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.
$30.00 - Out of stock
This new volume brings together a selection of Jan Verwoert's most recent writings.
COOKIE! is a sequel to Verwoert’s Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want (edited by Vanessa Ohlraun, 2010), and third in a series of books published with the Piet Zwart Institute.
If we don’t merely reduce art to clever code play in the arenas of representation, how do we speak about what is at stake? In response to this question, Verwoert addresses the forces at the heart of the tragicomedy that making, showing, and critiquing art implicates us in. He honors the basic joys of turning one thing into another, and the miracles of rhythm and rhyme that characterize the residual level of mimetic magic in art. In this key, the unverifiable is practiced daily: bodies are remade, feelings transfigured. As Alina Szapocznikow wrote, the mouth chews and out comes sculpture. Verwoert’s COOKIE! renders visible the endless emotional labor of setting the stage (for others), poses the thorny question of whether there could ever be a labor union for con-artists (like us), and gestures toward an ethics of disappointment to battle false expectations and as a way to come to terms with the fact that, no matter how you look at it, criticism hurts.
Edited by Vivian Sky Rehberg and Marnie Slater
Copublished with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy Design by Nienke Terpsma
$30.00 - Out of stock
Edited by Vanessa Ohlraun
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want brings together a selection of recent writings by art critic Jan Verwoert for the first time. Published in collaboration with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, the book galvanizes central themes Verwoert has been developing in pursuit of a language to describe art’s transformative potential in conceptual, performative, and emotional terms. He analyzes the power of public gestures to constitute communities as well as the pressure to perform that governs the sphere of creative labor, in order to show how particular artists perform gestures and invoke community differently. Exploring the emotional power games that shape social relations, Verwoert looks for an alternative ethos of action and feeling, asking: How can a modernist approach to artistic form as a means of social critique be expanded to fully avow its subliminal affective undercurrents, and produce a pleasurably crooked form of criticality in art and writing?
“If we perceive the pressure to perform to be innately linked to the regimentation of options, to imagine the ethos of a resistant practice implies an exploration of the conditions, situations, and potentialites that lie beyond the option menus and the exclusivity of the yes and no. In artistic practice this dedication to imagining other ways to perform and other ways to enjoy consumption means claiming the imagination and the aesthetic experience as a field of collective agency where workable forms of resistance can be devised.”
Co-published with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy
$24.00 - Out of stock
Masters of Reality brings together the first collection of texts by Steve Rushton. Second in a series of publications on contemporary art inaugurated by the Piet Zwart Institute, the book explores the interrelations between art, anthropology, social sciences, psychology, media, politics, and economy. Central to Rushton’s research is an investigation into the conception of feedback, social control, and the culture of “self-performance.” Through his writings and collaborative work with artists, he has developed and articulated a thorough analysis of the techniques and processes of information management and subjectivization in Western society since the second half of the twentieth century.
The structure of this book articulates a clear relationship between diverse subjects and sources, drawing from archival materials produced within a broad range of discursive fields and practices: military experiments in social psychology, press statements by various politicians and governments, anthropological research data, theories of cybernetics, writings by thinkers such as Henri Bergson and Gregory Bateson, television culture, and work by artists and writers such as Ant Farm and Don DeLillo. These investigations take structural form through three strands: the first comprises texts on art and media linked to theories of cybernetics, the second thread shows texts that emerge from Rushton’s collaborative projects with Rod Dickinson and Thomson & Craighead, and the third is a collection of fictional and allegorical texts, giving narrative form to the thinking, observations, and analysis found throughout the book.
Co-published with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy
$20.00 - Out of stock
Contributions by Kathryn Elkin, Anthony Huberman, Raimundas Malašauskas, Nathaniel Mellors, Marco Pasi, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Dieter Roelstraete, Aaron Schuster, Alexis Vaillant, and Giles Bailey, Martijn in’t Veld, Serena Lee, Arvo Leo, Susana Pedrosa, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch, Camilla Wills, Timmy van Zoelen
Options with Nostrils brings together a collection of previously unpublished essays, both theoretical and visual, by artists, curators, a writer, a scholar, and a group of postgraduates from the Piet Zwart Institute’s Fine Art programme in Rotterdam, who together founded the “Office for the Unknown.”
Published as the outcome of a one-year-long project which curator Alexis Vaillant developed upon the invitation of Vanessa Ohlraun at Piet Zwart Institute in 2010, it investigates notions of the unknown and the unpredictable and looks at ways in which these notions enable a critical view on the conditions of art making within what one may call the “contemporanism” we live in. Revealing this process, the publication presents a series of proposals, ideas, shifts, and continuities. Labyrinthine in structure and outlook, Options with Nostrils aims to destabilize the belief that there is an order of things in response to which the artist holds a decisive position, maybe because, as Sarat Maharaj has said, “the artist has an unknowability, the ability to unknow.”
Co-published with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam
Design by Sanghon Kim