Invaluable not only for its perspicacious genealogy of media-art practice, but for its inspired historiographic gambit, wherein both art and history are reimagined in light of contemporary media archaeology.
—Andrew V. Uroskie, author of Between the Black Box and the White Cube: Expanded Cinema and Postwar Art
Design by Surface
softcover, 280 pages (b/w ill.), 15 x 21 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$28.00 - In stock -
Contributions by Ina Blom, Franziska Bork Petersen, Andrea Božić, Gabriele Brandstetter, Ramsay Burt, Maren Butte, Fiona McGovern, Adrian Heathfield, Liz Kotz, Kirsten Maar, Marie-France Rafael, Jörn Schafaff, Nina Schallenberg, Minnie Scott, Gregor Stemmrich, Christian Tecker
Assign & Arrange: Methodologies of Presentation in Art and Dance aims to map the exchanges and transgressions between art and dance that characterize the manifold variety of relations between art and dance that can be observed today: dance performances taking place in art galleries or public spaces, for example, or visual artists developing specific presentational formats or exhibition displays that generate dimensions of dramaturgy and choreography for their visitors. Terms like mise-en-scène, situation, setting, choreography, and installation are being almost coevally used not only by theoreticians but also by contributors from both art and dance in order to define modes of presentation or to specify visitors’ aesthetic experience. Taking into account historical and current examples, and involving perspectives from art history, dance studies, and architecture, the book explores similarities and differences in the respective practices, as well as in the theoretical concepts they correspond with.
Design by Marit Münzberg
Softcover with dustjacket, 98 pages, 12 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$24.00 - Out of stock
Isabelle Graw, Daniel Birnbaum, Nikolaus Hirsch (Eds.)
Texts by Ina Blom, Oliver Brokel, Caroline Busta, Stefan Deines, Hal Foster, Stefanie Heraeus, Jutta Koether, Magdalena Nieslony, Michael Sanchez
Many contemporary artworks evoke the human figure: consider the omnipresence of the mannequin in current installations of artists like John Miller, Thomas Hirschhorn, Heimo Zobernig, or David Lieske. Or consider the revival of a minimalist vocabulary, which embraces anthropomorphism as in the works of Isa Genzken and Rachel Harrison. This book brings together contributions from the eponymous conference, all of which seek to speculate on the reasons as to why, since the turn of the millennium, we have encountered so many artworks that tend to reconcile Minimalism with suggestions of the human figure. It proposes that this new artistic convention becomes rather questionable when discussed in the light of Franco Berardi’s theory of semiocapitalism—a power technology that aims squarely at our human resources. The participants of this conference were asked to offer possible explanations for this wide acceptance of anthropomorphism—could it be that this is a manifestation of the increasingly desperate desire for art to have agency?