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 - 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.
$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
$69.00 - In stock -
In The Return of the Real Hal Foster discusses the development of art and theory since 1960, and reorders the relation between prewar and postwar avant-gardes. Opposed to the assumption that contemporary art is somehow belated, he argues that the avant-garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative practice in the present. And he poses this retroactive model of art and theory against the reactionary undoing of progressive culture that is pervasive today.After the models of art-as-text in the 1970s and art-as-simulacrum in the 1980s, Foster suggests that we are now witness to a return to the real -- to art and theory grounded in the materiality of actual bodies and social sites. If The Return of the Real begins with a new narrative of the historical avant-garde, it concludes with an original reading of this contemporary situation -- and what it portends for future practices of art and theory, culture and politics.
Includes the work of David Hammons, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, Jasper Johns, Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, Michael Asher, Hans Haacke, Fred Wilson, Silvia Kolbowski, Larry Bell, Sol Lewitt, Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Tony Smith, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, Jeff Koons, Haim Steinbach, Peter Halley, Ashley Bickerton, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Allan McCollum, Gerhard Richter, Richard Estes, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, John Miller, Zoe Leonard, Gran Fury, Renée Green, Dan Graham, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Lothar Baumgarten, Fred Wilson, Jimmie Durham, and many more.
$45.00 - In stock -
Edited by Helen Molesworth
With Taylor Walsh
Louise Lawler has devoted her art practice to investigating the life cycle of art objects. Her photographs depict art in the collector’s home, the museum, the auction house, and the commercial gallery, on loading docks, and in storage closets. Her work offers a sustained meditation on the strategies of display that shape art’s reception and distribution. The cumulative effect of Lawler’s photographs is a silent insistence that context is the primary shaper of art’s meaning. Informed by feminism and institutional critique, Lawler’s witty, poignant, and trenchant photos frequently pay attention to a host of overlooked details—almost Freudian slips—that ineffably and tacitly shore up what we conventionally think of as art’s “power.”
This book includes the earliest published text on Lawler’s work; an examination of her ephemera (Lawler produced, among other things, matchbooks and paperweights); a rare interview with the artist, conducted by Douglas Crimp; a conversation between George Baker and Andrea Fraser on Lawler’s work; and essays by writers including Rosalind Krauss, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Helen Molesworth, the volume’s editor. The book traces the changing reception of Lawler’s work from early preoccupations with appropriation to later discussions of affect.
About the Editor
Helen Molesworth is Chief Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston. She edited Louise Lawler’s Twice Untitled and Other Pictures (looking back), published by the Wexner Center for the Arts and distributed by the MIT Press.
$82.00 - Out of stock
The celebrated critic and film scholar Annette Michelson saw the avant-garde filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s as radically redefining and extending the Modernist tradition of painting and sculpture, and in essays that were as engaging as they were influential and as lucid as they were learned, she set out to demonstrate the importance of the underappreciated medium of film. On the Eve of the Future collects more than thirty years’ worth of those essays, focusing on her most relevant engagements with avant-garde production in experimental cinema, particularly with the movement known as American Independent Cinema.
This volume includes the first critical essay on Marcel Duchamp’s film Anemic Cinema, the first investigation into Joseph Cornell’s filmic practices, and the first major explorations of Michael Snow. It offers an important essay on Maya Deren, whose work was central to that era of renewal and reinvention, seminal critiques of Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, and Harry Smith, and overviews of Independent Cinema. Gathered here for the first time, these texts demonstrate Michelson’s pervasive influence as a writer and thinker and her role in the establishment of cinema studies as an academic field.
The postwar generation of Independents worked to develop radically new terms, techniques, and strategies of production and distribution. Michelson shows that the fresh new forms they created from the legacy of Modernism became the basis of new forms of spectatorship and cinematic pleasure.
About the Author
Annette Michelson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University. A founding editor of the journal October, she has written on art and cinema for more than five decades.
“Annette Michelson is one of the most brilliant minds that has ever turned its focus on the art of cinema. It's a blessing to have her illuminating, inspiring, and informative pieces available in this volume.”
—Jonas Mekas, filmmaker and writer
“When many of these texts first appeared, they were undergroundbreaking. Now, as history, they continue to be impressive for their subtle insights and nuanced style. Annette Michelson’s writing is as avant-garde and of-the-moment as that of a critic/historian can be.”
—Michael Snow, filmmaker, musician, visual artist
“Written with enviable precision and grace, these essays remain the most compelling chronicle of the radical impact that film would have on the other arts in the twentieth century. Through her writings, Annette Michelson defined a field of critical inquiry where others saw only boundaries.”
—Bruce Jenkins, Chair, Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
$65.00 - Out of stock
In 1964, at age forty, Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) proclaimed that his years of writing poetry—of being "good for nothing," in his words—were over, and a brief but dazzling artistic career began. Considered a founding father of institutional critique, Broodthaers created hundreds of objects, books, films, photographs and exhibitions, including a "fictive" museum of modern art that evolved from an installation in his own home to a massive exhibition of over three hundred works representing eagles. In The Absence of Work, Rachel Haidu argues that all of Broodthaers's art is defined by its relationship to language. His perception of his poetry's "failure to communicate" led him to explore in his art the noncommunicative, nontransparent uses of language. By showing us the ways in which language is instrumentalized across society—used for its efficiency despite the complexities it introduces into communication—Broodthaers shows us how we imagine language to work and points us to its hidden operations.
Haidu's characterization of Broodthaers's contribution to institutional critique represents a major departure from the usual approach to this movement. Considering the wider political implications of his work, including its reflections on national identity and democracy, she explores how they derive from historical references and examines his work's relationships to the works of other contemporary artists. With The Absence of Work, one of the first monographs on Broodthaers in English, Haidu demystifies a crucial and enigmatic figure in postwar and contemporary art.
About the Author:
Rachel Haidu is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester.
$50.00 - In stock -
There is not one Marcel Duchamp, but several. Within his oeuvre Duchamp practiced a variety of modernist idioms and invented an array of contradictory personas: artist and art dealer, conceptualist and craftsman, chess champion and dreamer, dandy and recluse.
In Infinite Regress, David Joselit considers the plurality of identities and practices within Duchamp's life and art between 1910 and 1941, conducting a synthetic reading of his early and middle career. Taking into account underacknowledged works and focusing on the conjunction of the machine and the commodity in Duchamp's art, Joselit notes a consistent opposition between the material world and various forms of measurement, inscription, and quantification. Challenging conventional accounts, he describes the readymade strategy not merely as a rejection of painting, but as a means of producing new models of the modern self.
About the Author
David Joselit is Distinguished Professor in the Art History Department of CUNY Graduate Center and the author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941 (MIT Press, 1998) and American Art Since 1945.
"Duchamp's oeuvre is a kind of labyrinth through which few art historians have managed to come out with all their sanity: Joselit's work provides a remarkably original guide for it, and demonstrates, with radically new means, the centrality of Duchamp's oeuvre in this century."
—Yve-Alain Bois, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. Professor of Modern Art, Harvard University
$42.00 - In stock -
During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art's production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum's entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue's symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork. Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher's situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher's environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.
Contributors: Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula
$42.00 - Out of stock
For five decades, the artist Hans Haacke (b. 1936) has created works that explore the social, political, and economic underpinnings of the production of art. His works make plain the hidden and not-so-hidden agendas of those -- from Cartier to David Koch -- who support art in the service of industry; they expose such inconvenient social and economic truths as the real estate holdings of Manhattan slumlords, and the attempts to whitewash support for the Nazi regime, apartheid, or the war on terror through museum donations. This book gathers interviews, difficult-to-find essays, cornerstones of institutional critique, and new critical approaches by writers that include Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Leo Steinberg. Haacke's 1971 Guggenheim exhibition was famously canceled when the artist refused to withdraw several proposed works, including one exposing the business dealings of a Manhattan real estate company. This volume includes Edward Fry's catalog text for that show, as well as Walter Grasskamp's "An Unpublished Text for an Unpainted Picture," redacted from an exhibition catalog in 1984 because of statements about the German collector Peter Ludwig. Other essays consider such topics as Haacke's controversial commission for the Reichstag; the activation of the spectator, from Condensation Cube to the Polls; the conceptual continuity of his practice with regard to General Systems Theory; and his delayed and problematic reception in both the United States and Europe. With contemporary essays and scholarly reassessments, this collection serves as an essential guide to critical thinking on Haacke's artistic practice, from the works of the 1960s that engage with physical and biological systems to his later interrogations of the social and economic underpinnings of art.
Contributors: Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Douglas Crimp, Rosalyn Deutsche, Sam Durant, Edward F. Fry, Walter Grasskamp, Rosalind Krauss, Jack McGrath, Luke Skrebowski, Leo Steinberg