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.
$22.00 - In stock -
Texts by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Boris Groys, Mathias Kokholm, Joasia Krysa, Fatima Hellberg, Lars Bang Larsen, Bárbara Rodriquez Muñoz, Jussi Parikka
Systemics brings together a collection of new writing and curatorial projects that unfolded at Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark, over a two-year period from 2013 to 2014. Contained here are its various parts: details of the four core exhibitions and related events, two commissioned exhibitions, and four essays, together comprising the Systemics series program as a whole. Like any series, it unfolds over time, in associative parts, using descriptive and poetic exhibition titles to develop a cumulative experience.
Borrowing the term systemics from the Austrian cybernetician Heinz von Foerster to point to a new conceptual attitude that embraces the growing complexity of the world, the book extends it to curatorial thinking—as theme for the artistic program and as curatorial method. What results is something close to the understanding of exhibition as a series, to unfold ideas through their temporal relations in their seriality without an ending: like episodes of an ongoing film narrative, words that weave into sentences, chapters that add to a book, or data that is arranged by algorithms to correlate meaning. In this sense, systemics lends itself to thinking about the conditions for making curatorial “events” that are extended over longer durations to connect their constituent elements across space and time—exhibitions, texts, projects—formally and thematically, overlapping and feeding into one another like reflexive feedback loops in a cybernetic system.
Design by Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey
Softcover, 134 pages, 8 x 11 cm
Ed. of 400,
Published by Internationalistisk Ideale / København
$18.00 - Out of stock
Søren Andreasen & Lars Bang Larsen
The Critical Mass of Mediation
Today mediation is a cultural given: an environment, a rhythm, a force. It is a modality for easy exchange, with no apparent beginnings or ultimate reason. In this realm of the possible, means and ends get mixed up, while absolutes can only be approached timidly.
Expanded version of the sold-out original from 2012,
with a new introduction, additional text pieces and found imagery, in an edition of 400 copies.
$39.00 - In stock -
This sleek and serious anthology of new curatorial writing documents the inter-dependent relationships between the curatorial past, present and speculative futures and, instead of following the convention of curators writing about themselves, invites the authors to provide a text about the curatorial work of others. The result is an eclectic volume of accessible responses that provides a dynamic curatorial discourse where critical essays, theoretical explorations, propositions, historical overviews, interviews, exhibition critiques and fictional accounts sit side by side. Essential reading for students and professionals alike.
This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature about exhibition making. Moving away from autobiographical first-person narratives, Curating Subjects instead invites its broad range of contributors to comment upon the curatorial endevours of others. Conflating and colliding the past and present with possible futures, this book unfolds as an idiosyncratic conversation that is at once informative, entertaining and often revealing.
Introduction by Paul O'Neill & Annie Fletcher; Design by Jonathan Hares.
Published with de Appel Arts Centre
$40.00 - Out of stock
The dawn of the electronic media age in the 1960s began a cultural shift from the modernist grid and its determination of projection and representation to the fluid structures and circuits of the network, presenting art with new challenges and possibilities. This anthology considers art at the center of network theory, from the 1960s to the present.
Artists have used the “space of flows" as a basis for creating utopian scenarios, absurd yet functional propositions or holistic planetary visions. Others have explored the economies of reciprocity and the ethics of generosity, in works that address changed conditions of codependence and new sites of social negotiation. The “infra-power" of the network has been a departure point for self-organized counterculture and the creation of new types of agency. And a “poetics of connectivity" runs through a diverse range of work that addresses the social and material complexity of networks through physical structures and ambient installation, the mapping of the Internet, or the development of robots and software that take on the functions of artist or curator.
Artists surveyed include
Joseph Beuys, Ursula Biemann, Heath Bunting, Critical Art Ensemble, Fernand Deligny, Peter Fend, Gego, Jobim Jochimsen, Koncern, Christine Kozlov, Pia Lindman, Mark Lombardi, Diana McCarty, Marta Minujín, Aleksandra Mir, Tanja Ostojic, Ola Pehrson, Walid Raad, Artüras Raila, Hito Steyerl, Tomaso Tozzi, Suzanne Treister, Ultra Red, Wolf Vostell, Stephen Willats
Jane Bennett, Hakim Bey, Luc Boltanski, Manuel Castells, ève Chiapello, Guy Debord, Umberto Eco, Okwui Enwezor, Michael Hardt, Bruno Latour, Marshall McLuhan, Marcel Mauss, Reza Negarestani, Antonio Negri, Sadie Plant, Lane Relyea, Craig Saper, Saskia Sassen, Pit Schultz, Steven Shaviro, Tiziana Terranova, Paolo Virno
Softcover, 294 pages (81 b/w and 52 color ill.), 13 x 19 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$40.00 - In stock -
Tone Hansen, Lars Bang Larsen (Eds.)
Contributions by Emanuel Almborg, Nils Christie, Carl Hegemann, Ane Hjort Guttu, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Adelita Husni-Bey, Carsten Rene Jørgensen, Lars Bang Larsen, Sharon Lockhart, Magnus Marsdal, Marit Paasche, Allan Sekula
One of the few things we have in common in contemporary society is the future of our children. But it seems that even the “we” of childhood, of learning and free play, has turned into a common ground for instrumentalization and competition. Today, the pedagogical paradox—Kant’s meditation on the paradox that the subject’s predisposition for freedom must be learned—is increasingly lost in governmental obsession about the efficiency of education and schooling. From another perspective, artists are addressing questions of childhood, play, and pedagogy.
What ideological and moral transformations is the school system currently undergoing? What do the psychiatric diagnoses and treatments mean that are increasingly applied to children and youth? What happened to the reform pedagogy of the twentieth century? What is the status of childhood in the era of the consuming child and the playing adult? These are some of the questions addressed by The Phantom of Liberty, which sets out to reestablish a social and aesthetic dialogue between visual art and psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and critical journalism.
The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox is published following the exhibition “Learning for Life” curated by Tone Hansen and Ane Hjort Guttu, November 11, 2012–February 24, 2013, at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK).
Copublished with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Design by Eriksen/Brown
2012, English / German
Softcover, 100 pages, 232 x 302 mm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$40.00 - Out of stock
Thomas Bayrle’s graphically covered bodies and objects are a world made out of dot and grid, cell and body. Superstructures spread like the fantastical porridge over cities and land, cell after cell, yet never the same, to form an exquisite “jelly” of monotony. The grid rules and connects everything. A continuum of backwards and forwards, up and down, through which a rhythm is formed. In Bayrle’s work nothing is ever definite, but always in flux. Chaos is organization, individual is collective, and the humming rhythm of the cities and machines is silent meditation.
In Strippenzieher, a series of works-on-paper, the background becomes the foreground. What was once hidden is illuminated. Formally a structural underpinning for historical works like Capsel or Madonna Mercedes, the Strippenzieher series has become a work of its own. Several individual hands are shown pulling printed pieces of Latex, acting as a community to make a body of work.
When I was working on the face of Mao – or the one of my mother I stretched a small image in 1000 different ways…
I said earlier - we always were working in a team - on an open photocopy machine - 6 hands were stretching pulling pressing strain little pieces of Latex – o boy
Thomas Bayrle, born in 1937, is a contemporary of Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke, and his work, like theirs, falls somewhere between Pop Art and Conceptualism. He is known for taking a wry look at late capitalist society and the role that the media plays in its machinations.
$23.00 - In stock -
Contributions by Albert Angelo, Mark Beasley, Rhea Dall and Charlotte Johannesson, Dexter Bang Sinister, Diedrich Diederichsen, The Digital Theatre, Hollis Frampton, Lars Bang Larsen, Francis McKee, Malcolm Mooney and Jan Verwoert, Rob Giampietro
This bulletin annotates a projected wall text (shown on the cover) that introduced the research program “Dexter Bang Sinister” at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. Devised by Stuart Bailey, Lars Bang Larsen, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, the program, like this bulletin, was based on Larsen’s just-completed PhD dissertation at the University of Copenhagen, A History of Irritated Material: Psychedelic Concepts in Neo-Avantgarde Art. The idea was to contrive a popular version of his academic thesis by editing it psychedelically.
This might sound simple, or at least simple-minded, as a textual exercise in psychedelia’s familiar imperatives: Jimi Hendrix’s “Are you experienced?,” Ken Kesey’s “Did you pass the Acid Test?,” or Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” But the irony of psychedelic essences and injunctions should be lost on no one. It’s the self-contradictory voice of the psychedelic police, and on this beat you’ll always find a policeman who enforces a multicolored patriarchal law: “LSD ID, please—we need to check how free you really are ...” This is hardly a new nor a very profound observation, just transgression’s age-old contradiction: the necessity of invoking the law in order to sin against it.
The real irony, though, is how the law returns to psychedelia in the form of categorical imperatives, platitudes, and pigeonholes. If we strip away the usual clichés of psychedelic representation—excess, overload, rainbows, tie-dye—what’s left? What’s worth keeping? What does a hollowed-out, desaturated, low-grade, root-level, emphatically black-and-white psychedelia look and feel like? The closer we looked, the more it became apparent that such austere gears had been the psychedelic movement’s means all along—and so black and white seemed an even more pertinent point of return from which to usefully depart once more. From this vantage, how might that look and feel be put to proper use—that’s to say, transformed—artistically and socially today? This brings us back to the immediate question: what could it mean to edit a thesis on psychedelia psychedelically, without recourse to drugs? How does the TRIP translate to METHOD?
2012, English / Italian
Published by Mousse / Milan
$18.00 - Out of stock
Lars Bang Larsen, Albert Serra, John D’Agata, Adam kleinman, Peter Watkins, Jens Hoffmann, Tim Griffin, Kathy Noble, Oscar Murillo, Catherine Wood, Claire Bishop, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jérôme Bel, Elisabeth Lebovici, Zachary Cahill, Camille Henrot, Cecilia Alemani, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Mariana Caló & Francisco Queimadela, Filipa Ramos, Davina Semo, Bob Nickas, Stefano Cernuschi, Aaron Flint Jamison, Lauren Cornell, Darren Bader, Peter Eleey, David Douard, Thomas Boutoux, Samara Golden, Andrew Berardini, Benedict Drew, Michael Portnoy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Charlotte Prodger, Bonnie Camplin, Lucy Reynolds.... and much more!
Softcover, 287 pages (52 color and 9 b/w ill.), 16.5 x 23 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$28.00 - Out of stock
Contributions by Pierre Bal-Blanc, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Ana Betancour, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Annika Eriksson, Kirsten Forkert, Catharina Gabrielsson, Ingela Johansson, Lars Bang Larsen, Maria Lind, Sarat Maharaj, Making A Living (MAL), Michele Masucci, Helena Mattsson, Nina Power, OTCOP, Pratchaya Phinthong, Raqs Media Collective, Judith Revel, Lisa Rosendahl, Joanna Sokołowska, Hito Steyerl, Mladen Stilinović, Nina Svensson, Cecilia Widenheim
The relationship of art to work and the conditions of artistic production has long engaged many in the field of visual art. Work is a broad concept, the meaning of which has changed radically as a result of the social and technological transformations that have taken place over the past century. What, then, is “work” today and what is its relation to art? What is the position of the artist if “creativity” has become a commodity? How can the artist’s conditions of production be described, and what role can art and architecture play in societal change?
The texts in this reader provide perspectives on some of these questions emerging from the series of seminars conducted during the late autumn of 2010 at Iaspis in Stockholm, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international program for visual art, architecture, crafts, and design. The seminars brought together visual artists, architects, theoreticians, curators, and writers with diverse backgrounds and experience. They were arranged into three themes: the relationship between art and work, the current conditions of production and the organization of work within the field of visual art, and the role of art and architecture in politics and society.
Co-published with Iaspis
Design by Medium
softcover, 216 pages, 11 b/w ill., 10.8 x 17.8 cm
Published by Sternberg Press / Berlin
$20.00 - Out of stock
With essays by Franco Berardi Bifo, Keti Chukhrov, Diedrich Diederichsen, Antke Engel, Liam Gillick, Tom Holert, Lars Bang Larsen, Marion von Osten, Precarious Workers Brigade, Irit Rogoff, and Hito Steyerl
Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. Furthermore, when the flexibility, certainty, and freedom promised by being part of a critical outside are considered as extensions of recent advances in economic exploitation, does the field of art then become the uncritical, complicit inside of something far more compelling?
Design by Jeff Ramsey, cover design by Liam Gillick
Softcover, 190 x 295 mm
Published by Afterall / London
$18.00 - Out of stock
Issue 29 features deals with the notion of contested and constructed histories. Featuring Moyra Davey, Eugenio Dittborn, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Dierk Schmidt; accompanying texts look at cinematic space and the public sphere, the 'Useful Life' exhibition and R Kelly's hip-hopera.
"Temporality, Sociality, Publicness: Cinema as Art Project"
"The Operation Was a Success But the Patient Died"
"Pygmalion Desire in Les Goddesses"
Wendelien van Oldenborgh
"Interzone: On Three Works by Wendelien van Oldenborgh"
"Wendelien van Oldenborgh: ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.'"
"Disarmed and Equipped: Strategies, Politics and Poetics of the Image in Eugenio Dittborn’s Airmail Paintings"
"Correcaminos VII/ Roadrunner VII, 2012"
"No Man’s Land Paintings"
"Image Leaks: Dierk Schmidt’s Critical Opening of a Permeable Medium"
"Dierk Schmidt: Packing the Hard Potatoes"
Events, Works, Exhibitions
‘Useful Life’: Reflection Among Exhibition Frenzy (Shanghai, 2000)
Robert Kelly and Robert McNamara: Extended Narrative versus Data Mining
Softcover, 63 pages, 190 x 260 mm
Published by Archive Books / Berlin
$18.00 - Out of stock
The Exhibitionist, a new journal made by curators, for curators, focusing solely on the practice of exhibition making.
The objective is to create a wider platform for the discussion of curatorial concerns – encourage a diversification of curatorial models, and actively contribute to the formation of a theory of curating.
In this issue: Victoria Noorthoorn, Aspara DiQuinzio, Lars Bang Larsen, Doryun Chong, Stéphanie Moisdon, Tobias Berger, Carol Yinghua Lu, Jessica Morgan, Elisabeth Sussman, Shelly Bancroft, Peter Nesbett, Maria Lind, Jane Alison, Kathrin Romberg, Tara McDowell and Jens Hoffmann.