This Friday, New York awaits a creative explosion of publishers gathering together into one venue to discuss, share, and exhibit numerous publications in the realm of art, design, and culture. THE NY ART BOOK FAIR begins this Friday, September 30 and runs through October 2, 2011. The Standard is proud to represent as the official hotel partner. The true creators of this prestigious event are the folks at Printed Matter, Inc.
William Cordova. Untitled (texto antes y despues de julio roldan). 2011.
To launch the Fair this year, Printed Matter is releasing a special book entitled Adventures. This new publication is edited by David Senior, and it brings together contemporary language-based artworks, poetry, and image-text dialogues. The books contributors include Alejandro Cesarco, Eve Fowler, Dora Garcia, William E. Jones, MPA, Carl Pope, Scott Reeder, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and others. Artist and designer Aaron Flint Jamison coordinated production at YU, Portland, OR.
We were fortunate enough to speak to the books Editor David Senior just before the hectic Fair launches this Friday. He shares a few insights into the books impetus and where his eye will wander during these days of exhibit.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Close Reading (Orlando), Close Reading (Broderie Anglaise). 2011
Congratulations on a lovely book. How did you come to name the book Adventures?
Adventures is an abbreviated title, appropriated from the beautiful ramble of a poem or ode by Frank O’Hara, “Adventures in Living”. The poem is electric, dripping with life and feeling, and funny and sad. Sort of everything - and I guess I hoped to draw at least a few watts from O’Hara, and hang that sign above the door of this edition.
Tell us something about yourself and your background and how you ended up culling this body of work together?
I work at the Library of the Museum of Modern Art. My title is Bibliographer. In a nutshell, I buy books, new and old that are then cataloged and housed in the library collection at MoMA. The reading room at MoMA is open to the public for people to look at books in our collection. Come visit!
For the past four years, a group of art librarians have organized a conference that hangs alongside Printed Matter’s book fair. And for the past four years, I have helped to produce an edition that was part of the conference program. In the past it was given away for free to registrants - this year it will be sold as a fundraiser to help support free admission to the conference and to support Printed Matter’s programs. Prior editions were produced by Dexter Sinister, David Horivtz and Emily Roysdon.
William E. Jones. Work. 2011.
What is your favorite part of the Art Fair every year?
Generally, it is exciting to see the mass of vendors, publishers, and artists who make this material - all assembled in one place. It’s kind of a zoo, but in a good way. For me, as a person that buys books for a library, it makes my job very easy - to have the international community of artists/publishers arrive in Long Island City for a few days. The Amsterdam-based publisher, Roma, made a book a few years ago called Books Make Friends - and the title is really true. This book community is interesting and fun to be a part of…
We understand this collection of images was inspired by the culture of Semina… can you share with the readers the vibe of that era and what transpired?
Semina (1955–1964) was sort of wide-open… Wallace Berman was the primary editor/printer/organizer and it contained poetry, photography, reproduced drawings in a loose format for most issues. Individual pieces were kept together in an envelope or folder and mailed to friends, colleagues. He didn’t produce it in very large editions, so it’s a pretty scarce thing. We will show some issues of it at the fair as part of the special programming that goes on throughout the weekend.
In regards to Semina as a point of departure or something we were paying homage to - I focused mainly on the format - particularly of Semina 4. Loose pages set together inside a simple enclosure in a fairly modest scale. The artist/printer Aaron Flint Jamison has access to letterpress machines and other formats in a publication studio at a new contemporary art space in Portland, OR called YU. He has developed the physical design for the publication and has crafted a really nice housing for the printed materials. He has printed some of the text pieces in letterpress and other images will be offset.
Tell me about the production of this book, and working with Aaron Flint Jamison.
Flint Jamison is the real star of the project. As I mentioned he is printing and designing the format of the materials in Portland as I type this, and there will be a few types of letterpress pieces, offset images, and maybe some Kinkos. He has a great affinity for the genre that we are quoting and has really labored to craft a nice object. I am excited to see it. He is keeping me in close contact this week, sending some photos as things get finished.
If you had to pinpoint one follow-through line between all the artists in this book, what common denominator do you think they all share?
We included works that were structured through/with text – in some way or another. In the cumulative images, there is a broad spectrum of ways in which artists utilize texts in their practice. In another reference back to earlier artists’ periodicals, I also wanted to add “poetry” into the mix - to not draw such a rigid line between these ways of working.
Can you name at least 3 artists or publishers you’re excited to see at the fair this year?
Banu Cennetoğlu will be attending and she will exhibit publication from a book center, BAS, that she runs in Istanbul - sort of the Printed Matter of that region.
Members of Publication Studio from the Portland, OR base, and various affiliates will be at the fair. They are developing a really interesting model for producing artists’ projects in book form.
There will be a panel discussion to celebrate the launch of a book, Martha Wilson’s Sourcebook. It is published by Independent Curators International and designed by Scott Ponik. Wilson is a really important figure in the history of the NYC and international artists’ books scene of the 70s and 80s… I am excited to see the book.
Eve Fowler. Untitled. 2011.
Sales of Adventures will support free admission to the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference. For more information, call (212) 925-0325. The Fair begins Friday, but for those book fans that cannot wait until the official day, there will be a preview this Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6–9 p.m. located at MoMA PS1.