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, 320 pages, 11.5 x 16.5 cm
Edition of 1000,
Published by Surpllus / Melbourne
$24.00 - In stock -
Making Worlds: Art and Science Fiction is an anthology of new texts by artists, curators, art historians and writers who are self-confessed science fiction fans. The linking point is the idea of science fiction as a platform for the building of alternate art histories. This collection is concerned with the ways in which science fiction might be performed, materialised or enacted within a contemporary context.
Edited by Amelia Barikin and Helen Hughes, with contributions by: Adrian Martin, Amelia Barikin, Andrew Frost, Anthony White, Arlo Mountford, Brendan Lee, Charles Green, Chris McAuliffe, Chronox, Damiano Bertoli, Darren Jorgensen, Dylan Martorell, Edward Colless, Helen Hughes, Helen Johnson, Justin Clemens, Lauren Bliss, Matthew Shannon, Nathan Gray, Nick Selenitsch, OSW, Patrick Pound, Philip Brophy, Rex Butler, Ryan Johnston, and Soda_Jerk.
Designed by Brad Haylock.
Softcover, 152 pages,
1st Edition, Out of print title / used / very good
Published by Craftsman House / St Leonards
$38.00 - Out of stock
In April 2000, the Australian art critic Rex Butler was invited to present a series of lectures to students and members of the public at Metro Arts, Brisbane. Now out of print, Rex Butler's "The Secret of Australian Art" compiles these lectures, offering insight into what a critic does and introduces issues of interest in contemporary Australian art, such themes as the problem of irony in post-modern art, the relation of art to everyday life and recent post-colonial approaches in Australian art history and Aboriginal art, illustrated with case studies.
Lecture 1. Camp: The rise and fall of the smile; The case of Michael Stevenson
Lecture 2. The Real: 'Every Day', the task of mourning; The case of Dale Frank; The case of Richard Dunn
Lecture 3. Abstraction: The anamorphic monochrome; The case of John Nixon
Lecture 4. The Feminine: Radical revisionism; The case of Merilyn Fairskye
Lecture 5. Post-Colonialism: Australian art history and revisionism; The case of Augustus Earle
Lecture 6. Aboriginality: 'Bright Shadows': art, aboriginality and aura; The case of Kathleen Petyarre.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Professor Rex Butler is an art historian, writer and Professor (Art History & Theory) at Monash University. His research interests include contemporary Australian art and art criticism; Post-war American art; and Postmodernism. Rex Butler is currently editing a collection entitled 'Radical Revisionism' on Australian post-colonial art and two volumes of Slavoj Zizek's selected writings. He is the author six books including, What is Appropriation? (1996); Jean Baudrillard: The Defence of the Real (1999); A Secret History of Australian Art (2002); and Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide (2010).
1993, English / German
Softcover, 35 pages, 165 x 240 mm
Published by Künstlerhaus Bethanien / Berlin
$25.00 - In stock -
Wonderful early catalogue of an exhibition held at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Nov. 27-Dec. 13, 1993 by Australian artists Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley.
Catalogue essay in English and German by Rex Butler.
$35.00 - In stock -
Edited by Rex Butler
Texts by Rex Butler, David Pestorius, Sally Butler, Michele Helmrich
CityCat Project 2006–2016 is the record of an extraordinary collaboration between American artist Dave Hullfish Bailey and senior Aboriginal writer and activist Sam Watson. The collaboration is structured around Maiwar Performance, in which the CityCat ferries that ply the Brisbane River (Maiwar) execute unannounced maneuvers near a site of significance to the Aboriginal people who lived on the lands around Brisbane before British colonization in the early nineteenth century.
After its first iteration in 2006, Watson designated the event a “Dreaming,” which meant that it should be periodically repeated. The performance has since been restaged in 2009, 2012, and 2016, with Watson seeing it as an important act of Indigenous empowerment: a way of restoring agency to the local Aboriginal people in bringing their past alive and allowing them to think that the future has not been definitively determined.
Parallel to this recurring event is an evolving body of works in diverse media. At its core is Bailey’s lateral research-based process, which combines a highly reflexive approach to language with granular descriptions of material and cultural systems. The call-and-response collaboration between Watson and Bailey and the many irreducibilities within it, generates an articulation of place that is playfully extrapolative, yet politically and intellectually resistant.
This publication includes an introduction by its editor, Rex Butler, and an essay and detailed timeline by CityCat Project curator, David Pestorius, which covers the activities of Bailey and Watson both before and throughout their work together. In addition, art historian Sally Butler reflects upon Watson’s literary production, while curator Michele Helmrich sheds light on the local historical context that significantly informs the collaboration.
Copublished with Australian Fine Arts/David Pestorius, Brisbane
Graphic concept by Heimo Zobernig
Design by Michael Phillips
Softcover, 14 pages, 15 x 20 cm
Published by Neon Parc / Melbourne
$8.00 - In stock -
Catalogue produced on the occasion of the exhibition "The effect that is propagated is not from the communication of speech but from the displacement of discourse" at Neon Parc, 25 June - 13 August 2016 by Melbourne artist Elizabeth Newman. Features full-colour documentation of the exhibition installation and individual paintings, alongside an essay by Rex Butler.
Design by Yanni Florence
$30.00 - In stock -
Impresario: Paul Taylor, The Melbourne Years, 1981–1984 brings together a diverse body of texts focused on Paul Taylor, the Australian editor, writer, curator and impresario, and in particular his important and influential early years in Melbourne between 1981 and 1984. The dates of the texts included span some thirty years and take a variety of different forms — critical essays, reviews, short reflective texts, interviews, transcriptions of lectures — the combination of which seeks to analyse Taylor’s impact on Australian art history in the early 1980s, when he founded Art & Text and curated the landmark exhibition ‘POPISM’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, and the subsequent ripples that continue to encircle us in his wake, thirty years on.
Edited and introduced by Helen Hughes and Nicholas Croggon, and featuring contributions by Ashley Crawford, Adrian Martin, Charles Green & Heather Barker, Chris McAuliffe, David Chesworth & Jon Dale, David Pestorius, Graham Willett, Ian McLean, Judy Annear, Janine Burke, Juan Davila, Jonathan Holmes, John Nixon & David Homewood, Jenny Watson & Kelly Fliedner, Lyndal Jones, Merryn Gates, Maria Kozic, Philip Brophy, Paul Foss, Patrick McCaughey, Peter Tyndall, Rex Butler & Susan Rothnie, Ralph Traviati, Imants Tillers, Edward Colless, Russell Walsh, Sue Cramer, Denise Robinson and Vivienne Shark LeWitt.
Editors: Helen Hughes and Nicholas Croggon
Design: Brad Haylock
Softcover, 192 pages + 92 page booklet, 23 × 30 cm
Published by Discipline / Melbourne
$30.00 - Out of stock
Edited by Nicholas Croggon, David Homewood, & Helen Hughes; with a guest edited section by Ferdiansyah Thajib, KUNCI Cultural Studies Center; and designed by Robert Milne.
Cover : Gordon Bennett
Editorial by Nicholas Croggon, David Homewood & Helen Hughes
Elizabeth Newman: Abstraction, Simulation, Obscuration by Francis Plagne
Critical Ambiguity: A Kantian Reading of Recent Work by Juan Davila by Helen Johnson
Trans-Pacific: Abstract Painting in Australia, New Zealand and America 1930–1960 by Rex Butler & A.D.S. Donaldson
Object Documentation by David Homewood & Bronté Lambert
The Dispute at the 19th Biennale of Sydney by Michael Ascroft
Illusion in Wendy Paramor’s Triad by Amelia Sully
Ambient Perspective and Endless Art by Nikos Papastergiadis & Amelia Barikin
Figures of the Machine: Richard Tuohy’s Halftone Films by Giles Fielke
Non-Resolution IRL by Danni Zuvela
Interview with Hito Steyerl by Amelia Groom
The Three Bodies of Angus Cerini by Jon Roffe
Encountering a Collection: Fiona Connor’s Wallworks by Kate Warren
What it’s Like to Dance Naked in the Museum and Other Thoughts: Stuart Ringholt’s Kraft (2014) by Liang Luscombe & Patrice Sharkey
Contemporary Art and Contemporaneity: Reflections on Method, Review of Reviews (Part 2) by Terry Smith
The Eternal Return of Irony: Gordon Bennett (1955–2014) by Ian McLean
Clothes by Centre for Style
Back Cover : John Citizen
Guess edited section by Ferdiansyah Thajib, KUNCI Cultural Studies Center (loose booklet in Bahasa and English)
Holopis Kuntul Baris: Karya Seni di Era Kolaborasi yang Tampak Mekanis / Holopis Kuntul Baris: The Work of Art in the Age of Manifestly Mechanical Collaboration
Pengantar/Introduction by Ferdiansyah Thajib
Kerangka Kolektivitas/Terms of Collectivity by Simon Soon
Wok the Rock & Co.: Memahami Persahabatan dalam Dunia Seni Yogyakarta/Wok the Rock & Co.: Making Sense of Friendship in Yogyakarta’s Art Scene by Nuraini Juliastuti
Punkasila, Kerjasama dan Persahabatan/Punkasila, Cooperation and Friendship by Syafiatudina
Hestu A. Nugroho (Setu Legi)
Softcover (stapled), 12 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 14.8 x 21 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / Used*,
Published by David Pestorius / Brisbane
$48.00 - Out of stock
Published on the occasion of Leni Hoffman's exhibition at David Pestorius Gallery, Brisbane, 15th April - 14th May, 1994
With a text by Rex Butler
$15.00 - Out of stock
Modeled after the famed TV sci-fi series The X-Files, The &-Files gathers together a covert body of documents following the long and often controversial career of Art & Text, one of the landmark contemporary art magazines of the 1980s and 1990s. Founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 1981 by Paul Taylor (1957–92), who soon moved to New York City to make his mark as an art critic, the magazine went on to become one of a handful of international art magazines that succeeded in capturing the turmoil and passing brilliance of that period of postmodernism.
Perceived through the eyes and ears of its longtime publisher and editor Paul Foss, The &-Files is comprised of an open letter, a lengthy interview, two questionnaires, and other commentaries and bibliographies, offering a unique insider account of the extraordinary advantages and pitfalls of publishing an art magazine.
Paul Foss is the publishing editor of the art magazines Art & Text (Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles, 1981–2002) and artUS (Los Angeles, 2003-ongoing). He is a renowned translator, anthologist, and author, whose publications include Island in the Stream: Myths of Place in Australian Culture.
Robert McKenzie is an Australian artist currently based in New York.
Rex Butler teaches art history at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. His published work includes Jean Baudrillard: The Defense of the Real.
Ross Chambers is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His many books include Facing It: AIDS Diaries and the Death of the Author.
Simon Rees is a former curator at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand, and is currently curator at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Softcover, 128 pages, 17 x 21 cm
Published by MUMA / Victoria
$20.00 - Out of stock
Publication to accompany the exhibition "Reinventing The Wheel: The Readymade Century", 3 October – 14 December 2013, Monash University Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia.
Arguably the most influential development in art of the twentieth century, the use of the readymade was set in motion 100 years ago with Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel. Giving birth to an entire artistic language, Duchamp’s conversion of an unadorned, everyday object into a figure of high art completely inverted how people considered artistic practice. Suddenly, art was capable of being everywhere and in everything. It was a revolutionary moment in modern art, and the ripples from this epochal shift still resonate today.
Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century pays tribute to this seminal work and traces the subsequent elaboration of neo-dada practices, with a particular focus upon everyday and vernacular contexts; the mysterious and libidinous potential of sculptural objects; institutional critique and nominal modes of artistic value; pop, minimalism and industrial manufacture. These discursive contexts will also provide a foundation to explore more recent tendencies related to unmonumental and social sculpture, post-fordism and other concerns, particularly among contemporary Australian artists.
Bringing together works by over 50 artists – from Duchamp and Man Ray to Andy Warhol and Martin Creed, along with some of Australia’s leading practitioners – this is a one-of-a-kind salute to an idea that continues to define the very nature of contemporary art.
Carl Andre, Hany Armanious, Nairy Baghramian, Ian Burn, John Cage, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Tony Cragg, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Aleks Danko, Julian Dashper, Simon Denny, Marcel Duchamp, Sylvie Fleury, Ceal Floyer, Claire Fontaine, Gilbert & George, Félix González-Torres, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Greatest Hits, Matthew Griffin, Richard Hamilton, David Hammons, Matt Hinkley, Lou Hubbard, Barry Humphries, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Louise Lawler, Klara Lidén, Andrew Liversidge, James Lynch, Robert MacPherson, Rob McKenzie, Callum Morton, John Nixon, Meret Oppenheim, Joshua Petherick, Kain Picken, Rosslynd Piggott, Man Ray, Scott Redford, Stuart Ringholt, Peter Saville, Charlie Sofo, Haim Steinbach, Ricky Swallow, Masato Takasaka, Peter Tyndall, Alex Vivian, Danh Vo, Andy Warhol, and Heimo Zobernig.
Max Delany (former MUMA director), Charlotte Day, Francis E. Parker, and Patrice Sharkey.With texts by Rex Butler, Charlotte Day, Francis Parker, Patrice Sharkey, and a never before published text by Thierry de Duve.