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‘Tafels’ (Tables), Flemish-Dutch presentation of artist books at Art Brussels

Presentation of 'Tafels' during Art Rotterdam 2015. Photo: Mark Niedermann Presentation of 'Tafels' during Art Rotterdam 2015. Photo: Mark Niedermann

In 2015, 20 years of the Cultural Alliance between Flanders and the Netherlands is being celebrated. In the context of this anniversary, Flanders Arts Institute and Mondriaan Fonds are organising a presentation of 80 artists’ books and special art books from The Netherlands and Flanders during the Art Brussels fair.

Maaike Lauwaert (curator, art critic NL) and Luc Derycke (designer, publisher BE) made the selection of books which were being presented on a table designed by Hendrik-Jan Hunneman. During Art Rotterdam (5 until 8 February 2015), the presentation was on display in the former distribution centre of the Van Nelle Fabriek, with the Prospects & Concepts exhibition.

The artists’ books will be presented during Art Brussels, from 24 until 27 April in the Brussels Expo (Heizel). On Friday April 24 from 4 till 5pm: Phillip Van den Bossche ​(director of Mu.ZEE), ​Nikolaas Demoen ​(publisher: Posture), ​Astrid Vorstermans ​(publisher: Valiz), ​Anouk Kruithof ​(artist), Annelys de Vet ​(designer), ​Johan Pas​ (writer and art critic) and ​Koenraad Dedobbeleer ​(artist) will present their ideas about the importance of artists’ books.

Artists’ books are works of art that are made in the form of a book, usually in a small print run. The production of the books by artists (or ones with which artists collaborate) has never before been so flourishing as in this time of digital media. Designers have never been so inventive with paper, format, letter types and colour. The increase of scale in the world of publishers and bookstores—with less attention to smaller print runs and ‘niches’—has resulted in passionate publishers and proprietors of meeting points for art(ists’) books self-developing special initiatives. They do this with zeal, but in precarious circumstances.

How do we view artists’ books and art books today in the art world and in an environment of digitalisation, scaling up and mainstream? Which alliances are necessary, not only amongst artists, curators, designers and publishers, but also with art institutions, universities, high schools and the large book companies? Which qualities do digital media offer for a production that chiefly is physical, spatial and tactile? What role can the government play? Which routes do the artists, designers and publishers themselves see? These are sufficient questions to invite a few speakers in order to produce a statement on artists’ books.

Practical information:
Date: Presentation artists’ books: 24-27 April 2015
Presentation on artists’ books: 24 April, 4-5pm
Location: Brussels Expo (Heizel), Belgiëplein 1, 1020 Brussel in Belgium, mezzanine hall 3.

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