Every Other Space
A display of artists' books
Mutina HQ Fiorano (Modena)
The exhibition curated by Gregorio Magnani presents a wide selection of artists’ books exhibited within a display specifically designed by artist Nicole Wermers in the Mutina showroom. Wermers uses coir matting – a common material normally trampled on – in order to create a presentation mechanism for the books. Coir, which usually carachterises doormats, is turned from a transitional zone into a display layer.
The artists’ books presented in the exhibition are autonomous artworks, conceived to exist exclusively in this format. Starting from Zang Tumb Tumb, the book-manifesto of Futurism published by Filippo Marinetti in 1912, the exhibition features artists’ books by Kai Althoff, Isa Genzken, Richard Prince, Laura Owens, Hanne Darboven, Christopher Williams, Wolfgang Tillmans, Andy Warhol and up to the most recent experimentations, and narrates the liberating and often disruptive encounter between artistic creativity and the book.
Ironic and evocative, the presentation developed by Nicole Wermers and Gregorio Magnani challenges the rules and hierarchies of display. Coir is lifted from its usage as flooring – traditionally low in the architectural canon of values – and elevated to the height of exhibiting element. The original function of the coir and its coarse texture rubs physically and metaphorically against the books that rest on it.
*Nicole Wermers (1971, Emsdetten, Germany) is an artist based in London and a professor for sculpture at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich. Recent solo exhibitions include: Women Between Buildings, Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg; Seasons (with Markus Amm), Herald St, London; Givers & Takers, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Manners, Tate Britain, London. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tate, London; Kunsthalle Wien, MMK Frankfurt; Hayward Gallery, London and MACRO in Rome. In 2015 she was nominated for the Turner Prize.
*Gregorio Magnani become interested in artists’ books in 1995. He has curated exhibitions dedicated to artist’s publishing for Corvi Mora in London, Artists’ Space in New York, The Serralves Museum in Porto, Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Motto Books in Berlin, Kunstverein Wien and ICA Milano. Since 2016 he also runs a small publishing house called Compagnia.