5th ArtsLibris International Symposium on Collecting and Editions

16:3018:00 h
Venue: Arts Santa Mònica
La Rambla, 7
08002 Barcelona

The V International Symposium on Artists’ Books will address the subject of collecting. Glòria Picazo will chair a discussion with guest speakers João Fernandes, Deputy Director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Anne Thurmann-Jajes (Centre for Artists’ Publications – Weserburg-Museum für moderne Kunst), Mela Dávila (freelance curator) and Sergio Rubira (Assistant Director of Collection and Exhibitions at the IVAM).

This new edition of the international symposium ArtsLibris will put forward a discussion on the collection of artists’ books, understood in the broadest sense. It is clear that in the last two decades artists’ publications have gained considerable ground. No longer the marginal or complementary materials of a purely documentary nature they used to be, internal museum departments, like ‘Collection’ and ‘Library and Documentation Centre’, now squabble over who gets to custody them. And this is due, without doubt, to their well-deserved recognition following the redefinition of artistic discourses over recent decades. Further proof of this is that they are now a common feature in exhibitions, and increasingly even the main feature, and thereby contributing to a new outline of artistic, social and / or political contexts.

Saturday, April 21

16.30 h

The Universe (which others call the Library). 

Private documentary collections in Europe

Mela Dávila

Freelance curator

Just as museums and institutional libraries have increasingly recognised the value of the document in recent years, both in the context of their own patrimony and in relation to art collections, so too have some (a few) private collections made the document – the book or any other documentary format – the centre and the origin of their raison d’être. Mela Dávila will look at two of Europe’s most prominent examples: the Lafuente Archive, in Santander, and the Vanguardia Archive, built up by the Berlin-based Italian collector Egidio Marzona.

Sunday, April 22

12.00 h*

The Act of Collecting. 

Artists’ Books in the Centre for Artists’ Publications

Dr. Anne Thurmann-Jajes

Director of the Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum

Dr. Anne Thurmann-Jajes’s presentation will give an overview of the mission and work of the Centre for Artists’ Publications with regards to artists’ books. The observations will revolve around the conceptual artist’s book and its characteristics, beginning with a few words about the Centre for Artists’ Publications—its history and its present activities. The archival and collection inventories characterise the Centre for Artists’ Publications and provide the foundation for its work. They represent the material basis for the presentation of the collections and for exhibitions, as well as for both current and future research projects. As such, they serve as a point of reference for the research conducted by the Centre and for external research. The inventories are distinguished by their unique research infrastructure available to scholars throughout the world. Collecting, safeguarding and maintaining are the primary tasks associated with collection supervision, serving to protect and sustain the archival and collection inventories and also to augment them in coherence with related research. One of the most recent exhibition and research project is Artists’ Books for Everything.

13.30 h

Artists’ books and their circumstances

João Fernandes

Deputy Director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

After Mallarmé, artists redefined the concept of the book and its possibilities. Artists’ books have been one of the freest mediums of expression in terms of the creation and circulation of an artwork. From self-publication and artist-led distribution circuits to the current situation where artists’ books depend more and more on the dictates of markets and institutions, we reflect on the state of affairs of artists’ publications today.

16.30 h

Rooms of a library-museum, display-bookcase

Sergio Rubira

Assistant Director of Collection and Exhibitions at the IVAM

What happens to books when they enter a museum? When do they turn into something more than just books? What happens if they end up locked in a display cabinet? Are they artworks or certifying documents? Do they complement or complete discourse? Drawing from his experience at the IVAM, Sergio Rubira will discuss how books shape the formation of a collection.

* Simultaneous translation service in Catalan will be offered