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.
$300.00 - In stock -
The now very scarce Mark Leckey publication "SEE, WE ASSEMBLE".
In a multi-disciplinary practice that encompasses sculpture, sound, film and performance, Leckey explores the potential of the human imagination to appropriate and to animate a concept, an object or an environment.
Drawing on his personal experiences as a London-based artist, who spent his formative years in the north of England, Leckey returns frequently to the themes of desire and transformation.
Leckey’s fascination with the affective power of images is another recurring theme. Meticulously sourced and reconfigured archival footage is a predominant feature of some of his best-known works. Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is a seminal exploration of the history of underground dance culture in the UK from the mid- 1970s to the early 1990s.
In the recent performance piece GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction (2010), Leckey sought to communicate the inner life of a ‘smart’ fridge – one that keeps an electronic tally of its contents – and to render audible its ‘voice’.
Included is an interview between the artist and Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and an extract from a script by Mark Leckey and Martin McGeown.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Mark Leckey: SEE, WE ASSEMBLE at Serpentine Gallery, London, May - June 2011.
Hardcover (cloth-bound), 192 pages, 24 x 17 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$56.00 - Out of stock
Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones.
Painter, essayist and poet Etel Adnan (born 1925 in Beirut) works in various media, from painting, drawing, poetry, film and tapestry. After studying at the Sorbonne and then Harvard, in the late 1950s, Adnan taught philosophy at the University of California and started to paint.
Her early works were largely abstract compositions she was interested in the immediate beauty of colour. These earliest paintings were suggestive of landscapes and included forms that referenced specific places. In the 1970s she moved to the area near Mount Tamalpais in California, which became the central subject matter of numerous paintings and poems.
From the 1960s until the present, Adnan has also made tapestries, inspired by the Persian rugs of her childhood. Over the course of the 1960s, she moved away from purely abstract forms and discovered ‘leporellos’ (accordion-folded sketchbooks) in which she could mix drawing with writing and poetry.
Her writing contains multiple references and responses to the politics and violence in the world around her. From her earliest poem in English, which addressed the Vietnam War, to her award-winning 1978 novel, Sitt Marie-Rose, she explores the political and personal dimensions of violence and articulates her experience of exile from familiar landscapes and languages.
Adnan’s artworks feature in numerous collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the British Museum, London.
Published on occasion of the exhibition Etel Adnan: The Weight of the World at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, 2 June – 11 September 2016.
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.
$40.00 - In stock -
This is the first solo show in London for this artist, who works with sculptural installations that include print, graphics, moving images and texts. The exhibition will feature new installations that revolve around contemporary radical management practices and the historical hacker organisational forms that may have inspired them.
Simon Denny has risen to critical acclaim with his work, New Management (2014) and most recently with the installation Secret Power (2015), New Zealand’s pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale.
Denny is one of the leading figures of a generation of artists who employ content from the tech industry, the language of advertising and the aesthetics and ideologies of corporations or governmental bodies to scrutinise technology’s role in shaping global culture.
With the precision of an investigative journalist, Denny’s complex and layered installations explore the commodification of information, branding and marketing strategies, as well as the relationship between private and public industries.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Sackler Gallery, The Serpentine, London (25 November 2015 – 14 February 2016).
Softcover, 126 pages (colour ill.), 25.5 x 19 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$42.00 - Out of stock
This catalogue is conceived as part monograph and part artist book that brings together visual material consisting of installation images of Durham's works together with key essays approaching his practice from various dimensions.
Various Items and Complaints is a major survey show at the Serpentine Gallery which highlights Durham's multi-dimensional practice, including sculpture, drawing and film. Alongside new sculptures and key installations, the exhibition also features a group of early works that have never been exhibited in the UK.
Durham’s work explores the relationship between forms and concepts. He combines words within his sculptures and drawings to conjure images and uses images to convey ideas. His sculptural constructions are often combined with disparate elements, such as written messages, photographs, words, drawings and objects.
The core of Durham’s work is his ability to explore the intrinsic qualities of the materials he uses, at times fused with the agility of wordplay and, above all, irony.
His work addresses the political and cultural forces, e.g. the forces of colonialism that constructs our contemporary discourses and challenges our understanding of authenticity in art.
Since Durham moved to Europe in the early 1990s, his works often, but not exclusively, challenge the idea of architecture, monumental works and narration of national identities by deconstructing those stereotypes and prejudices on which the Western culture is based.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Jimmie Durham: Various Items and Complaints at Serpentine Gallery, London, 1 October – 8 November 2015.