Playground: Magazines and Books as Sites for Art

MWW conference audience

Wroclaw Museum of Contemporary Art

May 23, 2014.

MWW, pl. Strzegomski 2a, 53-681 Wrocław, Poland

Nick Thurston spoke at a one-day conference on the histories of DIY zine and book publishing in Poland and England from the 80s to present day, convened by Sylwia Serafinowicz, Chief Curator of Collections at Wroclaw Museum of Contemporary Art (MWW).


Publishing as Performance Symposium

Simon Morris invited to lecture and create a workshop at Publishing as Performance Symposium, convened by PhDArts, Royal Academy of Art (KABK), Prinsessegracht 4, 2514 AN The Hague, The Netherlands, Friday 25th April 2014.

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Ravenstein Seminar 2014: Materiality of Literature

Simon Morris invited to guest lecture at Ravenstein Seminar 2014: Materiality of Literature, in Amsterdam organized by Utrecht University  and OSL on the invitation of Professor Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, 5-7 February 2014.

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Simon Morris lectures at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art

On the 26 October 2013 Simon Morris delivered a lecture on conceptual writing  at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art as part of the The Book Lovers.

Long-term project about artist novels
Curated by David Maroto and Joanna Zielinska

The Book Lovers is a systematic attempt to study the phenomenon of artist novels. The central question is: what are the consequences when we accept the novel as an art form in its own right?

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MISS READ, Berlin, September 19-22, 2013

information as material took part in the MISS READ festival in Berlin in association with Art Berlin Contemporary, with Simon Morris delivering two lectures and Nick Thurston two poetry readings as well as presenting books from the publishing imprint at their table over the three day event.

Simon Morris USA lecture tour

In February 2013 Simon Morris completed a brief lecture tour in the USA, talking about experimental literature. The itinerary included:

Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania, as part of the ‘Writers without Borders’ series (Monday 4th February 2013)

Cabinet Magazine, New York City (Tuesday 5th February 2013)

Harvard University on the invitation of Professor John Hamilton‘s Renato Pogglio Memorial Colloquium Series (Wednesday 6th February 2013)

‘WTF?!’ Reading at Corner College, Zurich

Corner College, some other time

Corner College, Kochstrasse 1, CH-8004, Zürich, Switzerland.

Monday 29 October, 2012


Soup and drinks served.

A one-off reading at Corner College, Zurich, curated by Romy Rüegger and Lucie Kolb with Stefan Wagner. An event programmed in connection with an invited two-day seminar series led by Nick at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich, for the MFA Fine Art programme.

A kind of ”huh ?” exhibition

‘Pigeon Reader’, Simon Morris, 2012. Photo: Peter Heaton.

Exhibition 8 November 2012- 23 March 2013

Les Abattoirs, Toulouse Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art + touring, curated by Jérôme Dupeyrat and Maïwenn Walter

In an interview with Willoughby Sharp made in 1973, Ed Ruscha said about the artist’s books he published in the sixties that all his work aimed for producing “a kind of ‘huh?’:

— I realized that for the first time this book had an inexplicable thing I was looking for, and that was
a kind of « huh? » That’s what I’ve always worked around. All it is is a device to disarm somebody
with my particular message. Lots of artists use that.
— Give me some examples of « Huh? »
— I don’t know, somebody digging a hole out in the desert and calling it sculpture…
“Huh?” : this onomatopoeia stands for “What is it?”, “Why?”, “What does it mean? etc.”

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Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art exhibition

October 12, 2012–February 3, 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

The exhibition will be traveling to The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Canada, in June 2013.

Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art features the work of over fifty artists and writers exploring the artistic possibilities of language. Presenting works from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, installation, video and works on paper that raise questions about how we read, look at, hear, and process language today. A major current underlying the exhibition argues that the field of literature known as “conceptual writing” can be seen as engaging in a provocative dialogue with the field of contemporary art, producing new insights into the meaning of both literature and art. Co-curated by Nora Burnett Abrams and Andrea Andersson, Postscript is the first exhibition to examine the work of conceptual writing, investigating the roots of the movement in the art of the 1960s and 70s and presenting contemporary examples of text-based art practices.

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Afterall Journal interview

Trevor Hickman’s block cut (Brewhouse Broadsheets, 1967) remake of a Mathias Huss wood cut. Huss’ original, published in Lyon in 1499, was from a folio he cut for an edition of the so-called Dance of Death, ‘La grât danse macabre’.
It is the first known image of a printing press or bookseller, and actually represents the full process of publishing as a synthesised flow. From left to right in the image you can see: Death; compositor; Death; puller 1; puller 2; Death; and a bookseller. In the few lines of French dialogue that accompany this momento mori Death tells the publishing foursome to come swiftly; to leave their euqipment, presses and cases; and not to try to conceal any faults, for it is in the work that one knows the workman.

You can read an interview with Nick commissioned by Afterall Journal for their ‘Artists at Work’ series, conducted by Louise O’Hare of Published & Be Damned, on the subject of self-publishing, here.

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