The Liberated Page, Le Commun, November 21 - December 28, 2014

November 21 - December 28, 2014

Le Commun,
28 rue des Bains
1205 Geneva

books by David Abel, Vito Acconci, Laurence Aëgerter, Gwen Allen, Ghada Amer, Giovanni Anceschi, David Antin, Edgar Arsenaux, John M. Armleder, John Ashbery, Danielle Aubert, Michael Baer, Jean Balderston, Fiona Banner, Cyril Barett, Lothard Baumgarten, Glen Baxter, Jurgen Becker, Elisbetta Benassi, Johann Besse, Joseph Beuys, Max Bill, Samuli Blatter & Ray Hegelbach, Barbara Bloom, Doro Boehme & Eric Baskauskas, Christian Boltanski, N. Bonkob-Nahhnt, Kazys Boruta, Jean-François Bory, Franziska Brandt, George Brecht, Ray Bremser, Patrick Bridgwater, Marcel Broodthaerts, Stanley Brouwn, Eleanor Brown, Pascal Brun, Ruth Buchanan, Daniel Buren, Esther Burri, Michel Butor, John Cage, Ulises Carrión, Henri Chopin, Christo, Tom Clark, Claude Closky, Les Coleman, Dan Colen, Kirby Congdon, Le Corbusier, Philip Corner, Louis Couturat, Italo Cremona, Salvador Dali, Jacques Damase, Sergio Dangelo, herman de vries, Julie Deck Marsault, Robert L. Delevoy, Yves Dendal, Jan Dibbets, Jim Dine & Iron Padget, Eric Doeringer, Ed Dorn, Myers, Peter Downsbrough, D. Duville, Shannon Ebner, Dexter Sinister, A.K. El Janabi, Loris Essary, Karl Kempton, Jan Estep, Chris Evans, Jesper Fabricius, Robert Filliou, Peter Finch, Alec Finlay, James Fitzsimmons, Charles Foster, Karl Kempton, Adrian Frutiger, Joseph Gabe, Thomas Galler, Maxime Gambus, Gelatin, Genesis, P-Orridge, Nadine Gerber, Karl Gerstner, Jochen Gerz, Rob Gessner, Michael Gibbs, Bauersche Giesserei, Alex Gildzen, Gloria Glitzer, Beat Gloor, Keith Godard, Eugen Gomringer, Rodney Graham, Jack Green, Zaj group of Madrid, Michael Guggenheimer, Wade Guyton, Zuni Halpern, Paula Hammer, Al Hansen, Jesse Harris, Mischa Hedinger, Steven Heller, Geoff Hendricks, Dick Higgins, Masano Hirayama, Jost Hochüli, Tim Hollander, Roni Horn, Anthony Huberman, Alfonso Hüppi, Trevor Huskey, Luis Jacob, Kazimierz Andrzej Jaworskj, Elfriede Jelinek, Brad Johson, Allen Jones, George K. Shortess, Allan Kaprow, M. Kasper, On Kawara, Brian Kennon, Rudyard Kipling, Martin Kippenberger, Bengt af Klintberg, Alison Knowles, Petra Elena Köhle, Nicolas Vermot Petit-Outhenin, Ronald Koop, Richard Kostelanetz, Henry James Korn, Margia Kramer, Reiner Kunze, Mikko Kuorinki, Manford L. Eaton, Christian Lange, Warja Lavater, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Stéphane Le Mercier, Jean-Marie Le Sidaner, Stefanie Linos, Roland Lëmmli, Jochen Lempert, Roger Levenson, Sol LeWitt, Lyn Lifshin, Paul Etienne Lincoln, Raphael Linsi, Georges Linze, Lucy Lippard, Ronald William Loewinsohn, Richard Long, Hans Rudolf Lutz, Andres Lutz & Anders Guggisberg, Thomas M. Disch, Jacson Mac Low, George Maciunas, Thomas Mailaender, Stéphane Mallarmé, Al Masarik, Die Weisse Massai, Peter Maurer, Maximage, Wong May, hansjörg mayer, Micki Mc Gee, Marshall McLuhan, Mario Merz, Fabrizio Mondatori, David Morice, Simon Morris, Thomas Müllenbach, Max Müller & Rolf Waltz, Norman Ogue Mustill, Rick Myers, Roland Nachtigäller, Maurizio Nannucci, Hideki Noma, Sang Nam Lee, Ay-O, Liam O'Gallagher, Joan Oh, Claes Oldenburg, Claus von der Osten, Soner Ön, Maureen Owen, Knud Pedersen, Adam Pendleton, Raymond Pettibon, Mathis Pfäffli, Simon Schnelleman, Benjamin Phelan, Laurie Palmer, Michalis Pichler, Peter Piller, Falke Pisano, Harry Polkinhorn, Timothy Porges, Tania Prill, Alberto Vieceli, Sebastian Cremers, Richard Prince, Lisa Radon, Markus Raetz, Lisi Raskin, Société Réaliste, Georg Rehsteiner, Christa Reinig, Andy Rementer, Alan Riddell, Alexandre Rodtchenko, Dieter Roth, Jerome Rothenberg, Margrit Rowell, Christoph Ruckhäberle, Gerhard Rühm, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, Luigi Russolo, Mark Ruwedel, Giovanna Sandri, Roland Schappert, Tilman Schlevogt, Andreas Schmidt, Guy Schraenen, Dieter Schwarz, Jim Shaw, Gail Sher, Jim Shere, Seth Siegelaub, Thomas Siemon, Joseph Simas, Michael Smith, Gary Snyder, Herbert Spencer, Daniel Spoerri, Theo Stadler, Klaus Stadtmüller, Erik Steinbrecher, Telfer Stokes, Varvara Stepanova, Miriam Sturzenegger, Dunstan Thompson, Louisa van Leer, Josefa Vaughan, Christian Vetter, Fritz Franz Vogel, Jan Voss, Wolf Vostell, Hans Waanders, Tom Wasmuth, Craig Watson, Ann-Charlotte Weimarck, Lawrence Weiner, Eva Weinmayr, Emmett William, Michael Joseph Winkler, Rolf Winnewisser, Harold Witt, Veronica Wüst, Rémy Zaugg, Suzanne Zavrian, Zero, Lukas Zimmermann, Joe Zorrilla, Francine Zubeil.

The recent evolution and democratisation of printing techniques has encouraged many artists to re-evaluate their position in relation to literature, to books, and to the page. Dedicated to the exploration of new practices within art book production, “The Liberated Page” will consider the page for its simultaneously poetic, structural and physical elements. 

The exhibition will highlight a wide range of interventions and approaches, and will discuss in particular, how artists invent new books and why their invention opens up new possibilities for the page – as well as for communication and language.  

The biennale will highlight the work of several contemporary artists concerned with the page, in conversation with such historic examples as books from artists Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, and Seth Siegelaub, bookworks from publishing houses Something Else Press and Ecart (including work by Daniel Spoerri, Robert Filliou, Emmett Williams, and Dick Higgins), an anthology by Guy Schraenen, the Mèla post card book from Maurizio Nannucci, as well as the complete Franklin Furnace archive. 
During the period of the Russian avant-garde in the 1920s and also worldwide in the 1960s, artists explored the numerous possibilities which were available for the alternative dissemination of their works. During the 1960s, Mail Art subsequently became very popular, presenting as it did an easy way for artists to utilise their private and personal sphere to form a ‘cultural strategy’ – using works of art as an alternative method of communication. It was in this climate that artists’ books really began to proliferate, and as documented ten years later by the seminal book artist, poet and critic Ulises Carrión, artists’ books could now potentially exist autonomously, and communicate with a new ‘artistic language’.

The title of the exhibition, “The Liberated Page”, reuses the title of an anthology which was dedicated to the review Typographica. This review was founded, conceived and edited by the celebrated editor and designer Herbert Spencer, and whilst the duration of its publication was short – a total of 32 issues were published between 1949 and 1967 – its influence has been profound, reaching far beyond its modest distribution and circulation. Spencer used different types of papers and typography to present an eclectic range of topics from Braille poetry to sex and typography. The review provided a critical alternative to the dominant conventions of the printing industry and tastes inherited from the 1920s. It made a strong contribution to the spread of ‘European’ concrete poetry in the United States, and published one of the first British articles on the subject, at the moment when concrete poetry was just becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Spencer’s role as designer/editor, able to think both visually and verbally – merging images and words – presented a totally renewed relationship with the page. It is this sprit and potential for a renewed debate and critical conversation about our relationship with the page, and our communication with one another, which “The Liberated Page” aims to provoke and encourage.