An artist’s book by Michael Stevenson and Jan Verwoert that expands upon the themes of the earlier document »Fables« (listed below). Like its predecessor this publication is based in collaborative processes that resemble a game. Stevenson and Verwoert developed a working method in which plot structure remains open - a kind of partial exquisite corpse - i.e. text fragments passed back and forth without prior discussion as to any through-line. These stories were then co-illustrated using a similar process by the artist and Margaret Stevenson, his mother. The results were then drawn together by Christoph Keller and made into a book.
The stories themselves take the classical fable form and so are generally concerned with relations between two parties or what could perhaps be described as informal bilateral agreements. Galvanized and translated within parallel realities they produce a world in which the Beginning of the World has voice and dares to question the might of the Bull. A world where the Shareholder sips wine at the dinner table with the Jackal, and the Lion, in crisis calls in his Hairdresser for council in matters of sovereign security. “Haircuts… Severe haircuts!”
A collection of 31 fables including,
»The Bull and The Beginning of the World«
»The Used Light Bulb Vendor and The Sun«
»The Shareholder and the Jackal«
»The Skunk and the Chinese Lantern«
»The Mosquito and The People of France«
»The Monkey and The Pay Czar«
»The Mock Lunchtime Beard«
»The Moon and the Temporary Museum«
»Gregarity and the Hermit Crabs«
»The Buyer’s Remorse«
DESCRIPTION: 127mm x 185mm, 144 pages, 120 black and white illustrations, hard cover, English.
DESIGN: Christoph Keller
Published jointly by JRP|Ringier, Zurich and Clouds, Auckland, 2013
This is the first published document to trace the artists practice across a number projects over the last 20 or so years. Amongst other things the material collected in this volume straddles documentation, research, science fiction, anthropology, and philosophy. In order to do this an open-ended form was sought whereby the material could be gathered yet remain as the title suggests - incomplete.
CONTENTS: Jan Verwoert, Marilyn Strathern, Michael Taussig (essay)
Giovanni Intra, Mark von Schlegell (fiction)
Roberto Bolaño (re-published text, 2004)
José de Jesús Martínez (re-published document inserted in back cover, 1979)
DESCRIPTION: 280mm x 209mm, 260 pages, soft-bound with colour section (English/Spanish)
EDITOR: Laura Preston
DESIGN: Nuno da Luz
Published jointly by; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Ciudad de México, and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, 2013
A short rumination written by playwright, mathematician and bodyguard José de Jesús (Chuchu) Martínez (1929-91) and first published in Panama by Colección Nueve de Enero in 1979: this document was reprinted in 2012 to accompany exhibitions at Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City and Portikus, Frankfurt am Main. The text recounts a complete solo flight by Chuchu in his Cessna 185 (registered in Panama as HP-394 a.k.a. Aleph-1) and became a guide for the development of both the above mentioned exhibitions, the Portikus project in fact derives its title from a passage on pages 9 & 31.
In re-printing this document, the original Spanish text, layout, and illustration were reproduced verbatim - this was then accompanied by a new English translation. Attempting to simulate (typographically) the description of take-off on the opening pages (a process of weight loss and dematerialization) the original Spanish text in its emboldened form was translated for the English from the same font family into a lighter weight. This process was then extended materially: the new document became twice the page count and so the increased paper requirement was offset by printing on an extremely light paper stock, the result was a document that floats and is full of show-through.
DESCRIPTION: 198mm x 133mm, 44 pages, black and white with dust jacket (Spanish/English)
DESIGN: Nuno da Luz
TRANSLATION: Michelle Suderman
Re-printed with permission and English translation by; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Ciudad de México, and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, 2012, (included also as an insert in the 2013 publication »Michael Stevenson: An Introduction« by the same publishers).
This most economic of documents, was produced as a component of the project »Lender of Last Resort«. It was only available in the museum - alongside the installation. The texts themselves take the form of a collection of fables, reflecting upon the more timeless qualities of art and the business cycle. The fable, being both specific and universal finds perennial application. In a very basic way these texts act on the artwork in question by encouraging a more metaphorical reading. Normal considerations regarding distribution etc. gave way to the importance of a working text in relation to the work.
CONTENTS: a collection of 9 fables written collaboratively by Jan Verwoert and Michael Stevenson as a component of the project »Lender of Last Resort«
DESCRIPTION: 180mm x 112mm, 20 pages (unpaginated), black and white, self covered (English)
DESIGN: Michael Stevenson
published by the artist, 2008 (available only from the artist)
The book owes its peculiar design specifications, title etc. to an earlier publication: after the party at Persepolis (see the project description for more detail) an official commemorative publication was produced. This original book was sent as a gift to all official guests in attendance at the celebration and, was also in wider distribution. My book is – in terms of cover and dust jacket – a replica of the original (but at 50% scale) - a ‘miniature’ if you like. A number of Magnum photographers were officially invited to Iran to document the events of 1971. Part of my project then involved the re-assembly of some of these Magnum images.
»Collapse« - a conversation between Michael Stevenson & Rüdiger Ihle
»The Party«, Martin Clark (essay)
»Monarchy & the 38th Basel Art Fair«, Michael Stevenson (essay)
DESCRIPTION: 160mm x 125mm, 64 pages, black and white, hard cover with full colour dust jacket (English)
DESIGN: Christoph Keller
The title of this publication was taken from material I found in the Lerner archive at UC Berkeley. Certain letters Lerner penned during 1953 used ‘c/o The Central Bank of Guatemala’ as his temporary address (see the project description). The irregular border motifs used on the document’s cover are those clipped from a 1 Quetzal bank note (Guatemalan currency), a gift to me from my 2006 visit to the bank.
»The Moniac: Bill Phillip’s Machine«, Elvidio Aldana (essay)
»The search for the Fountain of Prosperity«, Michael Stevenson (essay)
»The Moniac: Metaphor for a Tropical Economy«, Rosina Cazali (essay)
DESCRIPTION: 254mm x 177mm, 24 pages (unpaginated), black and white, self covered (English)
DESIGN: Rüdiger Schlömer
published by CCA Wattis
Institute for Contemporary Art, 2006 (available only from the Wattis)
The particular form of this book is derivative: a facsimile version of the original Panza collection volume (see the project description for details). In the 1980s MoCA acquired the lions share of Panza’s collection as tax issues prohibited him from keeping the works intact. MoCA began a publication series, each covering a different era of the Panza collection, this was reflected in the choice of titles: ‘Art of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies’, ‘Art of the Sixties and Seventies’, etc. They were published in at least 3 different languages and were very well distributed. I knew the book from years ago as a battered copy in an academic library in Melbourne. My publication is identical to the original in terms of scale, typography and general design layouts and therefore, via these tropes I guess it is possible to say the Panza collection turns again to the Museum Abteiberg.
Publication is by now the only form in which my Abteiberg project continues to exist, so this book holds a particular place. Contemplating this end result I wanted to bring it beyond the more traditional role of documentation. For example, if this book is handled in a more ‘archaeological’ manner - dust jacket removed - black linen cover and text down spine exposed - it is possible to understand its form in relation to the MoCA original (which unwittingly appears in the documentation inside my volume). By excavating my book the reader restages some of the processes and methodology central to this project.
»Meeting Johannes Cladders & Hans Hollein« - conversation with Susanne Titz & Chantal Jacobi (interview)
»The aircraft carrier, the paddy field, the late modern institution«, David Craig (essay)
DESCRIPTION: 317mm x 250mm, 128 pages, black and white with colour section, hard covered with dust jacket (English/German)
DESIGN: Christoph Keller
Published by Revolver – Archiv für Aktuelle Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, 2006
This publication was thought of as a compendium of texts and design material, bound together under one cover. Reflecting this diversity are 3 separate paper stocks and design formats that were all derived from archival material found during the research of the project. (project description)
»Suitcase Full of Sausage Casings« - Boris Kremer in conversation with Todd Niall (interview)
»(Post-) Fordism, (Neo-) Trekkaism«, David Craig (essay)
»The Importance of the Arts Today«, W. B. Sutch (speech transcript)
»The Lost Apocalypse«, Alan Rodgers-Smith (essay)
»Apocalypse 1989: a report for the commission for the future«, Peter Wilkins (report)
DESCRIPTION: 224mm x 165mm, black and white with colour section, soft covered, 112 pages (English)
DESIGN: Christoph Keller
ISBN (Europe, USA): 3-936919-00-3
ISBN (Asia, Australasia): 0-477-065414-4