During this project, we will explore exactly what artist publications are and screen the library collection in search of undiscovered examples. For this project, the Middelheim Museum is collaborating with the ArchiVolt research group, a research group of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (KASKA). ArchiVolt is represented by Johan Pas, director of KASKA, researcher and collector of artists' publications; and Nico Dockx, artist, lecturer at KASKA, publisher and also collector of artists' publications. During this two-year project, we will use ArchiVolt's expertise to select these artist publications in our collection and also identify the different criteria.
In order to also introduce the general public to these special publications, ArchiVolt is organising five public meetings in collaboration with the library of the Middelheim Museum, during which various speakers who work with and around artists' publications will enter into conversation with Johan Pas and Nico Dockx. The series of meetings will result in a symposium and book launch.
*I realised that for the first time, this book had an inexplicable thing I was looking for, and that was a kind of a 'Huh?'. That's what I've always worked around. All it is, is a device to disarm somebody with my particular message. A lot of artists use that.
(Edward Ruscha in conversation with Willoughby Sharp, Avalanche No. 7, New York, Winter-Spring 1973, pp. 30-39)
Programme of meetings
Session 1: Nico Dockx and Johan Pas
Thursday 24 Nov 2022
In the first session, Nico Dockx and Johan Pas will explain what an artist publication is and the various, corresponding subcategories. Both do so from their own professional backgrounds, Nico as an artist and Johan as an art historian. This session will also feature examples of the different types of artist publications.
Session 2: Debate with Dennis Tyfus, Luc Derycke and Posture Editions
Thursday 30 March 2023
In this third session, artist Nico Dockx and art historian Johan Pas enter into dialogue with Dennis Tyfus, Luc Derycke, Posture Editions and the public. The central theme is the publication and distribution of artist publications.
Session 3: Lecture by gerlach en koop
Wednesday 19 April 2023
During the second session, artists' collective gerlach en koop will give a lecture. This collective is currently working on a similar project at KB, National Library (The Hague). It looks at similarities and differences between the two projects and at how they work at KB, National Library.
Session 4: Debate with Evi Bert, Sophie Nys & Johan Smets
Thursday 11 May 2023
As part of their research project A Kind Of a 'Huh?'*, artist Nico Dockx and art historian Johan Pas engage in a dialogue with Sophie Nys (artist), Evi Bert (coordinator content management M HKA) and Johan Smets (collector). The presentations and the panel discussion will be about preserving and making accessible, archiving and activating artists' publications, from a public and private point of view as well as from an artistic perspective.
Session 5: Graphic designer Irma Boom in conversation about her 'Book Manifest' and her views on artist publications
Thursday 25 May 2023
Irma Boom is a bookmaker based in Amsterdam. She has created over five hundred books. Her experimental approach often challenges the conventions of traditional books in both physical design and printed content. Since 1992, Boom has been senior critic at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and she gives lectures and workshops worldwide. She has received many awards for her book designs and, in 2001, was the youngest person ever to receive the Gutenberg Prize.
Thursday 23 Nov 2023: symposium curated by Nico Dockx and Johan Pas. This symposium celebrates artists’ publications in all of their facets and reflects on their potential in museum and library collections.
- Admission: free
- Location: The public meetings will take place in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (KASKA), Blindestraat 35, 2000 Antwerp.
- Language: Meetings will be conducted in English.
- More info can be found here.
Rewatch session 1
24 Nov 2022 - with Nico Dockx and Johan Pas