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.
$35.00 - Out of stock
Incredible Feeling is both a survey of recent work and an artist’s book. The publication features essays by Chris Kraus, Tahi Moore and Sarah Hopkinson, and is punctuated with four new photographic essays; ‘Portraits’, ‘Sidewalks and Puddles’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Skim Stones’.
$35.00 - Out of stock
In March 2008 the artist Michael Stevenson self-published a slender document entitled Fables to accompany his project Lender of Last Resort at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands. It was a series of some nine texts in fable form, and each suggested further allegorical readings on a tableau the artist assembled in the museum. All were co-written by Stevenson and the art critic Jan Verwoert. The project itself was developed around the notion of the bilateral loan contract, both in the financial sense, but also regarding the museological. A loan is perhaps best defined as an inter-temporal transfer of value through time. It is probably the oldest financial instrument, dating at least from the birth of writing. Some of the first ever written documents describe loans, bad loans in fact (default being the real reason the record has remained). The tableau itself was constructed from objects related to the founding of the museum, a process that unfolded in and among the banking crisis of 1924. The publication was only available in the space itself and has long since been out of print.
Animal Spirits: Fables in the Parlance of Our Times is an artist’s book by Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert which expands upon the themes of this earlier document and re-examines them more specifically in the light of our current times. It is based on a collaborative process, a process that resembles a game. Stevenson and Verwoert developed a working method in which plot structure remained open, a kind of partial exquisite corpse, i.e. text fragments passed back and forth without prior discussion as to any through line. These stories were co-illustrated in a similar way by the artist and Margaret Stevenson, his mother—the moral guide; the results were then made into a publication by Christoph Keller. A page at the end of the book announces the contributors thus: artist, mother, critic, and spirit maker.
The stories themselves take classic fable form and so most are concerned with arrangements between two parties or what could be called informal bilateral contracts. Galvanized and translated within parallel realities they produce a world in which the Beginning of the World has a voice and dares to question the might of the Bull. A world where the Shareholder sips wine at the dinner table with the Jackal, and the Lion, in a crisis, calls on his Hairdresser for council in matters of sovereign security. “Haircuts … Severe haircuts!”
Text by Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert
Illustrations by Michael Stevenson and Margaret Stevenson
Softcover, 64 pages (plus colour poster and 12 page insert, colour and b&w ill.), 285 x 185 cm
Edition of 600,
Published by Clouds / Auckland
$28.00 - Out of stock
This artist’s book considers modern, scientistic attitudes to wellbeing through the example of the little known New Zealand-based mid-twentieth-century movement, the School of Radiant Living. Founded by English psychologist Herbert Sutcliffe in the 1930s and active until the early 1980s, the School taught a holistic philosophy of spirituality and physical health. A response to archival material produced by the School, and now held by the J.C. Beaglehole Room at Victoria University Library, Wellington, Pursuit of an Ideal includes a wealth of ephemera in reproduction.
Characteristically, Menzies abstracts from this highly specific reference in order to consider its possible relations to our current situation. The publication imaginatively reconfigures the materials it responds to, collapsing document and invention. In this way, it draws out broader themes; tensions between the individual and the collective, the practical and the ideal, and the persistence of desire in nostalgia and utopian visions.
This publication exists within a larger body of work that includes the installations “Move Your Arms in Circles”, “Letters to Students of the Radiant Life”, and a short film “Peloha” that shows a performance of exercises adapted from the School’s “Physical Culture” manual and that was filmed at the house of the same name (a contraction of “peace, love and harmony”) in Havelock North, the international headquarters of the School. It includes a poster insert and pamphlet featuring a text by Anna Sanderson which was first presented with these earlier iterations of this exploration of Radiant Living’s modernist vision.
Text by Anna Sanderson
Published by Clouds
Softcover, 16 pages (colour and b&w ill.), 210 x 297 mm
Edition of 1000,
Published by Clouds / Auckland
$8.00 - In stock -
Daniel Malone is one of New Zealand’s most enigmatic and risk-taking artists. He is best known for context-specific performances and installations that weave together multiple threads to form playful and often perverse narratives about the historical, social and cultural identity of his subject matter.
Black Market Next To My Name is one of Malone’s most significant works to date. Originally show at Gambia Castle in 2007, the work involved all of the artist’s worldly goods, and the ridding of them.
The new publication presents documentation of the 2007 installation alongside a conversation between the artist and Los-Angeles based curator Liv Barrett. This dialogue took place shortly after Malone’s show Epicurios for an Other CV or, The Geophagy of Europe & its Autochthonous Peoples or, A Communist Kiosk in a Common Market opened at Hopkinson Cundy in February 2012, and just before Black Market Next To My Name was reconfigured at the Auckland Art Gallery for Made Active: The Chartwell Show (from 14 April – 15 July 2012).
Black Market Next To My Name is the first of a series of publications addressing Malone's work, with additional volumes due to be released later in 2012. The series will sample and survey some seventeen years of practice, include a wealth of visual material from the artist’s extensive archive of documentation, and feature major new essays by New Zealand and international writers.
This publication was supported by the Chartwell Trust.
Text by Liv Barrett and Daniel Malone
Hardcover, 340 pages +18 pg. insert (295 colour and 320 b/w images), 210 x 240 x 28 mm
Edition of 1000,
Published by Clouds / Auckland
$60.00 - In stock -
This major book surveys Arps’ recent work but through a peculiar lens. This is an artist known for making spaces – dystopic, uncomfortable, decrepit, paranoid, aspirational – that are in their own reality. Here, they are reconstructed as parts of one overarching space, the ‘affirmation dungeon’, in which self-help is crow-barred off its pedestal, along with other forms of normative shaming. This book has been put together with the logic of dungeon mapper or game builder, a temporarily liberated reality forming around the viewer as avatar. What is really pictured is unclear, but this space can be looked at as indexing or growing out of pressure-intensive neoliberal New Zealand – a society hollowed out into which one is compelled to amass rubbish as a way of claiming space or enacting sovereignty. The way in which Arps has consistently worked with and altered found materials is echoed in the way in which text material has been assembled for the book, involving pieces taken from the Internet and earlier publications, and slippages and glitches in language; language, time, and architectural space being sites for resistance to measurement, authority, conservatism, simplification, homogenisation, and gentrification.
This project is supported by Creative New Zealand and by Saatchi & Saatchi through their association with The Walters Prize, organised by the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
Jon Bywater's essay 'Work-Life Balance' was originally published in the 'Art Goes On' issue of Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, 2009.
$37.00 - In stock -
Nijinsky relates to a series of Sriwhana Spong films that are a re-imagining of a George Balanchine ballet, The Song of the Nightingale, originally choreographed in 1925 for the itinerant Ballet Russes. Based on the only fragments remaining of the original (the Stravinsky score and documentation of the Matisse designs for set and costumes, and some of the costumes themselves) Spong’s films and the book’s contents exhort the Balanchine maxim, “Before is over. Performance is now”.
Nijinsky channels the presence of the famous chimeric dancer for whom the book is named, and involves stills from the films along with collage works that overlay geometric forms onto ballet photographs cut from picture books. It also features writing by Sarah Hopkinson, Gwynneth Porter, ballet photographer and author Keith Money, and the artist herself.
This book project has been supported by Creative New Zealand, and was co-published with the Auckland gallery Michael Lett on the occasion of the screening of Spong’s Lethe-wards at Art Basel in June 2010.
Texts by Sarah Hopkinson, Gwynneth Porter, Keith Money, Sriwhana Spong.
Published by Clouds and Michael Lett
Softcover, 140 pages (colour and b&w ill.), 210 x 148 mm
Edition of 750,
Published by Clouds / Auckland
$25.00 - In stock -
PX: Thoughts on Painting was published following the two-part PX exhibition at St Paul Street Gallery, AUT University, Auckland – A Purposeless Production: A Necessary Praxis, curated by Leonhard Emmerling, and Snow Falls on Mountains Without Wind, curated by Jan Bryant.
This book functions both as a theoretical study of painting practice – two opposed essays disagreeing about the supposed purpose or operation of contemporary painting – and an exhibition catalogue, illustrating in full the wide variety of practices that made up this show of the work of painters (in the widest sense) from New Zealand, Europe and the US:
Whitney Bedford, Richard Bryant, Amelia Harris, Dil Hildebrand, Colin Lawson, Saskia Leek, Patrick Lundberg, Michel Majerus, Fiona Macdonald, Isobel Thom, Barbara Tuck, Genevieve Allison, Guy Benfield, James Cousins, Simon Glaister, Kerstin Gottschalk, Katharina Grosse, Simon Ingram, Imi Knoebel, Tumi Magnusson, Paul McCarthy, Judy Millar, Ben Morieson, Gerhard Richter, Nedko Solakov.
Bryant and Emmerling’s essays pay particular attention to the legacies of conceptualism and the diverse relations that contemporary painting holds with various art-historical, philosophical and political discourses. Here we find the figure of painting radically expanded for the twenty-first century.
Fusing Kant’s definition of art as ‘purposeless’ with Adorno’s notion of the autonomous work of art as the only one with utopian potential, Emmerling’s text considers painting’s complete uselessness as the basis of its inalienability. Bryant adapts Jean Paulhan’s ideas on cliché and terror and attempts to delineate a certain genealogy that might account for aspects of contemporary painting practice that can’t be folded neatly into dominant art-historical discourses, even when a dialogue with art history is being carried out.
Texts by Jan Bryant and Leonhard Emmerling
Designed by Tana Mitchell
$27.00 - Out of stock
Lying Freely is the 4th and final part of the itinerant project by artist Ruth Buchanan. Here the 3 previous stages of the project meet within and are also confronted by the space of the book. The book was made in close collaboration with designer David Bennewith and developed accumulatively as each stage of the project was ‘completed’. Over the course of 2 years Buchanan investigated questions surrounding the tension between private need and public appearance, individual agency and collectively received legacy, producing a series of works that each dealt with particular constellations of figure, location and format. The 3 stages consisted of a guided tour, theatre piece and installation. The book behaves on the one hands as a schematic or script for the body of work, drawing boundaries – and on the other hand it proposes a method, an approach, that suggests constant repetition and following, constant reconfiguration. The book becomes an experiment in sharing material, sharing space; absorbing and reflecting its own conditions and the conditions under which it becomes public.
Design and editing by David Bennewith and Ruth Buchanan
Texts by Ruth Buchanan and Marina Vishmidt
Typesetting by Colophon
Co-published by Jan van Eyck Academie and Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory.