X Marks the Bökship
Revolver II, X Marks the Bökship
1 July – 1 December 2014
X Marks the Bökship is a bookshop and project space for independent publishers in London run by Eleanor Vonne Brown. It specialises in small press publications by artists and designers. It promotes contemporary publishing activity through Book Launches, events and production resources that bring together individual practitioners to create a local publishing community.
X Marks the Bökship is partnering with Matt’s Gallery specially for REVOLVER II to open a small bookshop and project space in the gallery foyer. This live space will host a series of performances, reading groups and discussions on the themes of the exhibition, all free to attend. During this time Eleanor Vonne Brown will begin ‘Publishing the Bökship’ revisiting, consolidating and distributing material on independent publishing.
A series of events at 7pm on Wednesday evenings every fortnight between September–December. Admission is FREE.
Book Launch: The White Review No. 11
Thursday 14 August, 6.30–8.30pm
7.30pm live performance by Tom Barnett
For his live performances Tom Barnett adopts the persona of Colden Drystone. Incorporating the recital of poetry and found texts (in this case drawn from the content of The White Review), Dada-esque sound pieces of the artist's own composition and patterns of repetition and feedback created on guitar, drum, radio, a live internet feed, vocals and a loop pedal, the works accumulate rhythms and repetitions from which emerge patterns of sound and language. In the course of these live actions he applies nails, spray-paints and clay to a wooden board, which survives the event as an abstract documentation of the event.
The White Review No. 11 features interviews with artist Philippe Parreno, the notorious French novelist Pierre Guyotat, and poet Alice Oswald. New fiction by Pola Oloixarac, Evan Lavender-Smith, and Ruby Cowling, winner of the second annual White Review Short Story Prize. Essays by revolutionary political theorist McKenzie Wark (author of 'The Hacker Manifesto') on the evolution of climate science, foreign correspondent Alexander Christie-Miller on the culture of Turkey's Black Sea coast, and Basia Lewandowska-Cummings on a new style of cinema. Poetry is provided by Sophie Collins, Rob Halpern and Gezim Hajdari. And a series of photographs by Sarah Jones, one of Britain's foremost visual artists in the field of photography, photographer Victoria Jenkins, and a cover by Natasha Cox.
Book Launch: Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
Wednesday 10 September, 7pm
Published by Granta Books, 2012
Book Launch: X-Operative Book by Lia Na’ama ten Brink
Saturday 27 September, 6–9pm
Published by X Marks the Bökship, 2014
Performance: Let’s Build Our Own Tomb by Keef Winter
The title of this book X-Operative is taken from an essay by Ksenia Cheinman, who uses the term to describe common places where the cultural space becomes creative, productive, commercial, domestic, and educational all at once. This idea was used as the blueprint for an exhibition about X Marks the Bökship at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in 2013. This book documents the X-Operative exhibition and extends the ideas broadly covering the multi operations of independent bookshop X Marks the Bökship: reading & writing, production, performance, distribution and exchange. Contributions include: Adam Burton’s text Some Problems of Distribution for Independent Publishers and Independent Booksellers, new writing by Bökship writers-in-residence Rory Macbeth and Rebecca Jagoe, World Brain by Lucy Woodhouse, X-enos. Uncommon Commons by Ksenia Cheinman and works by Sophie Demay, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Keef Winter, Jessica Wiesner and Melissa Gordon.
"These spaces that merge production and distribution spaces into one in a capitalist system become community hubs known for their local engagement yet international reach. It is in this sense that they become a unique set of Uncommon Commons where unlikely facilities meet, often combining bookshop and library/reading room spaces, exhibitions and communal food venues, music events and theoretical courses. They are not community centres as far as their mandate goes, neither do they try to please the general public, but they are community spaces where everyone is welcome to become part of a meta‐community in the form of an X‐Op."
Extract from X-enos. Uncommon Commons by Ksenia Cheinman
Book Launch: Toponym by Lia Na’ama ten Brink
Sunday 12 October, 2–5pm
Published by LemonMelon, 2014
‘Missionaries used to speak of dreams as the god of the savage, but through my hands they have always slipped like mercury …’
Toponym is a work of poetic-documentary montage, a journey through form that segues between found texts and images, traversing registers that are in turn technical, lyrical, scientific and archival. Its compass extends from the illuminators of medieval Central Asia to the nocturnal cormorant fishermen of 1950s Peking; from a surveyor’s passage through Victorian London to an historian’s taxonomy of shadow; and from Renaissance autobiography to the musicological diagrams of a modernist composer.
Where once narrative was shared in the ritualised gatherings of Boccaccio’s Florentine storytelling nobility, or imparted through the rites and festivities of the ancient Roman calendar, in Toponym it becomes a polyphony of verbal and visual fragments haunted by the placelessness that is the mark of the library, the archive and the imagination. The act of reading moves beyond language: unfurling across material surfaces, articulating the mineral and the molecular, the chromatic and the textile.
The Toponym book launch will take place in the Bökship during the opening of the second part of Revolver II at Matt’s Gallery. A small installation of archive films will be showing in the shop during the launch.
Book Launch: Where Is That Light Now? by Paul O’Kane
Sunday 26 October, 4–7pm
Published by eeodo, 2014
Where Is That Light Now? collects three short, illustrated pieces from the archive of artist, writer and lecturer Paul O’Kane. Photography as art is explored here through a personal mode of literary memoir. The pieces are distinct, drawn from different stages of a career but cultivate a subtle intra-textuality. A search for a consistent perspective on a life as an artist occasionally encounters Asian thought. The writing comes to question established contexts for art and proposes an alternative — art as a personal vocation or 'way'.
eeodo is a fledgling publisher making artist’s books. While supporting invention and speculation we are committed to developing a broad audience and promoting the idea that art, whilst innovative and esoteric is also an everyday human exchange.
Book Launch: THE VISUAL EVENT An Education in Appearances edited by Oliver Klimpel
Friday 28 November, 6.30–9pm
Published by Spector Books, 2014
Is it possible to understand graphic-design as a practice beyond an object-centric approach, as a practice beyond the conception and production of well-designed and printed artefacts? Which other potentials to create a public should be considered integral to design as an activity?
This book explores which graphic, spatial and temporal forms such a situational practice could take, and tests the idea of the “visual event” from various perspectives of visual culture. It compiles numerous contributions by artists, academics, designers, architects, and students of the System-Design Class at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.Visual moments are discussed in many colour sections through observations, practical works, short essays – experiments in image and text, both referential and documenting.
With contributions by Oliver Klimpel, James Hellings, Planning-To-Rock, Eva Weinmayr, Carolin Lerch, Mia Frostner and Robert Sollis (EUROPA), William Haggard, Alexander Garcia Düttmann, Friedrich Tietjen, Franciska Zólyom, and students of the System-Design Class at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.
‘I've never read her’ is a book club based in East London. We read short fiction & essays by women, every second Wednesday of the month. Bring a bottle (or not) and your thoughts. Everybody is welcome. We also host screenings and events around the texts that we read.
See iveneverreadher.wordpress.com for more information.
Book Club: Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
Wednesday 10 September, 7pm
Published by Granta Books, 2012
For September 2014 we will be reading Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli.
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983. Her novels and essays have been widely translated and work has been published in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, Review, Granta, and Internazionale. Faces in the Crowd is her first novel.
Faces in the Crowd interweaves the stories of a young mother taking care of her children in Mexico City; a younger translator living in Harlem and occasionally sleeping in other people’s apartments; and, several decades before, the letters and thoughts of the poet Gilberto Owen living in Philadelphia and travelling up to New York City to see his children and ex-wife. Each strand is told in the first person, and the three voices entwine and blur. Owen sees a young woman in a red coat through the window of a subway car, which echoes another narrator’s red coat. It’s never entirely clear if the young translator is a younger version of the mother in New Mexico, or someone leading a parallel life. And increasingly, the paragraph-long sections can’t be easily attributed to one narrator or another. All three speakers merge into a nuanced chorus of wishes and regrets, visions and hopes.
Book Club: The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia al Maria
Wednesday 8 October, 7pm
Harper Perennial, 2013
For October 2014 we will be reading The Girl Who Fell to Earth, a memoir by Sophia al Maria.
Book Club: In Defense of Poor Image by Hito Steyrl
Wednesday 12 November, 7pm
For November 2014 we will be reading In Defense of Poor Image, an essay by Hito Steyrl.
For details see www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/
Book Club: Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill
Wednesday 10 December, 7pm
For December 2014 we will be reading Cloud 9, a play by Caryl Churchill.
For more info see www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Nine_(play)
A short course on concepts of artists’ publications.
This talk series by artists, writers, designers and publishers covers a range of concepts behind artist books and experimental publications. Speakers include Simon Morris (Information as Material), FormContent, Sophie Demay & Charlotte Cheetham, Jarosław Kozłowski.
Events take place every two weeks on Wednesday evenings between September–December, 7pm. FREE.
Publishing Talk: XAUDIO: Expressionless Sirens
A series of interviews with artists and authors on board a rowing boat available online.
#1: X Marks the Bökship in conversation with Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Elena Poughia on her zine DIALOGOS.
DIALOGOS. is a bimonthly zine that nourishes discussions and collaborations between artists and curators. It is a self-funded, “do-it-yourself” project that was inaugurated in February 2014. Each issue is exploring a different thematic according to artists’ form of collaboration and individual practices.
Listen here: www.bokship.org/expressionlesssirens.html
Publishing Talk: Unsettled By And Open To Shady Dealings with Language with Claire Potter
Sunday 6 July, 4–8pm
Unsettled By and Open To gestures toward research led arts practice and celebrates the emergent, unexpected and the unruly by inviting presentations from artist writers: Emma Bolland, Neil Chapman, Linda Stupart and Nathan Walker.
Through a focused session of newly commissioned works and presentations, the afternoon will include durational speech works, demonstrations and embodied critiques, installations of text and image, and discussions.
Shady Dealings With Language is programmed by artist and writer Claire Potter with the support of Arts Council England. Further information about Unsettled By and Open To and the other Shady Dealings events in Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh can be found at www.shadydealingswithlanguage.org.uk
Publishing Talk: Information as Material with Simon Morris
# 1: Learn to Read Differently
Wednesday 17 September, 7pm
Simon Morris examines the relationship between reading and art. He proposes a new method of making art via conceptualist reading performances. This method grafts the aesthetic legacy of Conceptual Art onto various notions of writing (from literary composition to data management) in order to produce materially-specific poems as artworks that have in some way re-read a found object. This is an art of reading things differently. It starts from a premise proved by the impossibility of making purely conceptual art: that art is always aesthetical and conceptual. To that it couples an obsession with language as both material signifier and social activity. In doing so it establishes a mode of making art that asks: What could we write if reading could be a materially productive act of making art? How might a certain kind of reading-as-making problematise the understandings of authorship, production and reproduction ensconced in our cultural industries? Morris’ work celebrates reading differently as a praxis of exploring the elsewhere of what languages and their users can mean and do. Morris is committed to working collaboratively and against all-too-certain counter-productive divisions between contemporary art and contemporary literature. In his presentation, Morris will examine four of his experimental bookworks.
Simon Morris (b.1968) is a conceptual writer and teacher. He is a Reader in Fine Art at the University of Teesside in the UK. His work appears in the form of exhibitions, publications, installations, films, actions and texts which all revolve around the form of the book and often involve collaborations with people from the fields of art, creative technology, literature and psychoanalysis. In 2002, he founded the publishing imprint information as material. He is the author of numerous experimental books, including; Bibliomania (1998); The Royal Road to the Unconscious (2003); Re-Writing Freud (2005); Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head (2010); and Pigeon Reader (2012). He is an occasional curator and a regular lecturer on contemporary art and also directed the documentary films sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith (2007) and making nothing happen: Pavel Büchler (2010).
Publishing Talk: James Langdon
Wednesday 1 October, 7pm
A question, which is a preoccupation for many artists and designers, is how to handle or represent the work of another. This might mean through text, in a biographical sense, or through the process of decision-making that a curator might use to determine how best to represent someone’s work who is no longer present to assert their own preferences.
For the second meeting in the Publication as Practice series, James Langdon will talk about methods for representing a voice, and voice synthesis as portraiture. Landgon has recently written about his attempts to reconstruct the voice of Scottish novelist Gilbert Adair in an article in The Serving Library which can be read here: www.servinglibrary.org/...
James Langdon is a graphic designer and curator. He co-founded the artist-run space Eastside Projects. He is the editor and designer or Book (Eastside Projects, 2010), A School for Design Fiction (Spector Books, 2014), A School for Design Fiction Workbook (Motto Books, 2014). Sinkhole, his project for artists’ audio, is forthcoming.
Publishing Talk: Performance as Publishing with Nicole Bachmann & Ruth Beale
Wednesday 22 October, 7pm
Nicole Bachmann and Ruth Beale formed Performance as Publishing in 2010. It is an artist-led research project which investigates overlaps in performance practice, events, discourse and writing.The project explores the work of contemporary artists who use text and writing/speaking as a basis for their performance. Past events and exhibitions have taken place at: Kunsthalle Basel; Het Veem Theater, Amsterdam; South London Gallery; Rowing, London; Turner Contemporary, Margate; and Modern Art Oxford. They will talk about their recent project I take an empty space and call it a bare stage, at New York Art Book Fair, and meetings in New York with artists active in Fluxus, conceptual art and spoken word.
Publishing Talk: FormContent
Wednesday 29 October, 7pm
I start from the image of an end: A conversation around
"It’s moving from I to It – The Book"
Participants: Pieternel Vermoortel (commissioning/producing), Francesco Pedraglio (narration), Bianca Baroni (editing), Paulus Dreibholz (design), Eleanor Vonne Brown (distribution), Gil Leung/Michael Newman (contribution/content production), the reader (the public). Paul Becker.
I start from the image of an end opens up FormContent’s most recent publication through the perspectives of those who have actively participated in its conception, production and dissemination. Structured as an informal conversation each one of the parties touches upon role played in the development and presentation of the book (respectively distribution, design, editing and content production). The conversation is then punctuated by a fifth person: a narrator, a figure that allows the content of the book to organically fold into the discussion. By bringing in actual bits of the publication, the narrator not only opens up few crucial passages of its narrative development. It orchestrates the positions of the speakers as much it does for the multitude of authorial voices that have crowded “It’s moving from I to It” over two years.
“It’s moving from I to It” is a nomadic project that evolved approximately over two years through different initiatives encompassing exhibitions, commissioned texts, performances, readings and talks. By embracing fiction as a curatorial framework each event/initiative has entered the programme as a scene would feed into the narrative trajectory of a script. As such the project has included a total of 17 scenes, differently animated by a set of characters and contextualized in different locations and timeframes. The project culminated into the “The Play”, a script written and directed by Tim Etchells’ as the final commission of the programme. Using language to retrace the narrative development of the project and appropriate the various voices that crowded it, this text explores a kind of minimalist deconstructive theatre that is at the heart of Etchells’ practice. After having been launched at Tate Modern in January 2014 the script has been performed across several art venues in Uk and abroad.
Consistently with the particular trajectory delineating the programme the book is articulated into seventeen scenes, bringing together commissioned material as well as documentation of off-site exhibitions and events. In addition to such content the book also delves into the actual process that foregrounded “It’s moving from I to It” by implementing working material, collateral writing, published texts and graphics.
Exhibition: Fragmentation of Time and Space
The Art Books of Jarosław Kozłowski
Preview Sunday 16 November, 2–5pm
19 November–14 December 2014
The art books of Jarosław Kozłowski (1945, Poland) have their roots in conceptualism. Kozłowski’s work is marked by a critical-analytical discourse with art and the mechanisms of perception, self-reflection and the building of correlations between the grammar of the artistic language and the sphere of meaning. In the 1970s the artist created works of a purely linguistic nature; they reflected his interest in language games and puns. The exhibited books include Lesson (1973), Exercise of Aesthetics (1976) Three Thirty and Fifty One (1989). A new printing of “Reality” (1972) has been published to accompany the exhibition.
Publishing Talk: Jarosław Kozłowski
Wednesday 19 November, 7pm
Kozłowski will talk about the books he produced during the 1970s and refer them to the time and art context of that decade.
Publishing Talk: Open Books with Sophie Demay & Charlotte Cheetham
Wednesday 3 December, 7pm
Further exhibitions at Matt’s Gallery
X Marks the Bökship
The Cast of the Crystal Set
18 June – 1 August 2015
X Marks the Bökship, Jeremy Deller, Denise Hawrysio, Roy Voss, Test Centre, SJ Fowler, Merike Estna, Angus Braithwaite, Dan Perjovschi, Jim Woodall, Mark Pawson and Clunie Reid
1 May 2015 – 30 April 2016
Patrick Goddard, Jaki Irvine, Lucia Nogueira and X Marks the Bökship
Revolver II, Part 3: Perform
19 November – 14 December 2014
Bronwen Buckeridge, Lucia Nogueira, Joëlle Tuerlinckx and X Marks the Bökship
Revolver II, Part 2: Transverse
15 October – 9 November 2014
Lizzie Hughes, Deirdre O’Dwyer, Danh Võ, Lucia Nogueira and X Marks the Bökship
Revolver II, Part 1: Impart
10 September – 5 October 2014
Bronwen Buckeridge, Patrick Goddard, Lizzie Hughes and X Marks the Bökship
Revolver II, Trailers
21 June – 23 August 2014