What are artists' publications and what does one recognise them by?
Bibliographers, librarians, archivists and collection managers of visual arts museums are regularly confronted with this question.
At the request of the Middelheim Museum, artist Nico Dockx and art historian Johan Pas (from the ArchiVolt research group of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp) undertook a physical screening of the museum library's collection of monographic art books and artists' publications.
Through conversations with artists, designers, publishers and collectors, they will examine the phenomenon of the artists' publication from various perspectives. The series will result in a symposium and a book presentation.
*I realized that for the first time this book had an inexplicable thing I was looking for, and that was a kind of a ‘Huh?’. That’s what I’ve always worked around. All it is is a device to disarm somebody with my particular message. A lot of artists use that.
(Edward Ruscha in a conversation with Willoughby Sharp, Avalanche nr.7, New York, Winter-Spring 1973, p.30-39)