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STAFF PICKS | FROM THE SHELVES

JANE BROWN | DATE 8/29/2011

Bird is the Word

Jean-Luc Mylayne: Into the Hands of TimeLa Fábrica/Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Malaspina ExpeditionTurner
Sanna Kannisto: FieldworkAperture
Robert Wilson: Video PortraitsWalther König, Köln
Conjunctions: 49, A Writers' AviaryBard College
CockfighterPictureBox
Contemporary African Art Since 1980Damiani
Hannah Höch: Picture BookThe Green Box
The Hearing TrumpetExact Change
David Renggli: Cage Writes BirdJRP|Ringier

Jean-Luc Mylayne: Into the Hands of TimeJean-Luc Mylayne: Into the Hands of Time

Published by La Fábrica/Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Edited by Lynne Cooke. Text by Matthew S. Witkovsky, Javier Montes.

Over three decades, French photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne (born 1946) has pursued a single motif: common birds in their natural habitats. But Mylayne is no documentarian or nature photographer. His works might best be described as tableaux in which avian motifs play carefully scripted roles within a larger tale of life, and themes of interdependence among species, the cycles of life and death and the depletion of natural resources.

PUBLISHER
La Fábrica/Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 10.25 x 8.75 in. / 128 pgs / 85 color.

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Catalog: SPRING 2011 p. 99   

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ISBN 9788492841813 TRADE
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The Malaspina ExpeditionThe Malaspina Expedition

A Political-Scientific Journey Around the World, 1789-1794

Published by Turner.
Text by José María Moreno Martín, Miguel Ángel Puig-Samper, Javier Reverte, Fernando Vallespín.

In 1789, Italian-born Spanish naval officer Alejandro Malaspina set off to visit Spain's colonies in Asia and the Americas. For five years, he and his crew sailed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, discovering, cataloguing and analyzing flora, fauna, seas, people and lands. The Malaspina Expedition, as it came to be called, anticipated the global spirit of cross-discipline synergy that defines the twenty-first century. Yet Malaspina's account of his adventures remained largely unpublished for 100 years. The Malaspina Expedition presents the visual legacy of his expedition, combining maps, illustrations and scientific and artistic documents in the same boundary-crossing spirit as the expedition itself.

PUBLISHER
Turner

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.25 in. / 160 pgs / illust. throughout.

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Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 106   

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Sanna Kannisto: FieldworkSanna Kannisto: Fieldwork

Published by Aperture.
Text by Steve Baker.

The first major monograph by Finnish rising star Sanna Kannisto, Fieldwork explores the dialectics of nature and culture in both artistic and scientific contexts. Since 1997, Kannisto has spent several months per year living alongside biologists in the rainforests of Latin America. Adopting elements of her companions' scientific methods, she developed her own form of visual research, extending her depictions of flora and fauna beyond the confines of the natural sciences. Breaking away from the conventions of nature photography, which typically presents specimens in isolation, devoid of context, Kannisto's work addresses the acts of staging and image-making. Her photographs, with their biologically correct titles, show not only the breathtaking beauty of her subjects, but also the tools used to achieve the would-be image at center--the black drapes, the difficult "neutral" lighting rig, the seamless white background. Signs of a scientifically standardized process--graph paper, rulers, test field markings--are also included, appearing strangely out of place amid the lush green foliage of the rainforest. The core practice of the natural sciences is to collect in order to inspect closely in the service of public knowledge. Collecting implies taming and containment, traits shared to some extent by photography. With her gentle humor, Kannisto recognizes and utilizes the constraints of science and art alike, investigating the concept of truth in photography to challenge how we view and "know" the natural world.

PUBLISHER
Aperture

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 11 x 11 in. / 96 pgs / 100 color / 4 gatefolds.

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Pub Date
No longer our product

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Contact Publisher

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ISBN 9781597111522 TRADE
List Price: $50.00 CDN $60.00

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Robert Wilson: Video PortraitsRobert Wilson: Video Portraits

Published by Walther König, Köln.
Edited by Peter Weibel. Text by Norman Bryson, Ali Hossaini, Noah Khoshbin, Matthew Shattuck, Nicola Suthor, Peter Weibel, Robert Wilson.

One of the world's truly visionary theater artists, Robert Wilson (born 1941) brings his impeccable eye to high-definition video in a series of dramatic portraits. These tableaux of celebrities and other personalities entail carefully coordinated set design, lighting, music, makeup, props and costumes.

PUBLISHER
Walther König, Köln

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.25 x 10.25 in. / 223 pgs / illustrated throughout.

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Catalog: SPRING 2011 p. 139   

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ISBN 9783865608505 FLAT40
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Conjunctions: 49, A Writers' AviaryConjunctions: 49, A Writers' Aviary

Special Double Issue including a Festschrift for Johyn Ashbery on his Eightieth Birthday

Published by Bard College.
Edited by Bradford Morrow.

From the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes to the bird of paradise, which, according both to legend and Linnaeus, remained in flight its whole life, birds have set imaginations soaring. The sacred quetzal, the authoritative bald eagle, the wise owl, the gothic raven--there isn't a species that has failed to inspire us symbol-crazy, earthbound human observers. Edited by Bradford Morrow, 2007 winner of the PEN/Nora Magid Award honoring a magazine editor with the highest literary standards and taste throughout their career, the newest installment of Conjunctions collects a vast spectrum of works about birds by ornithologists and everyday birders, together with poets and fiction writers from several continents. Among the many contributors are British poet Tim Dee, Canadian writer Sylvia Legris and Americans D. E. Steward, William H. Gass and Peter Orner. The issue also celebrates the distinguished half-century career of John Ashbery in a portfolio of essays addressing his oeuvre, book by book. Among the contributions co-edited by Morrow and Peter Gizzi: Reginald Shepherd on Some Trees, Susan Howe and Peter Straub on The Tennis Court Oath, Charles Bernstein on Rivers and Mountains, Ron Silliman on Three Poems, Susan Stewart on Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, Ann Lauterbach on As We Know, Cole Swensen on Hotel Lautréamont, Harry Mathews on Your Name Here and Robert Kelly on Chinese Whispers.

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BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6 x 9 in. / 400 pgs.

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Catalog: FALL 2007 p. 95   

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CockfighterCockfighter

Published by PictureBox.
By Charles Willeford. Introduction by Jesse Pearson.

A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer and radio announcer, Charles Willeford (1919-1988) is best known for his Miami-based crime novels featuring hard-boiled detective Hoke Moseley, including Miami Blues and Sideswipe. His career as a writer began in the late 1940s, but it was his 1972 novel Cockfighter that announced his name to a wider audience. Of that book, Harry Crews said, "Charles Willeford renders the sport with such knowledge and attention to detail that... I had the almost inexpressible impression of being on my knees again beside the great fighting pits of the southern circuit." Considered to be Willeford's masterpiece, Cockfighter is a brutal and beautiful fiction of the American South, loosely modeled, according to the author, on Homer's Odyssey. Frank Mansfield is the titular cockfighter: a silent and fiercely contrary man whose obsession with winning will cost him almost everything. Mansfield haunts the cockpits, bars and roads of the rural South in the early 1960s, adrift but always capable of nearly anything. First published in complete form in 1972, and adapted by Willeford for a Monte Hellman film in 1974 (which became infamous for its use of real animals in the fight scenes), the novel Cockfighter has been out of print for nearly 20 years. Cockfighter is issued here with an introduction by Jesse Pearson and is the second volume in PictureBox's ongoing Charles Willeford reissue series.

PUBLISHER
PictureBox

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5 x 8 in. / 304 pgs.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

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Catalog: SPRING 2011 p. 59   

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ISBN 9780984589227 TRADE
List Price: $17.95 CDN $20.00

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STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

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Contemporary African Art Since 1980Contemporary African Art Since 1980

Published by Damiani.
By Okwui Enwezor, Chika Okeke-Agulu.

Contemporary African Art Since 1980 is the first major survey of the work of contemporary African artists from diverse situations, locations, and generations who work either in or outside of Africa, but whose practices engage and occupy the social and cultural complexities of the continent since the past 30 years. Its frame of analysis is absorbed with historical transitions: from the end of the postcolonial utopias of the sixties during the 1980s to the geopolitical, economic, technological, and cultural shifts incited by globalization. This book is both narrower in focus in the periods it reflects on, and specific in the ground it covers. It begins by addressing the tumultuous landscape of contemporary Africa, examining landmarks and narratives, exploring divergent systems of representation, and interrogating the ways artists have responded to change and have incorporated new aesthetic principles and artistic concepts, images and imaginaries to deal with such changes. Organized in chronological order, the book covers all major artistic mediums: painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, installation, drawing, collage. It also covers aesthetic forms and genres, from conceptual to formalist, abstract to figurative practices. Moving between discursive and theoretical registers, the principal questions the book analyzes are: what and when is contemporary African art? Who might be included in the framing of such a conceptual identity? It also addresses the question of globalization and contemporary African art.
The book thus provides an occasion to examine through close reading and visual analysis how artistic concerns produce major themes. It periodizes and cross references artistic sensibilities in order to elicit multiple conceptual relationships, as well as breaks with prevailing binaries of center and periphery, vernacular and academic, urban and non-urban forms, indigenous and diasporic models of identification. In order to theorize how these concerns have been formulated in artistic terms and their creative consequences Contemporary African Art Since 1980 examines a range of ideas, concepts and issues that have shaped the work and practice of African artists within an international and global framework. It traces the shifts from earlier modernist strategies of the sixties and seventies after the period of decolonization, and the rise of pan-African nationalism, to the postcolonial representations of critique and satire that evolved from the 1980s, to the postmodernist irony of the 1990s, and to the globalist strategies of the 21st century.
The main claim of this book is that contemporary African art can be best understood by examining the tension between the period of great political changes of the era of decolonization that enabled new and exciting imaginations of the future to be formulated, and the slow, skeptical, and social decline marked by the era of neo-liberalism and Structural Adjustment programs of the 1980s. These issues are addressed in chapters covering the themes of “Politics, Culture, Critique,” “Memory and Archive,” “Abstraction, Figuration and Subjectivity,” and “The Body, Gender and Sexuality.” In addition, the book employs sidebars to provide brief and incisive accounts of and commentaries on important contemporary political, economic and cultural events, and on exhibitions, biennales, workshops, artist groups and more. Rather than a comprehensive survey, this richly illustrated book presents examples of ambitious and important work by more than 160 African artists since the last 30 years. This list includes Georges Adeagbo Tayo Adenaike, Ghada Amer, El Anatsui, Kader Attia, Luis Basto, Candice Breitz, Moustapha Dimé, Marlene Dumas, Victor Ekpuk, Samuel Fosso, Jak Katarikawe, William Kentridge, Rachid Koraichi, Mona Mazouk, Julie Mehretu, Nandipha Mntambo, Hassan Musa, Donald Odita, Iba Ndiaye, Richard Onyango, Ibrahim El Salahi, Issa Samb, Cheri Samba, Ousmane Sembene, Yinka Shonibare, Barthelemy Toguo, Obiora Udechukwu, and Sue Williamson.
Okwui Enwezor, a leading curator and scholar of contemporary art, is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute, and founding publisher and editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.
Chika Okeke-Agulu is Assistant Professor of Art and Archeology and African American Studies at Princeton University, and editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

PUBLISHER
Damiani

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9.5 x 12.5 in. / 366 pgs / 250 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2009 p. 168   

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Hannah Höch: Picture BookHannah Höch: Picture Book

Published by The Green Box.
Afterword by Gunda Luyken. Translated by Brian Currid.

A central figure in the Berlin Dada circle, friend to Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian and lover of Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch (1889-1972) is probably the most important female artist from the German modernist period. She is best known for her pioneering works of photomontage, which briskly juxtapose mechanical and organic forms, ancient and contemporary bodies, symbols and text drawn from brands and headlines, also edging feminism, commodity critique and other political concerns into the mix. "It is striking how contemporary to us much of Höch's work feels," Luc Sante wrote recently, "in its sexual politics, its humor, its gleeful appropriation of anything and everything at hand." In 1945, Höch made this fantastical full-color children's book, which chronicles the adventures of the four mythical creatures Runfast, Dumblet, Snifty and Meyer in an enchanted garden, combining photomontage with the hallucinatory plant imagery she had come to favor. It is published here for the first time.

PUBLISHER
The Green Box

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 10.75 x 8.75 in. / 44 pgs / 19 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 105   

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The Hearing TrumpetThe Hearing Trumpet

Published by Exact Change.
By Leonora Carrington. Introduction by Helen Byatt.

Leonora Carrington (1917–2011), the distinguished British-born Surrealist painter who made her home in Mexico City, was also a writer of extraordinary imagination and charm, and The Hearing Trumpet is perhaps her best loved book. It tells the story of 92-year-old Marian Leatherby, who is given the gift of a hearing trumpet only to discover that her family has been plotting to have her committed to an institution. But this is an institution where the buildings are shaped like birthday cakes and igloos, where the Winking Abbess and the Queen Bee reign, and where the gateway to the underworld is wide open. It is also the scene of a mysterious murder. Occult twin to Alice in Wonderland, The Hearing Trumpet is a classic of fantastic literature that has been translated and celebrated throughout the world.

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BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6 x 8 in. / 224 pgs.

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Catalog: FALL 2012 p. 182   

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David Renggli: Cage Writes BirdDavid Renggli: Cage Writes Bird

Published by JRP|Ringier.
Edited by Markus Bosshard, Christoph Doswald. Text by Dorothea Strauss.

In this first monograph, the young Swiss artist David Renggli--often grouped with other Zurich stars like Andro Wekua and Urs Fischer--presents surrealistic, soulful objects made from everyday items like plants or plush fabric. Renggli creates a world of fairytales and ghosts for a post-industrial society that once again yearns for fetishes.

PUBLISHER
JRP|Ringier

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9.5 x 13.25 in. / 128 pgs / 90 color / 2 bw.

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Catalog: FALL 2008 p. 141   

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