Exhibition Review: PUBLISH/CURATE, TJ. Boulting

TJ. Boulting Gallery. Exhibition open until 23 August 2014

Involved artists: Pieter Hugo / Boo Saville / Patti Smith / Robin Maddock / Henry Hudson / Whitney McVeigh / Ricardo Cases / Nicolò Degiorgis / Lorenzo Vitturi / Bjarne Bare / Tim Smyth / Adeline de Monseignat / Lewis Chaplin / Tamsin Relly / Asger Carlsen / Victoire Thieree / Hugo Wilson / Charlotte Schnabl / Victoria Ahrens / Ivy Armour / Federico Clavarino / Charlotte Dumas / Vladislav Krasnoshek and Sergiy Lebedynskyy / Ayca Kosegullari / Cristina de Middel / David Noona / Viviane Sassen / POV Female Bogota / POV Female Johannesburg / POV Female Tokyo / POV Female London / Augustin Steyer / Akiko Takizawa / Eloise van der Heyden

Involved publishers: Maxwell Anderson (Bemojake) / Bjarne Bare (Melk) / Bruno Ceschel (Self Publish Be Happy) / Alex Bocchetto & Valentina Abenavoli (Akina Books) / Nocoló Degiorgis & Eleonora Matteazzi (Rorhof) / Harry Hardie & Ben Weaver (Here Press) / Alix anta (Adad Books) / Aron Morel (Morel Books) / Damien Poulan (Oodee) / Thimothy Prus (Archive of Modern Conflict) / Hannah Watson (Trolley Books).


The group exhibition PUBLISH/CURATE celebrates leading independent photography book publishers, who by an invitation from director of Trolley Books, Hanna Watson, have selected artists of their own interest to be exhibited. We see an interesting transformation in where the publishers become curators, and notice that the distance between the two may not be that far.

TJ. Boulting mentions this exhibition as an “opportunity to bring together not only the various artists and photographers, but also highlight the publishers responsible for showcasing their work”. Through the exhibition emphasis is put on the work that the publishers are doing and the careful selection and curation that also comes into place in publishing new work in book-form. We witness a selective process that comes together in a refreshing mix of presented work by well know publishers as well as less established ones, and an equal range of artists involved.

It is interesting to see the conversion from book form to wall presentation, with a noticeable attention to display, where the different publishers in different ways have created gatherings of images, either with a collection of work from one artist, or as a collection of work from different artists. We can see how the publishers are working in similar but yet different ways in making choices and adapting in this new gallery environment.

© Installation shot from Publish/Curate, TJ. Boulting

The most notable curated presentation of work in my opinion is the images chosen by Alic Janta, co-editior of Adad Books, where we see a collection of work by different artists, all fitting especially well together. They all seem to have in common the exploration of printing processes and alternative presentation, in a way reflecting the perhaps most visible book in their shop, Far, by Emile Hyperion. Janta has been especially successful with the selection of work by Whitney McVeigh, Victorie Thieree, Victoria Ahrens, David Noonan, and I would have loved to enter Adad Books’ website to see publications by all these artists and more, as a special and unique approach to alternative presentation also in book form.

Next to the Adad Books selection we find the presentation of one single project by the photographers Vladislav Krasnishek and Sergiy Lebedynsky covering the Ukrainian riots earlier this year. The work is presented by Riot Books, and the images have, similar to Adad Books, a peculiar materiality to them. Riot Books are also well known for their handmade and short run artist books and seem to sell out quickly, probably for this exact reason.

Opposite to these two collections we find a more colourful presentation where Ricardo Cases, from ‘Paloma al Aire’ has been given a lot of space, together with the work of Boo Saville and Henry Hudson. This fresh arrangement of works has been curated by Trolley Books editior Hanna Watson herself, and juxtapose perfectly with the other work in the room. In this first room of the gallery we also find two sculptural compositions with acclaimed artist Lorenzo Vitturi presented by Bruno Ceschel and Self Publish Be Happy. The sculptures from the work Dalston Anatomy adds up as the icing on the cake with its colourful, sharp and unconventional presentation of photographic material.

© Installation shot for Publish/Curate at TJ. Boulting

Entering the second room of the gallery we are first presented a slide show curated by Damien Poulain and Oodee, showing images from a new series of books of female portraits by Pieter Hugo, Charlotte Dumas and Viviane Sassen. Following this, we see two slightly more politically charged work, the first one where Harry Hardie and Ben Weaver of Here Press presents three images by Lewis Chaplin from a current collaboration between the artist and publisher, and witnessing interesting work from both parts previously I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of this new publication. Next, we see images from the book “Hidden Islam” by Nicoló Degiorgis displaying temporary places of worships in northeast Italy created by the lack of mosques in the area. Finally we see the installation of Bjarne Bare and MELK, a composition of 16 images from his own work ‘Grapnel Grapple’.

© Installation shot for Publish/Curate at TJ. Boulting

Although the exhibition is mostly represented by London-publishers it is also great to see publishers from Norway, Spain and Italy presenting a varied and noteworthy culmination of work, giving us an insight into the curatorial aspect of the publishing world and also an update of what to expect in the near future. The great mix of established and emerging artists together with unseen material or well-known material in a new presentation gives good reason to visit this exhibition in its last open week.


Review written by marketing volunteer Marianne Bjørnmyr