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.
$40.00 - Out of stock
One wintry day in 1983, David Hammons peddled snowballs of various sizes. He laid them out in graduated rows and spent the day acting as obliging salesman. Calling the unannounced street action Bliz-aard Ball Sale, he inscribed it into a body of work that, from the late 1960s to the present, has used a lexicon of discreet actions and consciously ‘black’ materials to comment on the nature of the artwork, the art world and race in America.
Although Bliz-aard Ball Sale has been frequently cited and is increasingly influential, it has long been known only through scant descriptions and a handful of photographs. In this engaging study, Elena Filipovic collects a vast oral history of the ephemeral work, uncovering rare images and documents, and giving us singular insight into an elusive artist who has made an art of making himself difficult to find.
$40.00 - In stock -
One of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) produced a body of innovative work mining American popular culture as well as modernist and postmodernist art—relentless examinations of subjectivity and of society that are both sinister and ecstatic. With a wide range of media, Kelley’s work explores themes as varied as post-punk politics, religious systems, social class, and repressed memory. Using architectural models to represent schools he attended, his 1995 work,Educational Complex, presents forgotten spaces as frames for private trauma, real or imagined. The work’s implications are at once miniature and massive. In this book, John Miller offers an illustrated examination of this milestone work that marked a significant change in Kelley’s practice.
A “complex” can mean an architectural configuration, a psychological syndrome, or a political apparatus, and Miller approaches Educational Complex through corresponding lines of inquiry, considering the making of the work, examining it in terms of education and trauma (sexual or otherwise), and investigating how it tests the ideological horizon of art as an institution. Miller shows that in Educational Complex, Kelley expands his political and aesthetic focus, including not only such artifacts as generic forms of architecture but (inspired by the infamous McMartin Preschool case) popular fantasies associated with ritual sex abuse and false memory syndrome. Through this archaeology of the contemporary, Miller argues, Kelley examines the mandate for education and the liberal democratic premises underpinning it.
Author John Miller, Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Art History at Barnard College, is an artist and critic whose work has been exhibited internationally. He was Mike Kelley’s friend and colleague from 1978 until Kelley’s death in 2012.
$34.00 - Out of stock
Warhol Marilyn (1965) is not a work by Andy Warhol but by the artist Elaine Sturtevant (1930--2014). Throughout her career, Sturtevant (as she preferred to be called) remade and exhibited works by other contemporary artists, among them Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg. For Warhol Marilyn, Sturtevant used one of Warhol's own silkscreens from his series of Marilyn printed multiples. (When asked how he made his silkscreened work, Warhol famously answered, "I don't know. Ask Elaine.")
In this book, Patricia Lee examines Warhol Marilyn as representing a shift in thinking about artistic authorship and originality, highlighting a decisive moment in the rethinking of the contemporary artwork. Lee describes the cognitive dissonance a viewer might feel on learning the identity of Warhol Marilyn's author, and explains that mistaken identity is part of Sturtevant's intention for the operation of the work. She discusses the ways that Sturtevant's methodology went against the grain of a certain interpretation of modernism, and addresses the cultural significance of both Warhol and Monroe as celebrity figures. She considers Dorothy Podber's shooting a bullet through a stack of Warhol's Marilyns (thereafter known as The Shot Marilyns) at the Factory in 1964 and its possible influence on Sturtevant's decision to remake the work. Lee writes that Sturtevant's critical reception has been informed by some fictional forebears: the made-up artist Hank Herron (whose nonexistent work duplicating paintings by Frank Stella was reviewed by a fictional critic), and (suggested by Sturtevant herself) Pierre Menard, the title character of Jorge Luis Borges's "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," who recreates a section of Cervantes's masterpiece line by line. And finally, she explores installation contexts and display strategies for Sturtevant's work as illuminating her broader artistic aims and principles.
$28.00 - Out of stock
Four exhibitions of contemporary art curated by Lucy Lippard have become renowned as her 'numbers shows'. Each took the population of the city in which it was shown as its title: 557,087 in Seattle, 955,000 in Vancouver, 2,972,453 in Buenos Aires and c.7,500 opening in Valencia, California, before touring the US and to London.
This book follows Lippard's curatorial trajectory, analysing her transition from a writer about art to a maker of exhibitions, and tracing her growing political engagement and involvement with feminism.
Extensive photographic material is complemented by a major new essay by Cornelia Butler and interviews with Seth Siegelaub and artists Agnes Denes, Alice Aycock, Eleanor Antin and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.
The volume also includes critical responses written at the time by Peter Plagens and Griselda Pollock, and an analysis of artists initiatives in Argentina that give a context for Lippard's emerging political consciousness by Pip Day.
This is the third publication in the Exhibitions Histories series, co-published with Afterall Books, London.
$34.00 - Out of stock
The artist Lee Lozano (1930–1999) began her career as a painter; her work rapidly evolved from figuration to abstraction. In the late 1960s, she created a major series of eleven monochromatic Wave paintings, her last in the medium. Despite her achievements as a painter, Lozano is best known for two acts of refusal, both of which she undertook as artworks: Untitled (General Strike Piece), begun in 1969, in which she cut herself off from the commercial art world for a time; and the so-called Boycott Piece, which began in 1971 as a month-long experiment intended to improve communication but became a permanent hiatus from speaking to or directly interacting with women. In this book, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer examines Lozano’s Dropout Piece, the culmination of her practice, her greatest experiment in art and endurance, encompassing all her withdrawals, and ending only with her burial in an unmarked grave.
And yet, although Dropout Piece is among Lozano’s most important works, it might not exist at all. There is no conventional artwork to be exhibited, no performance event to be documented. Lehrer-Graiwer views Dropout Piece as leveraging the artist’s entire practice and embodying her creative intelligence, her radicality, and her intensity. Combining art history, analytical inquiry, and journalistic investigation, Lehrer-Graiwer examines not only Lozano’s act of dropping out but also the evolution over time of Dropout Piece in the context of the artist’s practice in New York and her subsequent life in Dallas.
About the Author
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer is an art writer and curator based in Los Angeles, where she teaches at Otis College of Art and Design, publishes Pep Talk, and runs the experimental art venue The Finley Gallery. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Artforum, ArtReview, Art in America, Artonpaper, ArtSlant, Mousse, and exhibition catalogs.
$28.00 - In stock -
A show challenging the conventional understanding of public art,Culture in Action in Chicago had a new social agenda, and rethought what an exhibition of contemporary art might be. This project was curated by Mary Jane Jacob as part of the Sculpture Chicago programme in 1993.
Through eight projects by artists initiated in the early 1990s and developed in collaboration with local people, the intention was to engage diverse groups over time, in addition to the visiting public in 1993.
In this fifth book in Afterall's Exhibition Histories series, the course of these projects is documented, with a critical reappraisal of this important exhibition in newly commissioned essays and interviews, together with reviews from the time.
Included are interviews with Mary Jane Jacob, Mark Dion and Simon Grennan.
Softcover, 156 pages, 190 x 295 mm
Published by Afterall / London
$20.00 - In stock -
Afterall 34 – Autumn/Winter 2013
Taking Part in the Museum; Social Realism: The Turns of a Term in the Philippines
Lucy McKenzie (Lucy McKenzie: Manners; From the Highlands to Clydebank: ‘The Inventors of Tradition’; Rodchenko’s Worker’s Suit Had No Fly)
Mary Ellen Carroll (This Is Not About a Building: Mary Ellen Carroll’s prototype 180; From Busan with Humour)
Haegue Yang (Haegue Yang: Untimely Histories)
Lili Dujourie (The Actions of Bodies: Approaching Lili Dujourie; Lili Dujourie: Desire and Withdrawal)
Events, Works, Exhibitions:
Something I’ve Wanted to Do But Nobody Would Let Me: Mike Kelley’s ‘The Uncanny’ and Bodyimage: Lene Berg’s Kopfkino
and much more.
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