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
THURS 11-5 PM
FRI 11-7 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
Variable Piece 4: Secrets is a facsimile edition of Douglas Huebler’s classic artist book, which was originally published by Printed Matter in 1978. Simple and salacious, the publication collects over 1,800 secrets written anonymously by visitors to the 1970 Software exhibition at the Jewish Museum. In doing so, the book provides a fleeting glimpse into the cultural, political, and social preoccupations of the era while showcasing Huebler’s open-ended and variable approach to art making—an approach that sought to undermine the dominance of object-oriented practices in favor of a text-driven conceptualism that relied on variables outside of the artist’s control.
Pioneers of the artists’ books medium, of which Huebler was one, predicted that one day artists’ books would be sold next to detective and romance novels in drugstores and supermarkets throughout America. While this dream was never realized, Variable Piece 4: Secrets could easily find its place amongst these popular genres; a true page-turner that delivers the whodunit in succinct statements, ripped from real life, without the hassle of narrative arcs, prefaces, or chapters.
Douglas Huebler (1924–1997) began work as a painter and Minimalist sculptor before focusing attention on language-driven conceptual art in the late 1960s. Examining themes such as duration, location, and social environments, Huebler’s work sought to move beyond the physical object, incorporating photography, text, maps, and drawings to document everyday activities, often carried out over specific periods of time. From 1970 until his death, Huebler worked on Variable Piece #70, which attempted to document every living person. The failure of this project underscored Huebler’s views on the limitations of photography. In the 1980s and 1990s, the artist incorporated painting and comic strips into his conceptual practice, exploring the idea of the masterpiece through the “correction”—or forgery—of works.
Softcover, 48 pages, 20.95 x 13.3 cm
ed. of 750 copies,
Published by Primary Information / New York
$23.00 - Out of stock
For Fear Indexing The X-Files, Nora Khan and Steven Warwick combed through the first 9 seasons of The X-Files television series—which ran from 1992 to 2002—gathering and indexing the fears that occurred as themes throughout the show. The authors employ a documentary-style commentary to narrate how the show posited fear as an inherent quality of domestic life.
The original run of the series aired in the period nestled between the end of the Cold War and the start of the War on Terror—a time in which enemies of the state shifted, with aliens replacing Communism, and a fear of ghosts and the paranormal prefacing our current climate of Islamophobia. Throughout the show, deregulated neoliberalism continually hovers, like an invisible man in the room.
Khan and Warwick take this index and link it to the rise of the World Wide Web and the global internet, which emerged in the same era. As the show developed, its characters became more adept at using the internet, as did its fans, many of whom visited chat rooms and dedicated forums to discuss episode content, speculate on theories, and come up with urban legends of their own. This behavior provides a through line to the present, as conspiracy theories discussed on those vanguard message boards eerily echo today’s fake news stories perpetuated by the alt-right.
Nora Khan is a New York City-based writer of criticism and fiction. She focuses on issues within digital art, the philosophy of technology, electronic music, and artificial intelligence, and her work has appeared in places like 4Columns, Art in America, Spike Art Magazine, California Sunday, The Village Voice, Rhizome, POSTmatter, and After Us. Khan is a 2016 Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Fellow in Digital Art, a 2017 Eyebeam Research Resident, and a contributing editor at Rhizome. She frequently collaborates with artists, including Katja Novitskova, Yuri Pattison, and Jeremy Shaw, writing essays commissioned by Sternberg Press, Mousse, Chisenhale Gallery, and König Galerie.
Steven Warwick is an artist, musician, and writer based in Berlin. He has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and Europe at venues including Exile Galerie, ICA London, the Modern Institute, MoMA/PS1, MUTEK, the Schinkel Pavillon, the New Theater Berlin, and Unsound Festival. His writings have appeared in Texte zur Kunst, Spike, Urbanomic, Electronic Beats, and The Wire. Warwick records for the label PAN under his name and also as Heatsick.
Softcover, 116 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 cm
ed. of 1000,
Published by Primary Information / New York
$35.00 - In stock -
A Bullet for Buñuel: Fragments of a Failed Bullet documents Rick Myers’ attempt to complete a project begun by the late filmmaker Luis Buñuel: to create a bullet possessing such a weak charge that it would simply bounce off the filmmaker’s shirt when fired at him. Consulting with the estate and sources ranging from online forums for bullet makers to a ballistics lab associated with the United States Secret Service, Myers sought to make the bullet and fire it at a shirt that had been worn by Buñuel. While trying to bring this absurdist endeavor to completion, the artist was met with a colorful cast of characters and failures at almost every turn.
A Bullet for Buñuel has taken many forms—a video work, a multiple, and a performative lecture—all of which are represented in this publication. Myers’ writing, research, correspondence, and photographs are also included in the book, which synthesizes years of work into a singular meditation on the poetics of failure.
Rick Myers is a Manchester-born artist and publisher living in Massachusetts. Myers works in a variety of media including video, installation, and drawing in addition to producing artists’ books and editions. He has recently had solo exhibitions at The Poetry Library at Southbank Centre and The Book Library at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Printed Matter, New York; and White Columns, New York.
Softcover, 21 x 28 cm, 320 pages
Published by Primary Information / New York
$59.00 - In stock -
REAL LIFE Magazine: Selected Writings and Projects 1979-1994 highlights a selection of writings and artists' projects from REAL LIFE magazine, which was originally edited by artist, writer, and curator, Thomas Lawson and writer, Susan Morgan. Published in twenty-three issues from 1979-1994 as an intermittent black and white magazine, REAL LIFE featured artists and art historians writing on art, media and popular culture interspersed with pictorial contributions. The development of the magazine through its 15 year history, traces the influences, development and transitions of artists through the 80s.
The anthology features writings by and about Dara Birnbaum, Eric Bogosian, Rhys Chatham, Mark Dion, Jack Goldstein, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Kim Gordon, Dan Graham, Thomas Lawson, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum, John Miller, Dave Muller, Matt Mullican, Adrian Piper, Richard Prince, David Robbins, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Michael Smith, John Stezaker, Bernard Tschumi, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Weiner, and James Welling among others.
Table of Contents:
Thomas Lawson and Susan Morgan: Various Histories of REAL LIFE Magazine
Matthew Higgs: REAL LIFE
Susan Morgan: an interview with Robert Moskowitz, 1979
Valentin Tatransky: Collage And The Problem Of Representation: Sherrie Levine's new work, 1979
Grahame Shane: Crime as Function, 1979
Susan Morgan: an interview with Steve Gianakos, 1979
Barbara Kruger: Game Show, 1979
James Welling: Untitled, 1979
Thomas Lawson: Every Picture Tells A Story Don't It? 1979
Thomas Lawson: Fashion Moda, 1980
Richard Prince: Primary Transfers, 1980
Dan Graham: The Destroyed Room of Jeff Wall, 1980
Kim Gordon: Trash Drugs And Male Bonding, 1980
Thomas Lawson: Going Places, 1980
Susan Morgan: Michael Hurson, 1980
Barbara Kruger: Devils With Red Dresses On, 1980
Thomas Lawson: Long Distance Information, 1980
Joseph Bishop: Desperate Character, 1980
Richard Prince: Menthol Pictures, 1980
Laurie Simmons: Sam and Dottie Dance, 1980
Jim Bradley: Radical Genitalia, 1980
Allan McCollum: Matt Mullican's World, 1980
Michael Smith: Mike In... What Should I Do About The Car? 1980
Sherrie Levine: Two Photographs After Walker Evans, 1980
Kim Gordon: Honeymoon Habit, 1980
Post-Modernism: a symposium, 1981
Dan Graham: BOWWOWWOW (the Age of Piracy), 1981
Howard Singerman: The Artist as Adolescent, 1981
Elsa Bulgari: Your Everyday Critic, 1981
Thomas Lawson: Too Good to be True, 1981
Jenny Bolande: Elk Grazed as if Nothing Had Happened, 1981
David Robbins: Notes toward film, 1981
Eric Bogosian: Fascination, 1981
Fulton Ryder: Pissing on Ice, 1981
Joan Wallace and Geralyn Donohue: Edit deAk, 1982
Rex Reason: Democratism, 1982
The Holy Ghost Writers: Condensation and Dish-Placement, 1982-3
Howard Singerman: Paragraphs toward an essay entitled 'Restoration Comedies', 1982-3
John Roberts: Ruins in the Realm of Thought, 1983
Paul McMahon: From The Permanent Collection, 1983
Jo Baer and Bruce Robbins: Beyond the Pale, 1983
Kathi Norklun: Courage, 1983
Tim Rollins: Particles, 1980-1983, 1983-4
Doug Ashford: Kiss of Death, 1983-4
Thomas Lawson: Komar & Melamid, 1983-4
Robin Winters: The Secret Agent: an interview with Jacki Ochs , 1983-4
Robert C. Morgan: a conversation with Lawrence Weiner , 1983-4
Judith Kirshner: A Blinding Light , 1983-4
Rex Reason: Brie Popcorn: an interview with the directors of Nature Morte Gallery, 1983-4
John Miller: Morality and the Poetic, 1984
Susan Morgan: Portraits of the Artists/Composite Drawings, 1984
B.P. Gutfreund: Four Photographs, 1984
Susan Morgan: Each and Every One of You, 1985
Mark Dion: Tales From The Dark Side, 1985
Jeff Wall: Dan Graham's Kammerspiel Parts I and II, 1985
Jana Sterbak: Premeditated: an interview with Ed Ruscha, 1985
Walter Robinson: The Quest For Failure, 1985-6
Derek Boshier: John Dugger, 1985-6
John A.Walker: Unholy Alliance: Chairman Mao, Andy Warhol, and the Saatchis, 1985-6
Kellie Jones: David Hammons, 1986
John Miller: Swiss Family Robbins, 1986
Adrian Piper: An Open Letter to Donald Kuspit, 1987-8
Susan Morgan: when X does not equal Y , 1987-8
Thomas Lawson: Critical Art Ensemble, 1988-9
Christine N. Lea: Beyond Belief, 1988-9
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled 1988: Detail of a Sculpture (Endless Copies), 1988-9
Thomas Lawson: No Bull, 1990
Allan McCollum: Photo from TV (with Paintings), 1990
Dara Birnbaum: The Wondering Of Context, 1990
James Welling: Corridors, 1989, 1990
Michael Smith and R. Sikoryak: Mike, 1990
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled, 1990
Judith Barry: Drive-In or Walk-In Museum, 1990
Group Material: AIDS Timeline, 1990
David Robbins: Three Cancelled TV Families, 1990
Louise Lawler: Untitled 1988, 1990
Susan Morgan: Carlos Gutierrez-Solana, 1994
Josef Strau and Stephan Dillemuth: Friesenwall 120, 1994
David A. Muller: Three Day Weekend, 1994
Spencer Finch: Amnesia And Saying Nothing, 1994