Published by: Roma Publications installation view / veduta della mostra De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal,   Middelburg (NL) January 17 – 14 February,   2010 / 17 gennaio – 14 febbraio 2010

Published by: Roma Publications installation view / veduta della mostra De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal, Middelburg (NL) January 17 – 14 February, 2010 / 17 gennaio – 14 febbraio 2010

Inaugura stasera, alla Fondazione Giuliani,   Roma Publications 1998 – 2014  – dall’11 ottobre al 13 dicembre 2014 – a cura di Lorenzo Benedetti e Roger Willems.

Roma Publications 1998 – 2014 presenta oltre 230 libri e edizioni pubblicati da Roger Willems e Mark Manders in collaborazione con numerosi artisti, scrittori e designer.

La casa editrice indipendente Roma Publications, fondata nel 1998 dall’artista Mark Manders e dal graphic designer Roger Willems, lavora in collaborazione con artisti, designer, scrittori e istituzioni. Per la mostra presso la Fondazione Giuliani – la prima occasione in cui Roma Publications viene presentata a Roma – è visibile l’intero elenco in progress con oltre 230 titoli e appositamente creata una sala di lettura dove i visitatori potranno sfogliare le pubblicazioni. Inoltre sono presentate nuove commissioni e opere site-specific, insieme a lavori pre-esistenti, realizzati da artisti che hanno collaborato e partecipato alle attività di Roma Publications. Per la maggior parte degli artisti invitati è la prima occasione espositiva a Roma e per alcuni anche in Italia.

Sabato 11 ottobre dalle 11.00 alle 13.00, la Fondazione ospita una performance musicale di Wouter van Riessen, un reading di Nickel van Duijvenboden e una conversazione informale con i curatori e una parte degli artisti.

Segue una breve intervista con Lorenzo Benedetti e Roger Willems

ATP: In the elaboration of this exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani, which aspects of the relationship between ‘book’ / ‘artwork’ have you brought to the forefront?

Roger Willems: The relationship between an artwork and a book varies from project to project. In this exhibition you see a great variety. But what I wanted to bring to the foreground is that publishing art – in our case – is not just a professional activity, but a shared passion for art and books, which creates pleasure and friendship.

Lorenzo Benedetti: The structure of the exhibition is based on a concept that tries to fade the borders between books and artworks. The range of works shows newspapers, books, editions, paintings, sculptures and installations. The common ground is the way to thing about artworks and try to bring together the perspectives of a publisher and a graphic designer with the one of a curator, to try to combine the dimensions of the book to that of the exhibition.

ATP: In your opinion, what distinguishes “Roma Publications” from other publishing houses? What are its specific characteristics?

R: I can’t compare in general because I know too many very different publishers, but, as I said, Roma Publications is based on collaborations between me and mostly befriended artists. This has created a specific environment, which is hard to describe in a few words. I hope visitors will recognize it when they see the mix of books and artworks in the show.

L: There are only a few publishing houses that are so focused on a select group of artists and publication titles. Roma Publications has a sharp definition of a group of artists, writers, designers and curators who often work in a close relationship. This attitude is very clear in the total production of Roma Publications and is evident in the display of this exhibition.

ATP: In the exhibition 230 books and editions are on display: how did you develop the display aspect? Is there a particular order (chronological, content, etc)?

R: Chronology was a rough guideline in parts of the display, but the overall composition in relation to the given space was more important. With so many books and artists you have many different possibilities, and you’re never allowed to display everything in depth. I hope the complete picture of the exhibition reflects the attention that we put in every single publication. 

L:  Several combinations of display are activated that try to focus on the value of publications. Among the 230 titles there are several that are unique copies and they have the same value of an artwork. One of the guidelines of the exhibition is the way you can experience books inside an exhibition space. Part of the display is in vetrines, which creates a composition of several artists or designers, and another part shows almost all the published titles, which the visitor can browse. In this way the time the visitor will spend in the exhibition can expand in the time people normally dedicate to read books.  

ATP: What does it mean to propose printed matter as a point of departure in an exhibition or project?

R: It brings different worlds together. Most of the time I imagine our books as being individual packages that travel around the world to meet people in all kinds of unpredicted circumstances. In the case of an exhibition you are allowed to place them as parts of a controlled and concentrated environment. 

L: The potential of printed matter is enormous. The two largest artworks in the exhibition are related to newspapers, and this show how an everyday object like a newspaper can be a central material in such an exhibition. All the participants in the exhibition share a common idea about the strong relation between making books and artworks or exhibitions. An exhibition is temporal and a publication has the status of documenting a specific thing or idea. 

ATP: Which site-specific works did you choose to display and why?

R: We chose to use mostly existing works. But the wall with ‘Fake Newspapers’ by Mark Manders and the wall piece, ‘Roma Drawing’ by Bart Lodewijks were created on the spot. Lodewijks’ drawing makes a large gesture which is necessary to balance the entire show. 

L: It was important to have site-specific interventions in the exhibition. The project of Bart Lodewijks is especially significant because he uses the white wall like a page and makes a perfect harmonic dialogue between the two media, which is one of the goals of the exhibition.

ATP: How did you resolve the ambitious objective of making the form of the book as an extended media that can involve the exhibition space?

R: I never formulated this ambition myself. It’s nice to hear what others like to say about this. 

L: Artists normally produce artworks and books and exhibitions are the most common media that can display their productions. Like an exhibition the book is also a context in which the artists can make site-specific projects. That was the case of a few projects of books made by artworks especially design for the publication. The quality of a book became very similar to the one of an exhibition. In this way there are a lot of interesting combinations that can be realized in an exhibition as a publication. One of the basic similarities is the relationship with the public: the exhibition is made for the public and a book is a publication. Both are made to extend the ideas of the art.

R: Yes. It’s really interesting to see how much artists care about making books. They are especially happy to make books without much distortion in terms of hierarchy and bureaucracy which normally effects institutional publications. As long as you see the book as a free place, the book can become an extension of the artist’s work.

Published by: Roma Publications installation view / veduta della mostra De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal,   Middelburg (NL) January 17 – 14 February,   2010 / 17 gennaio – 14 febbraio 2010

Published by: Roma Publications installation view / veduta della mostra De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal, Middelburg (NL) January 17 – 14 February, 2010 / 17 gennaio – 14 febbraio 2010

Roma Publications 1998 - 2012 installation view / veduta della mostra Research Centre for Artists' Publications,   Weserburg,   Museum für Moderne Kunst,   Bremen March 8 - May 13,   2012 / 8 marzo – 13 maggio 2012

Roma Publications 1998 – 2012 installation view / veduta della mostra Research Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen March 8 – May 13, 2012 / 8 marzo – 13 maggio 2012