LE BOOK CLUB
The photobook is a body in transition, a body that is able to permeate different spaces and times (not just those commonly defined as the authoritative exhibitions spaces). Its migratory movement challenges the political architecture and colonial patriarchy of the exhibition space. To make and hold a photobook is to go on a journey: political, sexual, geographical, corporeal, which radically transforms both the travelling object and the receiver welcoming it, since wherever it journeys, the photobook enters new contexts, new communities, gains temporary nationalities and contests boarders.
In five chapters unravelling over five weeks, the exhibition Le Book Club will explore the photobook as an exhibition space. Through the creation of a deconstructed, expanded and experimental display space, we will see and test the photographic image in different ways, attempting to avoid stereotypes and given representations. A key question will be whether the book can be the primary exhibition space. And if so, what will that exhibition space be?
CHAPTER 1: ZINES OF THE ZONE
January 15 – January 19
January 15, 18:00-20:00:
Opening with a concert and an open-call presentation by Guilhem All and Julie Hascoët.
ZINES OF THE ZONE is a nomadic collection of self-published books and photo-related zines. Based in France, the collection is taken to the far corners of Europe in order for its organisers to meet local artists, collect and show publications. To open up the first chapter of Le Book Club, Julie Hascoët and Guilhem All from Zines of the Zone bring their mobile library to Norway to continue their collection by inviting independent publishers to join the exhibition. This chapter will underline the potential of the zine, in terms of mobility, content and artistic value. For the opening, Guilhem All invites the public to a musical performance. A blend of sound recordings, uncommon textures, loops and rustling noises, his performances are an invitation to share an intimate immersion in All’s abstract and imaginary vision.
CHAPTER 2: WOLFGANG TILLMANS
January 22 – January 26
January 22, 18:00-20:00:
Opening of Wolfgang Tillman’s book collection with Christophe Daviet-Théry and Dr. Sara R. Yazdani.
Parisian collector Christophe Daviet-Théry will make a large selection of his publications by Wolfgang Tillmans available at Fotogalleriet. Apart from book by Tillmans, Daviet-Théry holds a selection of magazines, showing the importance of the book in Tillmans’ work, and how he works with images related to books, magazines and posters. For the opening of this chapter, Daviet-Théry will engage in an ‘open table’ conversation with Dr. Sara R. Yazdani on Tillmans’ oeuvre. In her doctoral dissertation on the work of Tillmans, Yazdani writes that he activates an image ecological thinking, asserting within his complex image constellations – shown in museums, galleries, and artists’ books – beings become meaningful and autonomous through dynamic interactions with things, natural objects, machines and human bodies.
CHAPTER 3: MARIE SJØVOLD AND NADINE WIETLISBACH
January 29 – February 3
January 29, 18:00-20:00:
A presentation in four parts of Marie Sjøvold’s book «The Practice of Presence».
The Norwegian artist Marie Sjøvold will present a special edition of her new photobook The Practice of Being Present. The book is a result of a year spent adhering to a number of restrictions she placed on herself in relation to the use of social media and her smartphone. In Norwegian, she uses the wordplay fotobok(s) to describe the publication, which combines photobook and photobox. Sjøvold aims to explore how the book can be read and experienced differently through its placement in various physical and social settings inside and outside the exhibition space.
February 3, 18:00-20:00:
A lecture with Nadine Wietlisbach «Tacos and cherries, Perspectives on interlinking curatorial and discursive practices on Fotomuseum Winterthur».
For this week, we have also invited Nadine Wietlisbach, director of Fotomuseum Winterthur, to give a lecture on experimental exhibition formats that react dynamically to current photographic and cultural developments reaching global audiences. Fotomuseum Winterthur has been a leading institution in rethinking photography in the expanded field, as its technological development moves rapidly across a wide variety of devices and platforms, challenging our understanding of the medium. Integrating the physical exhibition space and virtual forums, the institution has invested in reframing its holdings of artworks, books and other material including its online archives.
CHAPTER 4: FIN SERCK-HANSSEN AND JULIÁN BARON
February 5 – February 9
February 5, 18:00-20:00:
Opening of Fin Serck-Hanssen’s «HEDDA», followed by Fin Serck-Hanssen in conversation with Nina Strand.
The Norwegian artist Fin Serck-Hanssen will present his upcoming book HEDDA. Over the last couple of years, Serck-Hanssen has followed and documented the gender-confirming process of Hedda, born in 1992. For this chapter, the latest dummy will be presented, and Serck-Hanssen will walk us through the making of the book, from initial idea to the publication, using mood boards and early dummies.
February 6 to February 8, 14:00-16:00:
«Identity», a series of workshops by Julián Baron on the invitation of Fotogalleriet.
The Spanish artist Julián Baron is a very active artist in the field of education in general and within photobook production in particular. The workshop aims to work on personal and collective identity issues, from images of our environment to the use of various technologies. The aim is to detach ourselves from the conventional ideas of object, symbol and meaning that we give to images. These workshops are targeted for groups and designed for teenagers and school classes. For more information contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLOSING CHAPTER: CARMEN WINANT
February 12 – February 16
February 12, 18:00-20:00:
Opening of Carmen Winant’s «Notes on Fundamental Joy; seeking the elimination of oppression through the social and political transformation of the patriarchy that otherwise threatens to bury us».
Notes on Fundamental Joy is an experimental work that sits at the cross section of an artist’s project and a historical document. The archival images are drawn from Womyn’s Lands – lesbian, feminist separatist communities in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the 1960s-80s, with a particular emphasis on Ovulars, a series of dedicated photography workshops. At Fotogalleriet, Winant presents the historical context, in the form of pamphlets that helped shape her honorific project. It will include the never-before exhibited contact sheets of Carol Newhouse, one of the Womyn photographers who organised Ovulars and participated in the queer, lesbian liberation, and also a series of images by Honey Lee Cottrell.
THROUGH OUT THE EXHIBITION PERIOD: LIBRAIRIE YVON LAMBERT
January 15 – February 16
While we look at what a photobook is, we will also examine what a bookshop is and can be. During the entire exhibition period, Paris-based Librairie Yvon Lambert takes over the bookshop. The French gallerist Yvon Lambert has created a space that holds a small gallery, a publishing house and a bookshop in one. Since 2017, the bookshop has carried the project Yesterday by David Horvitz, and a special edition for Fotogalleriet will be on display during the time of the exhibition. Every day, Horvitz will send a picture of the sky to the gallery. Since Horovitz lives in Los Angeles, eight time zones away form Paris and Oslo, the photographs usually arrives the next day. Every morning, a new sky of yesterday will be printed, framed and hung on the wall. A printer will be placed on a small table in front of the wall, as well as a stack of free skies for visitors. The photographs will indicate the date, time and location in which the photograph was taken, and each photograph will only be available for visitors for one day. The bookshop will also include several publications by Horovitz, Notes on Fundamental Joy by Carmen Winant, the latest issue of Aperture (guest-edited by Wolfgang Tillmans), and a selection of books by Fin Serck-Hanssen and Marie Sjøvold.
Fotogalleriet is the first Nordic institution dedicated solely to photography as a critical artistic practice. Since its establishment in 1977, Fotogalleriet has, through mediation and exhibitions, acted as a mediator between the national and the international discourse on photography. For several decades Fotogalleriet has been collaborating closely with FFF in the realization of the Spring Exhibition.
Fotogalleriet’s principal funding comes from The Arts Council Norway. Additional funding is provided by the Norwegian Photographic Fund (Nofofo). Partial funding comes from the Royal Ministry of Culture through their exhibition’s honorarium programme and Oslo Municipality. The exhibition Le Book Club has been made possible by the generous support of the Fritt Ord Foundation, Acción Cultural Española, Pro Helvetia and Institut français de Norvège. Fotogalleriet also wants to extend thanks for the kind collaboration with Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF).