Book Works is delighted to present a new title, Prem Sahib’s That Fire Over There, now available for pre-order.
Publishing in September 2023, That Fire Over There takes fire as a metaphor for ideas around queer attachment, proximity, and personal and collective transformation. It also excavates the history of a real fire which in 1981 destroyed the Hambrough Tavern – a contested site symbolic of provocation and conflict against far-right groups in Southall, west London, where Sahib grew up.
A rich body of images – documenting artworks which explore gay cruising, selected from family photo collections, and displaying ephemera from the archive of Prem Sahib’s uncle Kamaljit Sahib, a notable activist in Southall of the 1980s and 90s – combines with extracts from a dream diary and exchanges with family members. Added to this are newly commissioned texts and correspondence by Sita Balani, Milovan Farronato, Reba Maybury and Ashkan Sepahvand, engaging with emotional themes such as grief, shame and loss. Prem Sahib’s own writing makes connections between interlocutors and carves out a space for otherwise disparate material to coexist, all in the pursuit of questioning ideas around freedom, sexuality, and intergenerational experiences of place and politics.
This publication expands on a series of three exhibitions made by Prem Sahib, collectively titled Descent and shown at Southard Reid Gallery in 2019–20. Descent is i. People Come & Go; ii. Cul de Sac; iii. Man Dog; and now, iv. That Fire Over There.
Prem Sahib’s work has been shown widely including solo institutional exhibitions Balconies, Kunstverein Hamburg, 2017 and Side On, ICA London, 2015, as well in group shows at spaces that include Sharjah Art Foundation, Migros Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Hayward Gallery, KW Institute of Art, Des Moines Art Centre and the Gwangju Biennale. Their work is in the collections of Tate, The Arts Council, Government Art Collection, UK, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Norway, and MONA, Australia.
July Book of the Month: The Unspeakable Freedom Device
Our book of the month, with 30% off for the whole of July, is The Unspeakable Freedom Device by Jennet Thomas (2015).
‘This is your new device. The purpose of this device has been re-defined, but this was gradual, so you did not notice. This device likes you. It excites with simplicity, it cuts, lifts and separates, then hollows out the centre, making ready for the enrichment mechanisms to enter…’ – Jennet Thomas, from the Prologue
Margaret Thatcher is the spectral protagonist in this dystopian folkloric work; she exists as an all-pervasive image burnt onto the collective memory of a culture that is sinister and psychedelic, ‘savage’ and ritualistic. The characters are released, and we follow two impoverished pilgrims, Glenda and Mary, through a red, green and blue broken landscape. Signs have collapsed and meaning has imploded: Mary needs to find a cure for her baby; Glenda wants to help, but appears to have another agenda. Their profound disorientation leaves them unsure of which route to choose. Red, blue, or green? All roads seem to lead to Blupool. There the device is to be renewed, and the fateful implosion occurs. The colours rotate, the fiction loops, and the pilgrims must start their search again.
New edition of Airport Love Theme and Hamishi Farah solo show.
Hamishi Farah’s first UK solo exhibition – London UK – is now open at Arcadia Missa until 30 August 2023.
“The gallery contains 3 paintings, Roberto Cavalli, Beyoncé, & Whale, and a letter from a London legal firm on behalf of their client seeking to colonise or reappropriate the physical body of Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli.
The work in this exhibition proceeds from an assumption that the elliptical thrust that animated the development of conceptual art practice stems from a libidinal attempt to recover and make into surplus the structure of loss expended by the deracinated art object (née cultural artifact), as an immaterial effect of coloniality.
In this exhibition Hamishi Farah offers readily available images of celebrities and animals for audiences to consume and respond to.
Born in 1991, Hamishi Farah is an artist who focuses primarily on the limitations of conceptual, critical, and socially reflective painting in institutional, off-site, and commercial spaces.”
Hamishi Farah is the author of Airport Love Theme, a graphic novel published by Book Works as part of the Contact series, edited by Hannah Black. Order the second edition here.
Tsundoku Art Book Fair
13-16 July 2023,
Thursday to Sunday, 10am-5pm
The Printworks, Dublin Castle,
Dame Street, Dublin 2
We are delighted to have some of our books present at Tsundoku Art Book Fair in Dublin next week as part of PhotoIreland Festival! Find out more about the list of publishers and programme of events on their website: https://tsundoku.ie/
The Book Works Readers Club is a great way to support the work we do and to build your own library of artist books. For just £5/month or £50/year you’ll receive a copy of everything we publish as soon as it is ready.
Current members have just received their copies of the new edition of That Fire Over There by Prem Sahib
Sign up to the Readers Club in September and be one of the first to get a copy of Ayo Akingbade’s Show Me The World!
Book Works is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, we are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples.
The Book Works Studio offers a specialist bespoke service for a range of clients, from artists, designers, galleries, and businesses. We provide binding solutions, develop prototypes and specialise in unique book artworks, boxes, and portfolios. We have an extensive archive, and offer tailored educational events, and bookbinding courses. The Studio generates income from clients and is self-sufficient.
Book Works Publishing is dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects and include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an online archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops.
Our audience is vital to our work. The process of engaging and developing our audience is initiated with our commissioning programme, and driven through all aspects of our activities, particularly our public programme of events, our workshops, artists’ surgeries and education activities, and through our interest in collaborating with other organisations and libraries. Our programme of commissions is diverse, and reflects our commitment not just to work with cultural workers from all backgrounds, but to invest in networks and programmes that engage, and develop and create new artistic voices.
Include new projects with: Phyllis Christopher; Francesco Pedraglio; Sarah Tripp; Praneet Soi; Stuart Brisley; Nina Wakeford and Art on the Underground; Erica Scourti; Sophia Al-Maria; Bouchra Khalili; Laure Prouvost; Stephen Sutcliffe; Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan; Contact – a series guest edited by Hannah Black with Hamishi Farah, Momtaza Mehri and Derica Shields; and Interstices, a fiction series edited by Bridget Penney with Harun Morrison, Diana Georgiou and Licorice by Bridget Penney.
By supporting Book Works you will help support artists and writers at the emerging stage of their careers through our diverse commissioning programme of open submissions, guest editorships, public events, exhibitions and publications.
Book Works is a registered charity, dedicated to advance education for the benefit of the public in the visual arts, particularly books which may be recognised as works of art in their own right.
We have a board of trustees who input their range of diverse expertise and interests into our development:
Teresa Drace-Francis (Chair)
Gerrie van Noord