This Thursday May 28 at 8 p.m. photographer Stan Gaz and guests will discuss work featured in Sites of Impact: Meteorite Craters from Around the World at Marymount Manhattan College on E. 71st St. The book is published by Princeton Architectural Press and features beautiful photographs of the earth’s craters captured during Gaz’s six years of traveling the planet.
Video artist Willie Doherty discusses his early influences (Roxy Music, Warhol) and creative process in this 2005 interview, produced for the Channel 4 Ideas Factory website by the Irish production house Nerve Centre.
Doherty’s new exhibit “Requisite Distance” opens on Sunday, May 24 at the Dallas Museum of Art, preceded by an artist talk with Doherty this evening. From the New York Times:
This show offers a concentrated view of the work of Willie Doherty, one of the more influential conceptual artists to emerge from Northern Ireland in the past decade. Photographs and video make up the show, including a powerful 15-minute film, “Ghost Story,” a hit of the 2007 Venice Biennale.
The Marquand-produced book Willie Doherty: Requisite Distancewill soon be available from Yale University Press, London.
A well-written commentary in the Wall Street Journal by voracious reader Luc Sante on why reading and owning bound books is, and will remain, a very good thing:
As far as the decline of reading goes, I am nervous, but also believe that matters of taste and inclination do swing around on long orbits. But I would very much miss books as material objects were they to disappear. The tactility of books assists my memory, for one thing. I can’t remember the quote I’m searching for, or maybe even the title of the work that contains it, but I can remember that the book is green, that the margins are unusually wide, and that the quote lies two-thirds of the way down a right-hand page.
Trimpin: The Sound of Invention follows artist/inventor/engineer/composer Trimpin as he shuns the hype and hyperbole of the commercial art world, while his freewheeling sculptures and outrageous musical experiments are cherished by museums all over the world.
Filmed over two years, this cinema verité documentary feature follows the artist/inventor as he devises a perpetual motion machine, builds a 20-meter tower of automatic electric guitars, and collaborates with the Kronos Quartet on an outrageous world premiere. The film will delight anyone interested in the mysteries, pitfalls, and sheer joy of creative experiment.
The documentary screens at the Seattle International Film Festival on Friday, May 22, 7 pm at SIFF Theatre; Saturday, May 23, 1:30 pm at SIFF Theatre; and Monday, June 1, 4:30 pm at the Kirkland Arts Center. More info and tickets here.
To give you a taste of this eccentic creator, here are some of the everyday objects Trimpin has used to make music. The “dip-tip chickens” make our minds boggle!
whistles duck calls toy guitars gramophones hair bands Tupperware toy monkeys wooden shoes dip-tip chickens bunsen burners beer glasses typewriters office lamps juice dispensers cathode ray tubes electrical fan blades slide projectors vacuum cleaner pottery wheels aircraft cable turkey basters steel chains saw blades a 10,000-volt neon transformer
In my recent conversation with MFA Houston’s bookstore manager Bernard Bonnet, he mentioned that there is at least one bookstore per block in Paris. I thought he was exaggerating, but while I was in Paris last weekend I made a point of testing his claim on a morning walk from Place de la Concorde to Luxembourg Gardens.
In St. Germaine there are even more than that, and each shop has its own delightful and seductive window display. It reminds me of how much we lose when bookstores disappear: in service, in taste, and in imaginative connections that trigger that familiar desire to buy a good book, curl up in a chair by the window, or head for a café to lose yourself in the pages. Parisians are rich in many ways. –EM
Ed recently visited Bernard Bonnet, Book Buyer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Bonnet, a French ex-pat, has been a vital part of the European and American art book community for decades. Here, he shares insights on the craft behind his profession, how he feels about used books, and book buying versus bookselling.
EM: Talk a little bit about who is shopping at your store. Are museum visitors just looking for souvenirs or are they specifically interested in buying art books?
BB: We have people visiting the MFA Houston from all over the world and they usually stop at our store, often noticing that the MFAH has an unusually large museum bookstore. This strategy is not really fashionable these days. Very often the book section in a museum store is limited to a basic selection of titles from the mainstream publishers distributed in the U.S., maybe two, three, or five copies of the same title poorly displayed on the shelves. It’s what publishers and distributors call “Special Markets,” and it is not what we do at MFAH. We carry around 9,000 titles, including foreign books. We have some sections that are very well developed, such as Latin American art and Architecture, and also a fairly deep back-listed selection of art books. With the help of our professional staff, we are able to provide the same service as that which a specialized independent bookstore could offer. The MFAH hired me in 2000 with this idea in mind, so that we could not only build an efficient museum bookstore but also provide a resource for the art community in Houston and beyond.
EM: What are some cultural differences between selling books in France and the United States?
BB: In France, we actually have schools for bookselling with very professional training, we have college degrees in bookselling. In Paris, there is a good general bookstore on almost every single block. Here in Houston, the fourth largest American city, we can count the remaining independent bookstores on one hand.