I remember when I was a child and would choose books for their formats rather than their content, but how to judge a book by its cover, if the cover is still to come?
Coinciding with the Summer Solstice events, I am proposing the session “Readers want what is important to be clearly laid out; they will not read what is too troublesome” (a quote by German typographer Jan Tschichold) based on Marcel Broodthaers’ book Pense Bête (1963). I will be showing some of the most recent works from my participation in the study group The Book To Come. The session will use the poster format as an open point of departure, defending the essence of a book, and examining its function as an object in art, and will be added to with the presentation of an edition originally produced for the session, and a workshop with Maite Martínez de Arenaza (La Taller-Erredakzioa). The session will focus on the use of the printing medium as a space for experimental collaborative practice.
Pense Bête was Broodthaers’ third and last book of poems and is also considered his first “artwork”. It marks the point in time when, owing to the difficulty of selling his books, the artist decided to abandon poetry for visual art. He first intervened the pages of a copy of the book with collage; then he brought together the last fifty copies and partly covered them with plaster. With Pense Bête, Broodthaers wanted to make something “insincere”, an ambiguous piece with a text hidden in it.
Karlos Martínez B. (Bilbao, 1982) lives and works in Durango and works with objects in different plastic and visual media. His work focuses on ontological issues to examine problems related to access and mourning. He often makes use of fragile, expired or common elements that all come out of a familiar vocabulary that eludes to the experience of loss.
Maite Martínez de Arenaza (Aretxabaleta, 1971) has been dedicated to contemporary graphics since 2010 in Bilbao, as director of La Taller. La Taller recently expanded as a project with the opening of Erredakzioa, which is directed by Tania Arriaga Azkarate. Graphic techniques and printing technologies are the link between the two projects. Whereas La Taller works with the creation, edition and dissemination of graphically reproduced images, Erredakzioa is an office for the production and dissemination of texts by printing technologies that have fallen into disuse.
The Summer Solstice is a joint celebration between Bulegoa z/b, La Taller and Espacio Trópico, three spaces in the Solokoetxe district of Bilbao.
10:00-14:00: Readers want what… Presentation and workshop by Karlos Martínez B. (Bulegoa z/b & La Taller-Erredakzioa)
14:30-16:30: Exhibition of Readers want what…* and lunch (Bulegoa z/b)
17:00-17:30: Diva de Palo. Enriqueta Vega (La Taller-Erredakzioa)
18:30-20:30: Exhibition and fanzine and other self-published works fair (Espacio Trópico)
Bulegoa z/b (Solokoetxe, 8) http://www.bulegoa.org/
La Taller (Zumarraga, 7) http://www.lataller.com/
Espacio Trópico (Zabalbide 17)
* The exhibition Readers want what… at Bulegoa z/b will be open from 26 – 30 June, from 18:00 to 20:00.
The project The Book to Come is developed as part of Corpus, network for performance practice. Corpus is Bulegoa z/b (Bilbao), Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam), Playground (STUK Kunstencentrum & M-Museum, Leuven), and Tate Modern (London): www.corpus-network.org.
Corpus is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.