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The Book Lovers is a long-term project on artist novels (2012-2013). Research, organization and curatorial project by David Maroto (Spanish visual artist based in the Netherlands) and Joanna Zielińska (head curator at Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor – Cricoteka, in Kraków). Participating institutions: M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, Belgium; EFA Project Space, NYC; Cricoteka in Kraków, Poland; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland.
The Book Lovers is a systematic attempt to study the phenomenon of artist novels. There are some examples of artist novels in the 20th century, but it is in the last ten or fifteen years that an increasing number of artists are choosing the novel as an artistic medium. Surprisingly, there is a lack of research on this subject. This circumstance gives way to a situation in which artists who write novels are not aware of others doing the same. With The Book Lovers we are intending to create public awareness on this silently widespread artistic trend. There are a number of questions that this project wants to pose: Has literature become a new tool for creating expanded narrations in visual arts? Is it justified to talk about a new phenomenon in contemporary art? What are the consequences for the production process when adopting a purely textual form, moreover a narrative? What link remains to visual arts? Is it possible to find a relation to conceptual art, relational aesthetics, or is this an entirely different artistic form? Collective writing, fictional artist/authors, ghost writers…what are the issues raised in relation to authorship and re-skilling of art practice?
The project The Book Lovers is divided in three parts: a collection of artist novels with a parallel online database; an exhibition; and a symposium. The first part, the collection, includes, among others, novels written by: Carl Andre, Keren Cytter, Salvador Dalí, Tim Etchells, Liam Gillick, Goldin+Senneby, Pablo Helguera, Stewart Home, Joseph Kosuth, Yayoi Kusama, Jana Leo, Jill Magid, Mai-Thu Perret, Tom McCarthy, Richard Prince, Roee Rosen, Lindsay Seers, Alexandre Singh, Andy Warhol… to a total of around 125 titles. This collection is the result of a research carried out by David Maroto and Joanna Zielinska, and it is being acquired by M HKA, to be part of the museum’s collection.
The second part of the project, the exhibition, is taking place in EFA Project Space and, afterwards, in De Appel, Amsterdam. The exhibition will display, on the one hand, the complete artist novels collection (borrowed from M HKA for the occasion), which will be available for public’s perusal in a special reading room. On the other hand, a selection of artists will show their works made in relation to their novels. There are artists who simply write novels, as an activity aside their art practice. But there are others, in increasing numbers in recent years, who make use of novels as a legitimate art form in its own right, as video or performance could be. The exhibition will unfold the different creative strategies that visual artists employ when they integrate narrative literature in their own art projects. These are multidisciplinary and extremely varied: video installation, drawing, sculpture, photography, painting, performance… In addition to the reading room and the group exhibition, there will be a public program with performances, video screenings and other public events that complement and complete the mapping of artistic strategies chosen by artists in relation to their own novels.
The Book Lovers
Public presentation of the artist novels collection and the ensemble (online database), at M HKA
In conversation with Seth Siegelaub
Curated by David Maroto and Joanna Zielinska
6th December 2012
There are some examples of artist novels in the 20th century, but it is in the last ten or fifteen years that an increasing number of artists are choosing the novel as an artistic medium. With The Book Lovers we are intending to create public awareness on this silently widespread artistic trend. The collection of artist novels includes a total of 125 titles that is being acquired by M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, Belgium. The collection is complemented by a parallel online database, also hosted by M HKA. Some artists present in the collection are: Carl Andre, Sophie Calle, Salvador Dalí, Tim Etchells, Mattias Faldbakken, Liam Gillick, Pablo Helguera, Stewart Home, Joseph Kosuth, Yayoi Kusama, Jana Leo, Rita McBride, Tom McCarthy, Richard Prince, Andy Warhol… among many others.
M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
The Book Lovers
Exhibition at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space (NYC)
Curated by David Maroto and Joanna Zielinska
25th January – 9th March 2013
This exhibition will display, on the one hand, the complete artist novels collection gathered by the curators throughout a long-term research. This collection has been acquired by M HKA and will be on loan from that museum for the occasion. The novels will be available for public’s perusal in a special reading room. On the other hand, a selection of artists will show their works made in relation to their novels. There are artists who simply write novels, as an activity aside their art practice. But there are others, in increasing numbers in recent years, who make use of novels as a legitimate art form in its own right, as video or performance could be. The exhibition will unfold the different creative strategies that visual artists employ when they integrate narrative literature in their own art projects. These are multidisciplinary and extremely varied: video installation, drawing, sculpture, photography, painting, performance… In addition to the reading room and the group exhibition, there will be a public program with performances, video screenings and other public events that complement and complete the mapping of artistic strategies chosen by artists in relation to their own novels.
EFA Project Space is located on the 2nd Floor of 323 West 39th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues. Manhattan, New York City.
Project for 11th Havana Biennial, within the project Open Score
La Habana, Cuba
From May 11 to June 11, 2012
Centro Hispanoamericano de la Cultura. Malecón 17 e/ Prado y Cárcel
Illusion Reading Room is a participative installation: there is a pile of 500 copies of my novel Illusion and two armchairs. In one of them, a permanent reader is reading out loud from the novel. Public are welcome to take one copy of the novel with them for free. It is only asked to do one thing in exchange: to sit down in the vacant armchair and take it over from the reader, by reading out loud a few pages for the rest of the audience. In this way, public become part of the installation as temporary performers, and the novel is read continuously without interruption throughout the whole duration of the Biennial.
Video summary Illusion Reading Room. 5′ 55”, English subtitles.
Illusion Reading Room es una instalación participativa. En el espacio se encuentran dos sillones, uno de ellos vacante. En el otro hay una persona leyendo la novela Illusion en voz alta. Entre los dos sillones hay una pila formada por 500 ejemplares de Illusion. Se invita al espectador a tomar de la pila un ejemplar de la novela, gratis, siempre y cuando se siente en el sillón vacante y lea en voz alta unas cuantas páginas. Durante lo cual el lector permanente para de leer y guarda silencio. De este modo, el espectador se convierte en agente activo y performativo, leyendo pasajes para los otros espectadores que en ese momento se encuentren en el espacio de la instalación. Asimismo, la novela es leída sin interrupción durante la duración de la Bienal.
Vídeo resumen Illusion Reading Room. 5′ 55”, subtítulos en castellano.
“ For over 405 years, from July 25th, 1518 until March 3rd, 1924, the Holy Qur’an was perpetually recited, day and night, in the Department of Mohammed’s Cloak in the Topkapi Palace, in Istanbul.”
Thanks to the generous support of Mondriaan Fund
Thanks also to the work of the permanent readers, actresses from the theater company El Ciervo Encantado: Nelda Castillo, Mariela and Inés
Solo exhibition in Artium, museum of contemporary art of Vitoria (Spain)
Within the Praxis program
23rd April-24th June
In Illusion – Disillusion the exhibition space will be transformed in a sort of “game room”. A compilation of works that connect both Illusion (art project in the form of a novel) and Disillusion (art project in the form of a board game) will be displayed. All of them are eminently participative and multidisciplinary. David Maroto’s practice focuses on the crossover between literature and visual arts, on the one hand, and the use of games as a creative method, on the other. The idea is that the spectator acquires an active role in the process of reception of the work, not only by playing/executing each piece separately, but also when reconstructing the network of relations that lead from one work to the next one.
Public conversation with curator Blanca de la Torre + Illusion Buzzword Bingo in the evening of 25th April. Illusion Buzzword Bingo is the name of a collective game based on an art project in the form of a novel, called Illusion, by David Maroto. Bingo cards are distributed amongst the audience, with the particularity that they do not contain the usual 1-to-90 numbers, but words (a different combination of words in each card). A reader reads a passage of the novel Illusion out loud. Participating public will cross out words in their cards as they appear in the text when uttered during the reading. Like in the original game, there is a prize for the player who calls out “bingo”; this is, for the one who crosses out all words in their card before anyone else does.
Illusion-Disillusion consiste en la creación de un espacio que casi podría denominarse “salón de juegos”. Se mostrarán una selección de obras que conectan Illusion (proyecto artístico en forma de novela) y Disillusion (proyecto artístico en forma de juego de mesa). Todas ellas poseen un carácter eminentemente participativo y multidisciplinar. La práctica artística de Maroto gira alrededor del cruce entre literatura y artes visuales por un lado, y en el uso del juego como método artístico por otro. La idea es que el espectador adquiera un rol activo en el proceso de recepción de la obra, no solo al jugar/ejecutar cada una de ellas por separado, sino también al reconstruir el entramado de relaciones que las vinculan y que llevan de una a otra.
Conversación pública con la comisaria Blanca de la Torre + Illusion Buzzword Bingo la tarde del 25 de abril. Illusion Buzzword Bingo es el nombre de un juego colectivo basado en un proyecto artístico en forma de novela, llamado Illusion, de David Maroto. Cartones de bingo son repartidos entre el público, con la particularidad de que no contienen los acostumbrados números del 1 al 90, sino palabras (una combinación de palabras diferente en cada cartón). Un lector lee en voz alta un pasaje de la novela Illusion. El público participante habrá de tachar las palabras en su cartón según van apareciendo en el texto y sonando a lo largo de la lectura. Como en el juego original, hay un premio para aquel que cante bingo, esto es, para aquel que tache todas las palabras en su cartón antes que los demás.
Seven Stamps: At the entrance of the exhibition space there is a free publication (a fanzine) available for all visitors. On the last page, you will find some coupons which will be stamped in accordance with the results obtained when you play each game in the gallery. Just by playing one of the games you will get 1 stamped coupon. Obtaining a specific result (winning Disillusion or Empathy, completing the Puzzle, resolving the Tangram, etc.) is worth extra stamps. The gallery attendant will be responsible for providing the corresponding stamps. Next to each piece you will find the rules of the game to play or activate each one. When you obtain 7 stamped coupons, you can exchange your fanzine for a free ticket to the museum.
Siete Sellos: A la entrada del espacio expositivo hay una publicación gratis (un fanzine) a disposición de los espectadores. En la última página encontrarás unos cupones que se van sellando en virtud de los resultados alcanzados al jugar cada pieza presente en la sala. El hecho mismo de jugar una de las piezas vale 1 cupón estampado. Conseguir un cierto resultado (ganar a Disillusion o Empatía, completar el Puzzle, resolver el Tangram, etc.) vale sellos extra. El vigilante de sala se encargará de estampar los sellos correspondientes. Junto a cada pieza encontrarás las reglas para jugar o activar cada una de ellas. Cuando consigas 7 cupones estampados, puedes canjear este fanzine por una entrada gratis al museo.
Group exhibition in Extra City (Antwerp, Belgium)
18 November 2011 – 8 January 2012
Opening 17th November, at 19.00
Curated by Pieter Vermeulen, as part of the ICI’s Curatorial Intensive program. Elena Bajo, Lode Geens, Filip Gilissen, David Maroto, Warren Neidich, Jürgen Ots, Ariel Schlesinger, Naama Tsabar.
Extra City – Kunsthal Antwerpen
Tulpstraat 79, BE-2060 Antwerp
Tel/fax +32 (0)3 677 1655
Uncommonplaces is a group exhibition that opens up a dialectical space between the artistic and the everyday, originality and banality, the object and the abject. The commonplace refers to a dimension of our reality that we take for granted, overlook or neglect. By adding the prefix un-, the question arises whether we can imagine a different, experimental version of the everyday. I am participating with Adieu, Jean-Arthur, which marked the beginning of my Four Circles project and, therefore the beginning of my art practice, in 1998. This piece is dedicated to French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s decision to abandon art practice.
David Maroto in conversation with curator Fleur van Muiswinkel
10th November at 19.00
Nieuwe Binnenweg 75
3014 GE Rotterdam
tel 010 436 0288
From 1st January to 30th June 2011 visual artist David Maroto (born in Spain, lives in Rotterdam) spent a residency period in International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), in New York City. This residency was co-sponsored by Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, together with [De ïs Ka], Amsterdam. Upon his return, David presented his experiences and the result of his work during the six-month residence, in a public conversation with curator Fleur van Muiswinkel, who visited ISCP during its Open Studio Days and wrote an article that was published in the art magazine Metropolis M.
Fleur van Muiswinkel (1981) is a Dutch curator who lives and works in Amsterdam. During her study Art History in Amsterdam, she worked at W139. Afterwards, she worked several years at Office for Contemporary Art Norway as the studio co-ordinator. In London, where she participated in the Goldsmiths Curating Course, she organized several exhibitions and events: film screenings at South London Gallery and n.o.where, co-curated a performance weekend “Live at 176” at 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, curated the photography exhibition “Untitled” at The Pigeon Wing. In Amsterdam, she organised the group exhibition “Travelling into the Unknown”. Recently, she opened “Help Young Worlds”, a solo-show by the Dutch sculptor Ad de Jong at 1857 in Oslo. Currently she is working on different projects for SMBA and SKOR. Future projects include curating the Kunstvlaai in Fall 2012 together with Natasha Ginwala.
The Dutch Art Institute (DAI) targets energetic and inquisitive artists with a critical attitude towards traditional art centres and their hierarchies, by providing them with an international platform for exchange and dialogue with peers as well as with established visual artists, theoreticians and practitioners from other disciplines. By means of its fluid curriculum that integrates theoretical reflection, curatorial knowledge production, collaborative ‘hands-on’ projects as well as independent research, the DAI empowers their critical relations with the art world. The DAI wants to play an active and engaged role in the (art)world and maintains amicable working relationships with various institutions, initiatives, organizations and other ‘bodies’, all pioneering at the forefront of the arts and / or education. The DAI is one of the accredited Master programs of the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education and listed in the Central Register of Higher Education Programs (CROHO). After two years of study it is possible to obtain a recognized degree (MFA).
SIGN – Tentoonstellingsruimte voor Jonge Kunst
From 10th September to 9th October 2011
Winschoterkade 10 , 9711EA – Groningen. The Netherlands. Tlf 050-3132651
Open: Tue-Sat 12.00 – 17.00h + Sun 14.00 – 17.00h
Sign -tentoonstellingsruimte voor Hedendaagse Beeldende Kunst- is pleased to present First Circle, David Maroto’s first solo show devoted to this long-term project. After the Second Circle project (2005-06, which took place in TENT. Rotterdam, and W139 Amsterdam), David embarked in the development of its twin circle, which both precedes and is a continuation of it. First Circle is centered in the crossover between visual arts and literature -more concretely narratives, with a distinctive psychoanalytical approach. This is the first exhibition in which different works from First Circle have been gathered together. A selection that consists of the series Close-up Cut-outs, the installation Seven Masks, and the sound piece An Echo.
Close-up Cut-outs are a series of four large-sized prints that have been cut out by hand. They always depict a scene with two faces in the middle of a dialogue. The characters are made up of a collage of different faces. Their words, which are displayed in a text balloon, come also from adapted quotations that range from philosophical citations and poems to pop songs. As figures without a background, these pieces are a mixture between image, object and space. The architectural environment where they are displayed each time becomes their new, always changeable, background. Since many missing pixels within the images have been removed as well, it is possible to see the space through the cut-outs, which become in this way integrated into the spatial context.
Seven Masks is a long narrative sequence along which public walk with an accompanying sound track in a mp3 player with headphones. Unlike video and film, where pictures “move” while spectator’s body remains still, in Seven Masks the spectator is compelled to move in the space in order to introduce time within the visual material and, in so doing, activate its narrative elements. Also, unlike video and film, the soundtrack is not synchronized in forehand. It is up to the spectator to relate sound and images by walking at a faster pace, coming back and forth, and so on. This system opens up the work for spectator’s interpretation through their active participation.
An Echo reflects a situation through which any of us has been in any moment of our lives: when we hear from a friend an idea that we already said some time before and which was refuted by that very same friend back then. And now he is trying to convince us about his new ideas without remembering that we are the source where they come from.
Group show in Center for Book Arts. July 6th – September 10th. Opening reception Wednesday, July 6th
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, New York 10001
The exhibition focuses on how the art of photography, the photographic process, and related media such as video stills are used to convey content, form, text, and image within a broader context of book arts practices. Artworks featured in this exhibition represent a broad range of book and related arts, including but not limited to books, prints, sculpture, mixed-media installation, new media, and performance art. I am participating with two of my leporellos with accompanying soundtrack.
Organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director, and Doug Beube, Mixed-Media Artist and Photographer, Curator of the Allan Chasanoff Book Works Collection, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Photography at Parsons New School of Design.
601 W. 26th Street, Suite 1755
New York, NY 10001
When you open a novel –and I mean of course the real thing- you enter into a state of intimacy with its writer… Such a writer has power over distraction and fragmentation, and out of distressing unrest, even from the edge of chaos, he can bring unity and carry us into a state of intransitive attention.
Saul Bellow, The Distracted Public, 1994
601Artspace presents Narrative Objects: A discussion about the artist’s novel, audience, and protracted engagements. In its most common form, the novel involves a coherent sequence that unfolds around an interrelated set of characters. Taking his novel Illusion as a starting point, artist David Maroto proposes a dual purpose for the artist’s novel: For the artist, the novel serves as a conceptual proposition, linking narratives within other art projects and generating new ideas, but as an artwork in and of itself, the artist’s novel acts as a more humble contribution to the sweeping history of literary prose. Joined by Christopher Ho (artist, curator and author) and Alexander Campos (Center for Book Arts), the panel will discuss how the artist’s novel measures up against other novels and whether increasing interest in the novel among visual artists is intended to counteract tendencies of perpetual distraction. The panel will be moderated by Erin Sickler (601Artspace). Related books and other materials from the participants will be available at the event.
Alexander Campos has over 20 years experience in Arts Management, with positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Since 2004 he has serve as executive director of the Center for Book Arts, during which time he has organized numerous major exhibitions and overseen the expansion of the Center’s Visual Arts Program.
Christopher K. Ho’s conceptual work examines the possibilities and parameters of advanced art today. For his 2010 solo exhibition at Winkleman Gallery, Regional Painting, Ho created a series of paintings and an eponymous memoir under the guise of a fictional alter ego, painter Hirsch E.P. Rothko, all while living for a year in a license plate covered shed in the southwest mountains of Colorado.
David Maroto is a Spanish artist based in The Netherlands whose work has been shown internationally. His wide-ranging practice has led him to exhibit his work on psychoanalysis at the Freud Dreams Museum in St Petersburg, whereas his 8-year project to create a board game lead tot he inclusion of his project Disillusion at the Internationale Spieltage in 2006 (Essen, Germany) and other game fairs worldwide. Illusion represents Maroto’s newest interdisciplinary work.
Erin Sickler is Director of Curatorial Programs at 601Artspace.
We greatly acknowledge the Consulate General of Spain for their support of this event.