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, 128 pages, 14 x 21 cm
1st UK Edition, Out of print title / used / good
Published by Serpent's Tail / London
$20.00 - In stock -
Frisk, published in 1991, is an award-winning novel by American author Dennis Cooper that explores the ultimate meaning of the body, sex, and death. Homoeroticism, brutality and psychosis are explored through an unnervingly lucid account of a young man's fascination with snuff photos and murder.
"When Dennis is thirteen, he sees a series of photographs of a boy apparently unimaginably mutilated. Dennis is not shocked, but stunned by their mystery and their power; their glimpse at the reality of death. Some years later, Dennis meets the boy who posed for the photographs. He did it for love.
Surrounded by images of violence, the celebrity of horror, news of disease, a wasteland of sex, Dennis flies to Europe, having discovered some clues about the photographs: “I see these criminals on the news who’ve killed someone methodically, and they’re free. They know something amazing. You can just tell.” What they know may lie in bodies themselves. Bodies are unavoidably real; what’s in them must have something to say, even in a society that lives on images and fantasies. An isolated windmill in Holland provides the perfect setting for Dennis to find out more about bodies—of which there are many—and what is inside them.
Cooper says, "I present the actual act of evil so it's visible and give it a bunch of facets so that you can actually look at it and experience it. You're seduced into dealing with it. ... So with Frisk, whatever pleasure you got out of making a picture in your mind based on ... those people being murdered, you take responsibility for it."
Dennis Cooper (born 1953) is an American novelist, poet, critic, editor and performance artist who grew up in the Southern California. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period. His post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread, The Sluts and God, Jr. Other works include the short-story collections Wrong and Ugly Man, poetry collections The Dream Police and The Weaklings, as well as the recent Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries.
Dennis Cooper currently spends his time between Los Angeles and Paris.
"Dennis Cooper, God help him, is a born writer" - William Burroughs
"Cooper’s language is at first intense, nearly minimal, then suddenly, it ascends into vision" - Kathy Acker
First UK edition, published Serpent's Tail, London.
Softcover, 232 pages, 15 x 22.5 cm
Published by Semiotext(e) / Los Angeles
$36.00 - In stock -
Long ago, in childhood, when Summer reverberates and feels and throbs all over, it begins to circumscribe my body along with my self, and my body gives it shape in turn: the "joy" of living, of experiencing, of already foreseeing dismembers it, this entire body explodes, neurons rush toward what attracts them, zones of sensation break off almost in blocks that come to rest at the four corners of the landscape, at the four corners of Creation. --from Coma
The novelist and playwright Pierre Guyotat has been called the last great avant-garde visionary of the twentieth century, and the near-cult status of his work--because of its extreme linguistic innovation and its provocative violence--has made him one of the most influential of French writers today. He has been hailed as the true literary heir to Lautreamont and Arthur Rimbaud, and his "inhuman" works have been mentioned in the same breath as those by Georges Bataille and Antonin Artaud.Winner of the 2006 prix Decembre, Coma is the deeply moving, vivid portrayal of the artistic and spiritual crisis that wracked Guyotat in the 1980s when he reached the physical limits of his search for a new language, entered a mental clinic, and fell into a coma brought on by self-imposed starvation. A poetic, cruelly lucid account, Coma links Guyotat's illness and loss of subjectivity to a broader concern for the slow, progressive regeneration of humanity. Written in what the author himself has called a "normalized writing," this book visits a lifetime of moments that have in common the force of amazement, brilliance, and a flash of life. Grounded in experiences from the author's childhood and his family's role in the French Resistance, Coma is a tale of initiation that provides an invaluable key to interpreting Guyotat's work, past and future.
Softcover, 408 pages, 15 x 22.5cm
Published by Semiotext(e) / Los Angeles
$43.00 - In stock -
I believe that destiny is the hesitation between whorehouse writing and poetry, Evil and Good. In my body almost deadened to stupidity by its growing length, I am carrying that destiny. -- from In the Deep
A hypnotic account of three days and nights plucked from the summer of 1955, In the Deep maps the origins, development, and meaning of Pierre Guyotat's creative vocation. To read it is to inhabit the life of an adolescent boy who is just discovering his calling to write, while also tormented by the questions left unanswered by his Catholic upbringing. Faced with his faith's failure, he feels the need to invent another one -- one much darker and conflicted -- which he believes will be his destiny. In the Deep leads us through the foundations of Guyotat's infamous "beat-sheet": the masturbatory writing practice that caused a scandal in the 1970s when he first disclosed it, and which -- although he has since disowned it -- remains fundamental to any understanding of Guyotat's oeuvre. Unlike Guyotat's other works, which deploy the sustained and taxing invention of an altogether other language -- and another reality beyond any notion of morality- -- In the Deep is written in an almost classical language, borrowing its timeless rhythmic prose from Latin syntax, and riddled with interrogatives that are part of a French tradition harking back to Rabelais. Nonetheless, as a contemporary De Rerum Natura, at once comic and profound, this narrative explores the same issues that run through all of Guyotat's writing: the always precarious grounding to sex, humanity, ethics, and God.
$65.00 - In stock -
This latest book by New York–based artist Moyra Davey is based on two related projects, Les Goddesses (2011) and Hemlock Forest (2016), which each take form through text, photography, and film. Layering introspection and personal narratives with meditations on the lives and works of other writers, filmmakers, and artists—ranging from 18th-century feminist writer and activist Mary Wollstonecraft to Chantal Akerman, Karl Ove Knausgård, and Davey’s own five sisters—the artist explores such themes as compulsion, artistic production, family, and life and its passing.
Edited by Karen Kelly and Barbara Schroeder.
Texts by Moyra Davey and an introduction by Aveek Sen.
Design by Filiep Tacq.
Softcover, 268 pages, 15 x 22.6 cm
Published by re.press / Prahran
$39.00 - In stock -
At once a horror fiction, a work of speculative theology, an atlas of demonology, a political samizdat and a philosophic grimoire, Cyclonopedia is work of theory-fiction on the Middle East, where horror is restlessly heaped upon horror. Reza Negarestani bridges the appalling vistas of contemporary world politics and the War on Terror with the archaeologies of the Middle East and the natural history of the Earth itself. Cyclonopedia is a Middle Eastern Odyssey, populated by archaeologists, jihadis, oil smugglers, Delta Force officers, heresiarchs, corpses of ancient gods and other puppets. The journey to the Underworld begins with petroleum basins and the rotting Sun, continuing along the tentacled pipelines of oil, and at last unfolding in the desert, where monotheism meets the Earth's tarry dreams of insurrection against the Sun.
Softcover, 254 pages, 12 x 19 cm
Published by Uh Books / Amsterdam
$20.00 - In stock -
Each issue of ‘F.R. David’ features a wide array of artists and writers and a unique theme. This fourteenth release features “The Labor of the Inhuman” by Reza Negarestani, “Vaster than Empires and More Slow” by Ursula K. Le Guin, poems by Ralph Hotere, and “The Companion Species Manifesto” by Donna Haraway. Further, Zoe Todd investigates indigenous relationships to fish in Canada, while Ayesha Siddiqi writes about the growth of online communities for marginalised groups, plus contributions by Aurelia Armstrong, Kosen Ohtsubo, Ian White, Eileen Myles, Marcel Broodthaers, Witold Gombrowicz, Ian McCammon, Noam Chomsky, Gilles Deleuze, and more.
Hardcover w slipcase, 36 pages (1 colour & 14 b/w ill.), 24 x 21.6 cm
Published by Walther König / Köln
$75.00 - Out of stock
'Because Religion of Love (written in 1990s) is so late in coming out, we hope it worth the wait. As representative of one of the most important artist's late thinking; on the one hand, it reconfirms her most classical thought (Beauty is the mystery of life.), and, on the other, adds new thought with an urgency only found in a mature artist of her age and persuasion. One of the most rigorous of sensibilities, we do not know what she meant by uncharacteristically asking another artist, Richard Tuttle, to illustrate her text, for she, unlike he, had a clear understanding of the meaning of illustration. Knowing that, he took it up as much to fathom a friend's genius after their passing, as well as the chance to say goodbye, life did not include, yet made available in publication. Hopefully, the reader can enjoy these various levels of interaction as art.' Richard Tuttle, London, September, 2014 -
Hardcover, 90 pages, 32.3 x 24.9 cm
Out of print title / used / very good
Published by Eros Magazine / New York
$50.00 - In stock -
In 1962, American author, editor, publisher and photo-journalist Ralph Ginzburg together with art director and typographer Herb Lubalin began publication of the now legendary, Eros, a quarterly hardbound periodical containing articles and photo-essays on love and sex. Consistent in form with the other hardbound magazines published at that time – Venture, American Heritage and so on - its content was revolutionary. Besides the learned introductions and publication of classical erotica, Eros covered stories about sexual practices that were until then piously hidden from the public eye. Although there was hardly a hint of pornography in the journal, it was explicit enough to trigger fatally the puritanical reflexes rooted so deeply in American culture. Eros was beset by legal and financial problems. The magazine closed down after four issues, partly because it was so expensive to produce, but primarily because Ginsburg, as editor, was absurdly convicted under federal obscenity laws for the fourth issue, which featured a naked, bi-racial couple embracing.
Eros was one of a group of new publications created by Ginzberg and Lubalin in the 1960s-1970s, including fact: and Avant-Garde, that became iconic in the history of graphic design whilst ushering in a new generation of artistic publishing that was intelligent, humorous and caustically critical of American society and government.
Volume One, No. 2, was published in the Summer of 1962 and features photo essays about John F Kennedy, "Les Mesdemoiselles de la Rue St. Denis" (photographs by Marvin Newman), "Cigar Box Sirens", the erotic statues in India, the first publication in a magazine of Mark Twain's short story "1601", articles on the contraceptive industry, "an antique patent submission for a male chastity belt", a short story by Ray Bradbury, "The Scent of Love", "Ovid: Love Poems" and the wonderful "Letters End" - pages and pages of beautifully reproduced hatemail from early in 1962 when Ralph Ginsburg, using the genuine town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania as a mailing address, sent three million letters to Americans ‘of higher than average income and intelligence’ to announce the publication of his quarterly Eros, a magazine ‘entirely devoted to Love and Sex.’
Beautifully produced with a bold and sensitive typographical approach synonymous with the work of the great Lubalin, each volume of Eros is a piece of modern editorial design history.
Very good copy with only light wear to hardcovers.