New Reproductions explores the correlation between publication, research, artwork, graphic designer, artist and institution. The show investigates the varied ways this correlation is formed, from insight into an artist’s practice, to exploration of either artwork or exhibition, an in-depth reference work, or indeed to an independent work in and of itself. Mirroring the often overlooked yet rich material provided by artists’ books, New Reproductions presents a visually eclectic selection of works to highlight a wide-ranging selection of publications; at the entrance to the show the various books are featured in the show as part of David Maljkovic’ reconfigured modernist bookcase.
The definition of what makes an artists’ book is a fluid reality that stretches the boundaries of the format. Through the different works and corresponding publications presented in the show, the frontiers of this fluidity are exposed. Johannes Schwartz’ serialisation and typographical exploration of Olympic Torches function in direct conversation with and expand on his Athens Recorder publication from 2016, designed by his long-term collaborators Experimental Jetset, creating a new way to view the individual photographs. In the same vein, David Maljkovic’ similarly titled artworks and catalogue - New Reproductions designed by Abåke- deconstruct the process of archiving, cataloguing and reproducing works of art through the printed format. Maria Barnas’ The Writing Room, designed by Studio Felix Salut, also explores the relation between archive, print, book, and photographic reproduction.
Next to the archival and cataloguing nature of the artists’ publication, the relation to the traditional exhibition is highlighted as well. Antonis Pittas’ Road to Victory, designed by Project Projects, a mix of conceptual publication and catalogue, presents his artistic research into the rituals that revolve around exhibiting and archiving works of art. The work presented in New Reproductions show him both unravelling and playing into these practices. In the same vein, Wilfredo Prieto challenges our notions of reading and interpreting what is on view through his transparent Hero and corresponding publication‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ , also designed by Studio Felix Salut. The publication can be seen as a catalogue to the exhibition of the same title hosted by Annet Gelink Gallery in 2011, or alternatively, as a separate work in the form of an artists’ book. Prieto’s publication Loophole from 2015, furthermore designed by Studio Felix Salut, also functions in the same grey area: Both catalogue and artist’s book. Other examples on display are Erik van Lieshout’s Sündenbock, designed by Studio Remco van Bladel for his exhibition at Kunstverein Hannover and Roger Hiorns designed by Studio Felix Salut for Hiorns’ exhibition at Frans Hals Museum Haarlem.
The world of the photo-book is represented by publications by Ed van der Elsken, Awoiska van der Molen and Robby Müller. Van der Elsken’s Amsterdam!, designed by Anthon Beeke, gives a narrative to his interactions with his home-town, whilst Müller’s Interior Exterior designed by Mevis & Van Deursen, re-imagines the famed cinematographer as a latter-day Dutch Master through the painterly compositions of his personal snapshots. Awoiska van der Molen’s Sequester and Blanco, designed by Hans Gremmen,on the other hand show an ongoing examination into the nature of likeness, reproduction and photography.
In presenting book and artwork side by side, New Reproductions creates a dialogue between the rational, ordered and intellectual and the sensual, conceptual and emotive. The varied mix of the works on view each in their own way deal with the archival and self-propagating nature of the drive to put to paper what we encounter and experience.