Book Works and Chisenhale were deeply saddened to hear the tragic news about the death of Gboyega Odubanjo and we pass our condolences on to his family and friends at this sad time.
Gboyega had been commissioned by us for a contribution to Ayo Akingbade’s book Show Me The World Mister, which followed the recent and touring exhibition of the same name. Gboyega had contributed to the Chisenhale programme of talks related to this exhibition and on the strength of this work, he was invited to expand this work for this publication.
Book Works is delighted to announce a new facsimile edition of the Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña’s Saborami– an artist book created in the aftermath of the September 1973 military coup in Chile. Combining poetry, journal entries, documentation of artworks including assemblages and paintings, the book was published in Devon, England in an edition of 250 hand-made copies by the artist-led Beau Geste Press. It was one of the first artistic responses to the violence of the fascist junta. The book will be published in early 2024, and you can preorder it now, here.
In recent years, Vicuña has gained increasing renown, including a retrospective at Kunstinstituut Melly (FKA Witte de With, 2019) and installations at the Guggenheim (2022); and Tate Modern (2023). Saboramiis one of her most important works, made at a turning point in her life and career, and reverberating through to the present day. Though the book is highly regarded, it has also been hard to access. This new, expanded facsimile edition remedies this oversight, and restates Saborami as a central example of artistic engagement in material and revolutionary resistance.
Engaging obliquely with the legacies of surrealism, contemporaneous experiments in concrete poetry and the British conceptual art practices of the 1960s and 1970s, Saborami is part of an exilic and internationalist tradition. Years ahead of her time, Vicuña outlines an eco-socialist and feminist vision in the face of defeat.
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the book’s original publication and of the coup in Chile, this expanded edition contains a new introduction by art historian and curator Amy Tobin and poet and writer Luke Roberts. It includes rarely seen archival material from Vicuña’s time in London, such as contributions to the feminist newspaper Spare Rib, commentary from BBC coverage, and her role in Artists for Democracy in Chile and other solidarity campaigns.
Saborami: An expanded facsimile edition by Cecilia Vicuña, is edited by Amy Tobin and Luke Roberts, designed by James Langdon, and published by Book Works in an edition of 1,000 copies. This project has been generously supported by the Jan Michalski Foundation, Cecilia Vicuña, King’s College London, and Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Cecilia Vicuña is an internationally renowned visual artist and poet. Born in Chile in 1948, she lived in England between 1972 and 1975. After a period in Bogota, Colombia, she settled in New York City, where she lives and works today. Her New and Selected Poems were published by Kelsey Street in 2018. At the Venice Biennale in 2022 she won the Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement.
Luke Roberts, author of Home Radio (2021) is Senior Lecturer in Modern Poetry at King’s College London.
Amy Tobin, author of Women Artists Together: Art in the Age of Women’s Liberation (2023), is Associate Professor in History of Art, and Curator at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge.
Book of the Month: Helen Cammock – Moveable Bridge
Our “book” of the month, with 30% during October, is Helen Cammock’s Moveable Bridge – a 12″ vinyl album of spoken word and song and artist publication in a gatefold sleeve commissioned as part of Beyond Words.
Poverty, politics and survival have been a part of the story of Hull as much as wars, imperialism and trade have shaped the city. As in most cities, and especially ports, contradictions are numerous, and radical political activists and thinkers smatter the history of Hull leaving legacies that are often hard to understand and acknowledge. Cammock has brought together some of the voices that have come out of Hull’s history to ask some questions about what freedom, liberty and openess means for a city, its people and culture, which have been so connected to the building of ships and global trade for centuries, into a visual collage using photography, video, printmaking, writing and performance.
Helen Cammock was born in 1970 in Staffordshire. Film, photography, print, text, song and performance examine mainstream historical and contemporary narratives about Blackness, womanhood, oppression and resistance, wealth and power, poverty and vulnerability, throughout her practice. Her works often cut across time and geography, layering multiple voices as she investigates the cyclical nature of histories in her visual and aural assemblages.
Moveable Bridge by Helen Cammock is published by Book Works in an edition of 250 copies. 12” Album with spoken word and songs by Helen Cammock, artist’s publication, 36 pages; in a gatefold sleeve 260mm x 260mm. Designed by Modern Activity.
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.
Includes new projects with: Ayo Akingbade, Deborah-Joyce Holman, Bouchra Khalili, Amy Ching-Yan Lam, Samia Malik, Harun Morrison, Sofia Niazi, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Jimmy Robert, Prem Sahib, Derica Shields, and Cecilia Vicuña. Our current Open Submission is Arrhythmia, guest edited by Katrina Palmer, and has commissioned new work from Andrew Colarusso, Roy Claire Potter, Kawangi Njue, and Alice Walter.
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