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.
$55.00 - In stock -
Warhol’s Factory of the 1960s, Minimalism’s assembly-line aesthetics, conceptual and feminist concern with workers’ conditions in the 1970s—these are among the antecedents of a renewed focus on the work of art: labor as artistic activity, as artistic method and as object of artistic engagement. In 2002, the “Work Ethic” exhibition curated by Helen Molesworth at the Baltimore Museum of Art took its cue from recent art to spotlight this earlier era of artistic practice in which activity became as valid as, and often dispensed with, object-production. Revealed through this prism was “dematerialized” art’s close and critical relation to the emergent information age’s criteria of management, production and skill.
By 2015, the Venice Biennale reflected artists’ wider concern with global economic and social crises, centered on exploitative and precarious worlds of employment. Yet while art increasingly engages with human travail, work’s significance in itself is seldom addressed by critics. This anthology explicitly investigates work in relation to contemporary art, surveying artistic strategies that grapple with the complexities of being an art worker in the new economy, a postproducer, a collaborator, a fabricator, a striker, an ethical campaigner, or would-be transformer of labor from oppression to liberation.
Artists surveyed include
Pawel Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Marwa Arsanios, Chto Delat, Alice Creischer, Ana de la Cueva, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jeremy Deller, Maria Eichhorn, Harun Farocki, Claire Fontaine, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, Melanie Gilligan, Gulf Labour Coalition, Tehching Hsieh, Lamia Joreige, Lee Lozano, Goshka Macuga, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Melis, Annette Messager, Gustav Metzger, Jean-Luc Moulène, Ahmet Ögüt, Philip Rizk, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Tamas St. Auby, Mladen Stilinovic, W.A.G.E., Artur Zmijewski
Claire Bishop, Luc Boltanski, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Sabeth Buchmann, Ève Chiapello, Kodwo Eshun, Silvia Federici, Isabelle Graw, Maurizio Lazzarato, Achille Mbembe, Antonio Negri, Jacques Rancière, Gerald Raunig, Dietmar Rübel, Paolo Virno, Joseph Vogl
About the Editor
Friederike Sigler is a researcher and lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden. She is the author of Work/Strike.
$55.00 - Out of stock
The effects and meanings of destruction are central to the work of many of our most influential artists. Since the early 1960s, artists have employed destruction to creative ends. Here destruction changes from a negative state or passive condition to a highly productive category. The destructive subversion of media imagery aims to release us from its controlling effects. The self-destructing artwork extinguishes art’s fixity as arrested form and ushers in the ephemeral and contingent "open work."
This anthology explores artworks that convey the threat of destruction an how they have disrupted the perceived integrity of built structures and institutions. Artistic acts of iconoclasm or risk to the self have raised consciousness of authoritarian oppression. More understated works explore the theme of destruction in armed conflict, media violence, and threats to the environment. These text make up the first collection to be focused systematically on destruction in modern and contemporary art.
Artists surveyed include
Ai Weiwei, John Baldessari, Monica Bonvicini, Alexander Brener, Stuart Brisley, Douglas Gordon, Huang Yong Ping, Enrique Jezik, Milan Knizak, Paul McCarthy, Piero Manzoni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gustav Metzger, Otto Mühl, Yoko Ono, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Petr Pavlensky, William Pope.L, Walid Raad, Arnulf Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Carolee Schneemann, Song Dong, Jean Tinguely, Wolf Vostell
Alain Badiou, Walter Benjamin, Horst Bredekamp, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Medina Cuauthémoc, Dario Gamboni, Richard Galpin, Caleb Kelly, Bruno Latour, Sven Lütticken, Antonio Negri, Sophie O’Brien, Kristine Stiles, Jennifer Walden
About the Editor
Sven Spieker is Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and editor of ARTmargins. His books include The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy (MIT Press).
$30.00 - Out of stock
Variable Piece 4: Secrets is a facsimile edition of Douglas Huebler’s classic artist book, which was originally published by Printed Matter in 1978. Simple and salacious, the publication collects over 1,800 secrets written anonymously by visitors to the 1970 Software exhibition at the Jewish Museum. In doing so, the book provides a fleeting glimpse into the cultural, political, and social preoccupations of the era while showcasing Huebler’s open-ended and variable approach to art making—an approach that sought to undermine the dominance of object-oriented practices in favor of a text-driven conceptualism that relied on variables outside of the artist’s control.
Pioneers of the artists’ books medium, of which Huebler was one, predicted that one day artists’ books would be sold next to detective and romance novels in drugstores and supermarkets throughout America. While this dream was never realized, Variable Piece 4: Secrets could easily find its place amongst these popular genres; a true page-turner that delivers the whodunit in succinct statements, ripped from real life, without the hassle of narrative arcs, prefaces, or chapters.
Douglas Huebler (1924–1997) began work as a painter and Minimalist sculptor before focusing attention on language-driven conceptual art in the late 1960s. Examining themes such as duration, location, and social environments, Huebler’s work sought to move beyond the physical object, incorporating photography, text, maps, and drawings to document everyday activities, often carried out over specific periods of time. From 1970 until his death, Huebler worked on Variable Piece #70, which attempted to document every living person. The failure of this project underscored Huebler’s views on the limitations of photography. In the 1980s and 1990s, the artist incorporated painting and comic strips into his conceptual practice, exploring the idea of the masterpiece through the “correction”—or forgery—of works.
Softcover (stapled), 20 pages, 20.4 x 20.2 cm
1st Edition of 1000, Out of print title / Used*,
Published by Seth Siegelaub / New York
$420.00 - In stock -
Very rare artist book by Douglas Huebler, published in 1968 by Seth Siegelaub, New York. This important historical catalog is the 1st for a show in which the catalog was the show itself.
First and only printing, in an edition of 1000 copies.
“The existence of each sculpture is documented by it’s documentation.
The documentation takes the form of photographs, maps, drawings and descriptive language.
The marker “material“ and the shape described by the location of the markers have no special significance, other than tot o demark the limits of the piece.
The permanence and destiny oft he markers have no special significance.
The duration pieces exist only in the documentation of the marker’s destiny within a selected period of time.
The proposed projects do not differ from the other pieces as idea, but do differ to he extent of their material substance."
-- from introduction by Douglas Huebler.
Hardcover, 288 pages, 16.5 x 23.8 cm
Published by The MIT Press / Massachusetts
$69.00 - In stock -
In 1968, Robert Smithson reacted to Michael Fried's influential essay "Art and Objecthood" with a series of works called non-sites. While Fried described the spectator's connection with a work of art as a momentary visual engagement, Smithson's non-sites asked spectators to do something more: to take time looking, walking, seeing, reading, and thinking about the combination of objects, images, and texts installed in a gallery. In Beyond Objecthood, James Voorhies traces a genealogy of spectatorship through the rise of the exhibition as a critical form -- and artistic medium. Artists like Smithson, Group Material, and Michael Asher sought to reconfigure and expand the exhibition and the museum into something more active, open, and democratic, by inviting spectators into new and unexpected encounters with works of art and institutions. This practice was sharply critical of the ingrained characteristics long associated with art institutions and conventional exhibition-making; and yet, Voorhies finds, over time the critique has been diluted by efforts of the very institutions that now gravitate to the "participatory." Beyond Objecthood focuses on innovative figures, artworks, and institutions that pioneered the exhibition as a critical form, tracing its evolution through the activities of curator Harald Szeemann, relational art, and New Institutionalism. Voorhies examines recent artistic and curatorial work by Liam Gillick, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Holler, Maria Lind, Apolonija Sustersic, and others, at such institutions as Documenta, e-flux, Manifesta, and Office for Contemporary Art Norway, and he considers the continued potential of the exhibition as a critical form in a time when the differences between art and entertainment increasingly blur.
James Voorhies is a curator and art historian of modern and contemporary art. He is Dean of Fine Arts and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
$120.00 - Out of stock
Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with show held at Le Nouveau Musée, Villeurbanne, France, November 25, 1989 - February 18, 1990. Traveled to Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands, April 7 - May 20, 1990.
According to Anne Rorimer, Knight critically addresses art practices by contextualizing objects within the cultural system and by abstracting existing signs from functional modes of representation. Buchloh focuses on how Knight re-materializes the art object through his use of design, display, and framing, in order to avoid the elitism of conceptual art.
Introduction by Chris Dercon. Essays by Anne Rorimer, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh.
Includes selected bibliography.
Texts in English and Dutch.
Since 1969, American artist John Knight (1945) has concentrated on the relationship between architecture, design and art. He bases his work on the interplay between the material object and its contextual conditions, and comments on the meaning of cultural object and cultural space by employing strategies that invert the conventions of production and reception.
$35.00 - In stock -
For more than four decades, the elusive but influential Los Angeles-based artist John Knight has developed a practice of site specificity that tests both architectural and ideological boundaries of the museum, gallery, and public sphere. Knight’s works defy notions of stylistic coherence, even, at times, of instant recognizability. Grounded in a sustained method of inhabiting the material, discursive and economic conditions of varied sites, his works systematically challenge notions of object, sign, context, authorship, and value, and they confront audiences not only with mailers, posters, and journals but also with carpenter levels, commemorative plates, deck chairs, bicycle bells, flower arrangements, and credit cards. This volume offers essays and interviews that trace the critical thinking on Knight, discussing the artist’s trajectory from 1969 to 2011.
These texts, by such prominent figures as Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Anne Rorimer, Alexander Alberro, and Birgit Pelzer, offer close readings of Knight’s pivotal projects in situ while also considering them in terms of such art-historical paradigms as the readymade, the anti-aesthetic, institutional critique, and the relationship between art and design as well as corporate culture at large. The book provides the first collection of these often hard-to-find texts on Knight and will serve as an essential guide for further consideration of his oeuvre.
1989, English / French
Softcover, 56 pages, 28 x 22 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / used / very good
Published by CAPC / Bordeaux
$35.00 - Out of stock
Great Clegg & Guttmann catalogue published on the occasion of a solo exhibition at Capc Musée d'art contemporain, 10 march - 23 april 1989. Heavily illustrated in colour throughout with fine examples of Clegg & Guttmann's portraits (many across large landscape fold-out spreads), their work is here accompanied by an essay by Regis Durand and wrapped in a brick-red french fold cover. First edition.
The artist duo Clegg & Guttmann (both born in 1957, in Dublin and Jerusalem), went to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts under Joseph Kosuth. Both have been working together since 1980 across the fields of photography, cinema and installation with a notion of art that can be understood as a “social communicative” process, whereby they not only engage with specific urban spaces, but the structure of publicity itself. This aspect of the work became more evident when the work was expanded to include "Social Sculptures" (installations and sculptures that actively draw the recipient into the process) as well as "Spontaneous Operas" (process-oriented events).
Nevertheless their photographic portraits from the early 1980’s, are arguably their most significant artistic medium. The single portraits, the photographs of couples, and corporate group portraits belong up to this day to the most important artistic contributions within this genre.
Clegg & Guttmann investigate the modalities of portraiture; questions such as how do the commissioned portraits with all their constructed poses, positions, gestures, sceneries and accessories contribute to the construction of the language of power while the generic portraits continue the tradition of the comédie humaine.
$95.00 - Out of stock
First edition of the heavy "OCTOBER: The First Decade, 1976 - 1986", which brings together a selection of some of the most important and representative texts, many from issues long out of print, that have appeared in one of the foremost journals in art criticism and theory - October.
Contributors include Rosalind Krauss, Sergei Eisenstein, Peter Handke, Georges Didi-Huberman, Mary Ann Doane, and Hans Haacke. Their essays are organized under the categories of "the index, historical materialism, the critique of institutions, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, and the body." -- publisher's statement.
Texts by Annette Michelson, Rosalind Krauss, Douglas Crimp, Joan Copjec, Nadar, Georges Didi-Huberman, Roger Caillois, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Sergei Einstein, Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi, Rosalyn Deutsche, Cara Gendel Ryan, Yve-Alain Bois, Daniel Buren, Louise Lawler, Christopher Philips, Homi Bhabha, Mary Ann Doane, Joel Fineman, Babette Mangolte, Peter Handke, Anette Michelson, Georges Bataille, Hollis Frampton, Robert Morris, Hans Haacke, and Trisha Brown.
"October is among the most advanced journals of the 1970s and 1980s in the fields of art theory, criticism, history, and practice. [Its editors] are intimately familiar with the cultural and political avant-garde of Europe and the U.S. and are able to attract its best thinkers.... Few, if any, journals could receive a higher recommendation."—Choice