Category Archives: Artist Novels

The Book Lovers

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.

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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

Leuvenstraat 32,
2000 Antwerp, Belgium

www.muhka.be

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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.

www.efanyc.org

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Illusion Reading Room

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

www.bienalhabana.cult.cu

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

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Narrative Objects: A panel discussion on the artist’s novel, presented June 14

601 W. 26th Street, Suite 1755

New York, NY 10001

212-243-2735

www.601Artspace.org


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.

 

 

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¡ILLUSION ya a la venta!

Ya se puede adquirir Illusion via Amazon.com y CreateSpace eStore. Versión en español (English version coming soon)

Para adquirir Illusion:

Simplemente hay que proceder como con cualquier otro libro adquirido a través del portal Amazon.com, siguiendo cualquiera de estos vínculos:

https://www.createspace.com/3560955

http://www.amazon.com


El Arcano VI del Tarot, El Enamorado, muestra a un joven sumido en la indecisión entre dos opciones. Sus ojos apuntan a una mujer, mientras que sus brazos se dirigen hacia otra. Incluso su vestimenta, un jubón multicolor, refleja su estado de división interna. El protagonista de Illusion se encuentra asimismo inmerso en un proceso de fragmentación progresiva que conduce hacia un final imprevisible. El narrador cuenta una historia que le sucedió hace tiempo, cuando estaba en la veintena, en la que atraviesa una serie de experiencias que él, en aquel momento, no estaba en condiciones de comprender. Es solo en retrospectiva que es capaz de dar cuenta de ello. En Illusion, los personajes no son conscientes de que cambian y se redefinen constantemente en relación a su entorno y a los otros. Esta naturaleza alienante llega al extremo con el protagonista, que se encuentra siempre en la necesidad de un modelo al que imitar. El problema es que, cuanto más cerca está de ese modelo, más en competición entra con él para obtener el objeto de sus deseos.


Illusion es un proyecto artístico en forma de novela. Illusion es asimismo la pieza central de otro proyecto artístico llamado Primer Círculo. Algunas de las obras narrativas que forman Primer Círculo (obras sonoras, vídeo animaciones, instalaciones narrativas, leporellos, cut-outs…) han ido sufriendo un proceso a lo largo del cual se han ido viendo despojadas de sus componentes visuales y sonoros, hasta alcanzar una forma puramente textual. A continuación, todas esas narraciones sueltas han sido integradas en Illusion. De manera que la novela viene a ser una especie de patchwork de diferentes fragmentos, cuyas “costuras” han sido borradas de modo que no sean evidentes a primera vista. Siguiendo el proceso contrario, así como la escritura de Illusion progresaba, iba dando lugar a nuevos proyectos artísticos autónomos, dentro del contexto de Primer Círculo. Desde este punto de vista, Illusion funciona como el eje de una constelación de obras interrelacionadas que, en última instancia, refieren su significado a la novela.

El lector puede elegir entre dos posibilidades: bien leer Illusion como una narración coherente, autónoma, con una narración contada de principio a final; o bien, la experiencia de su lectura ofrece la opción de ser expandida al poner cada pasaje en relación con la obra de la cual procede o de la cual ha sido el origen. Estas obras están conformadas a su vez por cantidad de fragmentos visuales, sonoros y textuales, con lo que el juego de referencias se multiplica y expande, al mismo tiempo que las posibilidades de interpretación de la obra.

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Illusion será objeto de una serie de presentaciones públicas. La primera de ellas tendrá lugar el 14 de junio en 601 Art Space, Nueva York [www.601artspace.org]

Junto con la presentación del proyecto tendrá lugar una mesa de debate alrededor del fenómeno de la novela de artista. El panel estará formado por Erin Sickler (directora del programa curatorial de 601 Art Space), Christopher K. Ho (artista visual de Nueva York, autor de la novela “Hirsch E. P. Rothko”), Alexander Campos (director del Center for Book Arts, Nueva York) y David Maroto. Más información sobre el evento estará disponible en breve.

Más información sobre Illusion, en este link.

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Especificaciones técnicas:

Paperback (rústica)

220 páginas

Tamaño: 13 x 20 cm

Precio: 15 € / 20 $

ISBN-13: 978-1456599225
ISBN-10: 1456599224

Para leer un fragmento de Illusion, haz click en “Continue reading”

Continue reading

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Open Studios in ISCP

12th – 15th May 2011

www.iscp-nyc.org

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) Spring Open Studios is a four-day exhibition of international contemporary art. The 36 artists, artist collectives and curators from 25 countries currently in residence at ISCP will present work in their studios. Open Studios offers the public access to innovative contemporary art practices from across the globe – seen for the first time together in New York City – providing an exceptional opportunity to engage with the production, process and archives of artists working with a diverse range of mediums, approaches and concepts.

I showed some recent works and projects carried out during my residence period. Among which my new narrative installation Casa Diógenes.

“David Maroto, unique in the ISCP context with his approach and interested in actively engaging the observer in the performative moment which leads to the completion of the storyline as well as opening it up to new readings. In his installation Casa Diogenes (2011) it is through an accumulation of images and textual reference that the personal history of the protagonist unfolds. The poetic and inter-textual qualities of the soundtrack and the images, create a world in which memory, identity and space are accumulated.” Fleur van Muiswinkel. Article appeared in Metropolis M.

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