Auras and Levitations by Susan Hiller is our Book of the Month, with 30% off direct orders for the whole of May 2021. Order it now.
Susan Hiller’s artist’s book pays homage to two images of aspiration, fantasy and sublimation: Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void (1960) and Marcel Duchamp’s Portrait of Dr. R. Dumouchel (1910). Both embrace the phantasmagorical legacy of modernist art; in the former, the shaman’s defiance of gravity, in the latter, the clairvoyant’s perception of human auras.
In her miniature book, Hiller has assembled images sourced from the internet, all paying indirect homage to these two artists’ gestures. She presents a sequence of levitations, back-to-back with a series of images of auras, so constructing an occult legacy thriving in popular culture, in which the artist’s gesture is reincarnated in the democratic medium of the internet. Read a piece about the work before its release in 2007, by Brian Dillon in Frieze.
We’ll be doing a promotion on a different book every month – watch this space for news of the June title.
Praneet Soi’s new book, Anamorphosis, is reviewed in the May issues of Art Monthly and Art Asia Pacific. Both are subscriber only, but you can read brief extracts below. Ophelia Lai in Art Asia Pacific writes:
Anamorphosis is simultaneously sweeping and granular, breaking up allusive collages with strips of text on the experiences of Palestinians the artist encountered. Soi never omits the particularities of his subjectivity as an outsider, adding personal reflections on the historical linkages between Sebastia and Punjab, where his father was born, and recollections of Kolkata educed by the sights and sounds of the West Bank.
Kamayani Sharma has reviewed Anamorphosis for Art Monthly, noting the book’s cinematic quality:
Soi, a student of the pioneering essay filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin, brings some of the genre’s sensibilities to the artist’s book form by way of gesture and montage…Outlines of one image hosting the details of another make apparent the connections between the struggles of the Kashmiri and Palestinian peoples. The ‘freeze frame’ aesthetic that converts the cinematographic into the photographic imparts a degree of certainty often missing in the story of conflict zones. Seeing has in many cultures been conflated with knowing, vision a method of substantiating belief. In Anamorphosis, iconicity becomes proof of presence in embattled regions, the visit itself a political act, as curator Reem Fadda has pointed out. The book provides an elegant coda to an artwork seeking to understand fundamentally unknowable pain by looking closely.
Anamorphosis is co-published by Book Works and The Mosaic Rooms.
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.