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.
Hardcover (w. dust jacket), 328 pages, 15.2 x 23 cm
Published by The MIT Press / Massachusetts
$65.00 - In stock -
If the most interesting theoretical interventions emerge today from the interspaces between fields, then the foremost interspaceman is Slavoj Žižek. In Incontinence of the Void (the title is inspired by a sentence in Samuel Beckett’s late masterpiece Ill Seen Ill Said), Žižek explores the empty spaces between philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the critique of political economy. He proceeds from the universal dimension of philosophy to the particular dimension of sexuality to the singular dimension of the critique of political economy. The passage from one dimension to another is immanent: the ontological void is accessible only through the impasses of sexuation and the ongoing prospect of the abolition of sexuality, which is itself opened up by the technoscientific progress of global capitalism, in turn leading to the critique of political economy.
Responding to his colleague and fellow Short Circuits author Alenka Zupančič’s What Is Sex?, Žižek examines the notion of an excessive element in ontology that gives body to radical negativity, which becomes the antagonism of sexual difference. From the economico-philosophical perspective, Žižek extrapolates from ontological excess to Marxian surplus value to Lacan’s surplus enjoyment. In true Žižekian fashion, Incontinence of the Void focuses on eternal topics while detouring freely into contemporary issuesfrom the Internet of Things to Danish TV series.
About the Author
Slavoj Žižek, a philosopher and cultural critic, is Senior Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, The Parallax View, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic (with John Milbank), and Žižek’s Jokes (Did you hear the one about Hegel and negation?), these five published by the MIT Press.
$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.
$55.00 - In stock -
Warhol’s Factory of the 1960s, Minimalism’s assembly-line aesthetics, conceptual and feminist concern with workers’ conditions in the 1970s—these are among the antecedents of a renewed focus on the work of art: labor as artistic activity, as artistic method and as object of artistic engagement. In 2002, the “Work Ethic” exhibition curated by Helen Molesworth at the Baltimore Museum of Art took its cue from recent art to spotlight this earlier era of artistic practice in which activity became as valid as, and often dispensed with, object-production. Revealed through this prism was “dematerialized” art’s close and critical relation to the emergent information age’s criteria of management, production and skill.
By 2015, the Venice Biennale reflected artists’ wider concern with global economic and social crises, centered on exploitative and precarious worlds of employment. Yet while art increasingly engages with human travail, work’s significance in itself is seldom addressed by critics. This anthology explicitly investigates work in relation to contemporary art, surveying artistic strategies that grapple with the complexities of being an art worker in the new economy, a postproducer, a collaborator, a fabricator, a striker, an ethical campaigner, or would-be transformer of labor from oppression to liberation.
Artists surveyed include
Pawel Althamer, Francis Alÿs, Marwa Arsanios, Chto Delat, Alice Creischer, Ana de la Cueva, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jeremy Deller, Maria Eichhorn, Harun Farocki, Claire Fontaine, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, Melanie Gilligan, Gulf Labour Coalition, Tehching Hsieh, Lamia Joreige, Lee Lozano, Goshka Macuga, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Melis, Annette Messager, Gustav Metzger, Jean-Luc Moulène, Ahmet Ögüt, Philip Rizk, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Tamas St. Auby, Mladen Stilinovic, W.A.G.E., Artur Zmijewski
Claire Bishop, Luc Boltanski, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Sabeth Buchmann, Ève Chiapello, Kodwo Eshun, Silvia Federici, Isabelle Graw, Maurizio Lazzarato, Achille Mbembe, Antonio Negri, Jacques Rancière, Gerald Raunig, Dietmar Rübel, Paolo Virno, Joseph Vogl
About the Editor
Friederike Sigler is a researcher and lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden. She is the author of Work/Strike.
$55.00 - Out of stock
The effects and meanings of destruction are central to the work of many of our most influential artists. Since the early 1960s, artists have employed destruction to creative ends. Here destruction changes from a negative state or passive condition to a highly productive category. The destructive subversion of media imagery aims to release us from its controlling effects. The self-destructing artwork extinguishes art’s fixity as arrested form and ushers in the ephemeral and contingent "open work."
This anthology explores artworks that convey the threat of destruction an how they have disrupted the perceived integrity of built structures and institutions. Artistic acts of iconoclasm or risk to the self have raised consciousness of authoritarian oppression. More understated works explore the theme of destruction in armed conflict, media violence, and threats to the environment. These text make up the first collection to be focused systematically on destruction in modern and contemporary art.
Artists surveyed include
Ai Weiwei, John Baldessari, Monica Bonvicini, Alexander Brener, Stuart Brisley, Douglas Gordon, Huang Yong Ping, Enrique Jezik, Milan Knizak, Paul McCarthy, Piero Manzoni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gustav Metzger, Otto Mühl, Yoko Ono, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Petr Pavlensky, William Pope.L, Walid Raad, Arnulf Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Carolee Schneemann, Song Dong, Jean Tinguely, Wolf Vostell
Alain Badiou, Walter Benjamin, Horst Bredekamp, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Medina Cuauthémoc, Dario Gamboni, Richard Galpin, Caleb Kelly, Bruno Latour, Sven Lütticken, Antonio Negri, Sophie O’Brien, Kristine Stiles, Jennifer Walden
About the Editor
Sven Spieker is Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and editor of ARTmargins. His books include The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy (MIT Press).
Softcover, 152 pages, 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Published by The MIT Press / Massachusetts
$39.00 - In stock -
In Liquidation World, Alexi Kukuljevic examines a distinctive form of subjectivity animating the avant-garde: that of the darkly humorous and utterly disoriented subject of modernity, a dissolute figure that makes an art of its own vacancy, an object of its absence. Shorn of the truly rotten illusion that the world is a fulfilling and meaningful place, these subjects identify themselves by a paradoxical disidentification—through the objects that take their places. They have mastered the art of living absently, of making something with nothing. Traversing their own morbid obsessions, they substitute the nonsensical for sense, the ridiculous for the meaningful.
Kukuljevic analyzes a series of artistic practices that illuminate this subjectivity, ranging from Marcel Duchamp’s Three Standard Stoppages to Charles Baudelaire’s melancholia. He considers the paradox of Duchamp’s apparatus in the Stoppages and the strange comedy of Marcel Broodthaers’s relation to the readymade; the comic subject in Jacques Vaché and the ridiculous subject in Alfred Jarry; the nihilist in Paul Valéry’s Monsieur Teste; Oswald Wiener’s interpretation of the dandy; and Charles Baudelaire as a happy melancholic. Along the way, he also touches on the work of Thomas Bernhard, Andy Kaufman, Buster Keaton, and others. Finally, he offers an extended analysis of Danny’s escape from his demented father in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Each of these subjects is, in Freud’s terms, sick—sick in the specific sense that they assume the absence of meaning and the liquidation of value in the world. They concern themselves with art, without assuming its value or meaning. Utterly debased, fundamentally disoriented, they take the void as their medium.
Alexi Kukuljevic is an artist and Lecturer in Art Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
“With exuberantly mordant humor, Alexi Kukuljevic leads us to that place—Liquidation World—where we already are. This world turns out to be an atopia in which dissolute impersonators, caught between the first and third person, never find themselves a second, and where the epitome of happiness is to make oneself an object of absence from melancholic despair. It’s not so much that everything must go—just that everything does go. And, when it does, so do we. But we don’t go well. Thankfully, Kukuljevic is here to show us the pistols and the ropes.”
—Justin Clemens, Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne; author of Psychoanalysis is an Antiphilosophy
“Liquidation World is a shockingly clever but very kind book, treating its readers as well as its clumsy, incomplete, damaged, but well-meaning subjects as partners in a series of arty, thoughtful adventures in humor and absence. Embracing innumerable paradoxes, Kukuljevic nevertheless steers a steely course through ridiculousnesses of all kinds. It is the rigor of the madhouse, and what absurd fun.”
—Nina Power, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Roehampton; author of One Dimensional Woman