workshop Oslo

On 31 January and 1 February I will be contributing to and participating in a workshop about writing, editing and publishing in relation to art. The workshop is organised by Anne Szefer-Karlsen, with whom I worked on the Dublett series, which combined the format of the artist’s book with that of more traditional contextualising essays on the artist’s work. Anne is currently course director of the MA in Curatorial Practice, now part of the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen. Other contributors to the workshop are Federica Bueti, Karen Grønneberg and Rachel O’Reilly. We’ve all suggested different texts to read beforehand, and will no doubt get writing in the course of the two days. I’ve borrowed a detail of a drawing by Pablo Helguera as a provocation.


Dublett # 4 – Elsebeth Jørgensen

Completing the series of Dublett publications, initiated by series editor Anne Szefer Karlsen, published by Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway, and edited by project editor Eva Rem Hansen, the last one has just arrived in the mail, on and with artist Elsebeth Jørgensen.

Like all the others in the Dublett series the book contains two parts: one with critical reflections on the artist’s practice by a range of very diverse writers, the other more of an artist’s book, held together in a shared cover. It’s been fascinating to work on copy-editing and proofing the texts for all of them, as – although the approach was the same in the way they look and are presented – each artist has taken ownership of the artist’s book aspect in a different way, which has for me underlined the notion of the artist’s book being a multi-faceted thing. This one was particularly interesting, as Elsebeth Jørgensen engages with the notion of archives – how they function and how they have been put together, as well as how they can be ‘read’. While the commissioned texts deal with historical and ontological aspects of the archive, the artist’s book, which is titled Ways of Losing Oneself in an Image, embodies Elsebeth’s exploration as a work in its own right.


Anne proudly posted an image of all four issues in the series, their colours working very well together too. The book were designed by Anti Grandpeople.


Dublett #3: Pedro Gómez-Egaña


Dublett is a series of ‘double publications’ focusing on an artist’s practice, an artistic collaboration or an artistic project. Each Dublett consists of a new artist’s book and an anthology of commissioned texts published by Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen, Norway.

The third Dublett focuses on the practice of Pedro Gómez-Egaña (1976, Colombia). It contains his artist book Mitre Marrows as well as an anthology with texts by Bojana Bauer, Elie During, Jacob Wren, Knut Ove Arntzen and Octavio Zaya.

The book was launched at WIELS in Brussels in November 2014, during which Gómez-Egaña did a performance, in which he imagined being possessed by two automata that were fused together. The performance was followed by a conversation between series editor Anne Szefer Karlsen and Gómez-Egaña, together with artist Toril Johannessen (featured in the second Dublett), touching on issues relating to the making of the artist’s books from the artists’ perspective.

As with every book in the ‘Dublett’ series, the artist’s work and the concerns embedded or explored determine the range and variety of texts inlcuded. This book was particularly interesting to work on from a copy-editing perspective. Not only because the artist’s practice provoked very intricate explorations, but also because some texts required some more tinkering in their translations from Spanish. They highlighted the specificities each language harbours, which add another layer of concern when transposed to another.

Dublett # 1: Annette & Caroline Kierulf

dublettkierulfwwwThe collaborative artistic practice of Annette Kierulf and Caroline Kierulf is well known for their shared interest in woodcuts, often with texts integrated in the image, as well as their explicit wish to re-position printmaking as a critical space for reflection. In their exhibition configurations they add sculptures and installations to create connections between the prints, thus breaking with the serial or narrative reading of these works and expanding their potential spatially.

During their exhibition at Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway, in 2013, the centre organised a seminar on artists’ books. The seminar was also the occasion during which the new book series ‘Dublett’ was launched, the first one focusing on the practice of Annette & Caroline Kierulf.

Each ‘Dublett’ consists of a new artist book and an anthology of commissioned texts. These twin publications focus on an artist’s practice, an artistic collaboration or an artistic project. The Dublett series is initiated by Hordaland Art Centre, taking the Hordaland region as its point of departure. Dublett – Annette Kierulf & Caroline Kierulf  features texts by Gunstein Bakke, Paul Coldwell, Geir Tore Holm, Ika Kaminka and Jan Svenungsson, as well as a joint artist’s book made by the artists.

The combination of two elements allows on the one hand for the artist’s practice to take centre stage and made manifest in the artist’s book, while the essay element that accompanies it offers an in-depth reflection on that practice through texts commissioned from a variety of authors. It challenges the notion of what a publication can be in relation to artists’ practices head on, an area that I am particularly interested in. Copy-editing and proofing the texts, which from various angles also tried to unpick the position of the woodcut in contemporary practice, resonated with the Andrea Büttner book I worked on several months later (see the Büttner post).


Dublett # 2: Toril Johannessen

Dublett – Toril JohanneDublett-Torilwwwssen is the second book in the ‘Dublett’ series. Each ‘Dublett’ consists of a new artist’s book and an anthology of commissioned texts. These twin publications focus on an artist’s practice, an artistic collaboration or an artistic project. The ‘Dublett’ series is initiated by Hordaland Art Centre, taking the Hordaland region in Norway as its point of departure in its selection of artists. See also the post on Dublett # 1. ‘Dublett’ is designed by Anti & Grandpeople/Gaute Tenold Aase.

Toril Johannessen‘s practice engages with scientific topics and methodologies, and plays with the metaphors and creative elements inherent to the various methods of knowledge production.

Dublett – Toril Johannessen features texts by Espen Sommer Eide, artist, musician and philosopher; Peter Galison, professor of the history of science and physics at Harvard University; Mette Karlsvik, writer; Marit Paasche, art historian and Theodor Ringborg, writer and curator, as well as an artist book made by Toril Johannessen titled UnseeingDublett – Toril Johannessen is edited by Eva Rem Hansen and Maria Lyngstad Willassen.

Working on the texts as a copy-editor / proofer was great fun because of the wide range of voices and areas of expertise with which the authors contributed to the essay part of the publication. The considered selection of authors in this case mirrored the considered approach by the artist to her own practice and subject matter perfectly.