This week at San Serriffe:
30.06.2016 Amsterdam launch OUR FORM OF BOOK by Paul Gangloff and Our Polite Society
with a reading by Tim Voss, and a talk by Anya Naumova and Kirill Blagodatskikh at 8.30pm
Because of the books, the backpack is heavy, and when lifted up to be placed on the shoulders, it causes the muscles in the lower back to stretch painfully. The books add to the weight of the MacBook Pro — 4.3 kilograms for this generation. All together, probably around eight kilograms; not much for a properly exercised body, a yoga-body, a fitness-club body. But for tired bodies, tensed and worried by the constant solicitations for its attention (*dling*, *alert*), alternating phases of frantic cycling (*PAS OP*) with the nervous clicking of the finger tips, cycling back, getting food, and finally caressing the touchscreen while processing wine, apathetically motionless, twisted on a couch, immersed, surrendering its soul to the spells of Home Box Office … that is some weight.
Some books are brought just in case. Most often it’s sufficient to take these out of the backpack and put them on a table. To display their availability. Sometimes, they are being browsed, a gesture to signify the desire to start a brief conversation across the table. The books serve as the device (a prop of the society of spectacle) facilitating contact across the table. Sometimes that is the beginning of a transaction, in which books are sold for money.
Other books must be returned to the library. For a while now, they should have. Each of them is pulling down the bag, and lifting it on the shoulders adds to the pain of the lower back. The library isn’t so far away, it is actually centrally located, but there is no time to return the books. Rush, acceleration again, taking off the backpack, putting on the backpack. All this to put things (books) back in their place. Back to the status quo of the library, the depository. If the library allows for a motion, it is that circular motion of the body carrying the books (with the enthusiasm of the books’ promise) and returning them (with some sense of guilt, followed by a feeling of relief — everything is back in its place).
Blank dummies count as a books. They act as if they were a book. They weigh almost as much as a book, except for the few grams of thread and glue that they miss. They too, have to be carried in bags. They are the instructions to the binder. They are the examples. They must be brought. Despite their total blankness, they carry information.
There is a pocket book but it is not carried in a pocket. It was slipped in the backpack and made its way, during transportation, to the bottom of the bag, where the smaller objects meet. It shall be read at last, before the lights go out.
The back rests on the mattress, the arms on left and right fence off the world, forming a space that includes two pages of the book, the thumbs, arms, shoulders and the face. This spherical space is divided in left and a right, each composed of one page, one thumb, one arm, one shoulder, one eye and one cerebral hemisphere. The spine of the book mirrors the spine of the reader, the two poles of that sphere. The book makes the hands turn the pages and the eyes go over the words.
Before the body closes the books and the eyes (or: while watching the body of Kevin Spacey playing near death on the 13-inch screen of the MacBook Pro), the old thought arises that the books might survive the human bodies carrying them around. As physical artifacts, books are more likely to survive the catastrophe of modernity than human bodies. Yet books need humans to reproduce (the opposite is less sure). Without readers turning into writers, editors, publishers, designers, printers, and binders, the population of books would stagnate and remain immobile.
Perhaps, books would rather rely on a network of machines in order to be read, written, edited, published, designed, printed, bound and transported. For now, we still carry out these tasks and carry around the books. The weight of the books and the aches of the back are reminders that just like books, we have spines.
We know that today, and for a while already, different forms of the book—with and without spines—coexist. But we shall be satisfied if we can conceptualize the epic and lyric developments of our times in our form of book.
OUR FORM OF BOOK consists of four parts thematically based on a rather visionary text about the future of books written by El Lissitzky in 1927. Each part was developed in collaboration with a guest editor: THE WORKERS’ CONSCIOUSNESS with Delphine Bedel; POSTERS IN THE STREETS with Anya Naumova and Kirill Blagodatskikh; THE CONSUMERS’ DEMAND with Tim Voss and OUR CHILDREN’S READING with Will Holder. The project was initiated upon invitation of Extrapool, who hosted the working sessions and produced the publication.
23.06.2016 Launch of MY WAVY SARONG by Jasper Griepink
20:00—22:00For the presentation of My Wavy Sarong at San Serriffe, Jasper Griepink will be collaborating with Maia Lyon Daw to conjure an interactive and exploratory sound and narrative landscape. Free-style slam reading, field recordings and traditional Indonesian Gamelan music enter into in the mystical journey of My Wavy Sarong.My Wavy Sarong (2016) is an animistic and sensual short novel in which the reality of a white western youngster with shamanic aspirations meets up with the current reality of Indonesia. In the story line, a tension is created between the free appropriation of exotic cultural elements as a means to make the world more magical and free, and the awareness that this doesn’t always work out. During the travel, the protagonist discovers that the spiritual ‘self-development’ of the West is in fact deeply rooted in an early-colonial esoteric philosophy. Via dialogues with granite temple-complexes, cute boys, snake-spirits and various traditional rituals, the spirituality and sexuality of the author are reflected against his experience of the South East Asian country.
22.06.2016 Launch of AGLAIA KONRAD FROM A TO K
Camiel van Winkel in conversation with Aglaia Konrad, Linda van Deursen, Armand Mevis and Willem Oorebeek at 8.30pm
followed by a screening of Konrad’s new film La Scala
Aglaia Konrad roams through cities on all five continents. Through photos, films and installations, she not only focuses on exceptional buildings and the way cities transform, but also on representations of big cities and the role of photography therein.
Structured and typeset like an encyclopedia, Aglaia Konrad From A to K draws out and explores the plastic and aesthetic possibilities of the reference book format. It indulges in a certain fascination for lists and their cumulative force while seizing upon the fact that alphabetic organization is extremely orderly, but also, upon reflection, entirely random. The book explores this in-between space and thwarts the self-evident integration of component parts in the reference work.
Aglaia Konrad From A to K is published alongside Konrad’s first major solo exhibition in Belgium at Museum M, Leuven, is designed by Mevis & van Deursen and features contributions by Friedrich Achleitner, Hildegund Amanshauser, Emiliano Battista, Elke Couchez, Penelope Curtis, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Michiel Dehaene, Steven Humblet, Moritz Küng, Willem Oorebeek, Spyros Papapetros, Angelika Stepken and Edit Tóth & Stefaan Vervoort.
15.06.2016 THROAT AND COLUMN — an exhibition in two parts by Claudia Pagès
part of A Festival of Choices, Sandberg Institute’s Fine Arts department’s graduation show
with a performance at San Serriffe
followed by ‘special’ drinks at Rongwrong
on Thursday June 16 at 8pm
Throat and Column is an exhibition in two parts.
At San Serriffe the written and the oral are exchanged in the threads of a narrative that passes through individualising architectures. Talking and swallowing. Talking and fucking. The solo voice and the choir are separated, as in Ancient Greek theatre, but still they support each other.
(Some pharmacies have rooms to talk and don’t clog, but they are too similar to therapeutic institutions. And my friend, who swallows way too much, can’t pronounce things accurately but loves to groove with others – and so do I.)
At Rongwrong, objects continue the talk. Continuously in dialogue with themselves, their insides and outsides, they maintain a constant groove.
(Displays and mechanisms for encapsulating doses and words meant only for you – like techno-thoughts, drawn to stay in the greyness of their function.)
Sint Annenstraat 30, 1012 HE Amsterdam
Binnen Bantammerstraat 2, 1011 CK Amsterdam
Throat and Column is part of A Festival of Choices, the graduation show of Sandberg Institute’s Fine Arts department which is taking place in various locations throughout Amsterdam from June 15—19.
For more information and the full program, please check www.festivalofchoices.nl
10.06.2016 NNTR: release of KIIGED by Ruutu Poiss
NNTR are heating up with summer excitement in anticipation of the presentation of the new 12″ of Ruutu Poiss on London based Levels label.
On the 10th of June, we’ll convert Nearly Not There Records and San Serriffe into a 3 hour pre-club session, with RP and guest spinning tunes, as well as NNTRs Koen and Seamus doing some warm up selecting. Bring your dancing shoes and we’ll supply the free hats.
This 5th release from Levels is from Ruutu Poiss, an Estonian producer based in Tallinn and Amsterdam, known to some of us, still a great secret here, but not for long.
Be quick to pick up these two stunning tracks of splinter contemporary beat music, like broken up house from some futuristic Detroit party colony.
Already this 12″ is being played by Benji B, Call Super, James Blake and Omar-S and names like this can’t be mistaken…
09.06.2016 Launch of 1130 FIFTH AVENUE by Jacob Peter Kovner
with a reading at 8.30pm
“I walked up the marble staircase into the grandest space of the house, a large drawing room with double height ceilings and windows, which performed its role with great pomp and circumstance. It was a mixed metaphor of styles—Louis XIV, Beaux Arts, Georgian—all insisting upon resplendence. I sighed, thinking a thought I had many times before: that this house was what separated me from my father, who remained for me a perpetual arriviste. I conceded to myself that this had always been a house for new money. It would be designated as a mansion, distinct from the discreet brownstones preferred by the originary Dutch New York upper-crust. Only when the new money flushed in during the Gilded Age did mansions start getting built with ballrooms, vaulted ceilings, and glitzy stylistic affectations. This home was never meant for modesty; conspicuous consumption is part of its structural integrity.”
Framed by two academically-styled essays, the heart of 1130 Fifth Avenue is a narrative which traces Kovner’s cathartic process following the mysterious death of his billionaire father. Kovner meets a psychic who prescribes him a regimen of peculiar art therapy. This remedy brings Kovner to write a tell-all, which is met with public success. The writing of the book-in-book opens as many questions as it addresses.
1130 Fifth Avenue is a continuation of Kovner’s project, Classy. In a series of works, viewers use Kovner as an avatar to experience the problems of inherited privilege: complicity in the hegemony of the wealthy, the compromised subjectivity of not having earned what one has, and the ambivalence of inheriting a role in society. Classy Trailers, a multi-channel video installation, will be presented at the event.
02.06.2016 Launch of BRITTLE LAND by Alexandra Navratil
with a talk between Inga Lace and Alexandra Navratil
and music by Natalia Dominguez Rangel
Brittle Land is comprised of stills from Alexandra Navratil’s works ‘Silbersee’ (2015) and ‘Resurrections’ (2014), along with essays by Paul Feigelfeld and Keston Sutherland, plus a poem by Rachel O’Reilly. Taking the former Agfa-ORWO photographic film factory in Wolfen, Germany, as a point of departure, it divulges the interdependent histories of photographic emulsion, gelatin, labour, exploitation, exhaustion, chemical contamination, and slow violence. For Navratil, film reflects the ongoing technological development from the late 19th century until now, a product inextricably linked to the plastics industry that developed simultaneously with it, and to today’s widespread digitisation. Brittle Land is published by Roma Publications in collaboration with Dan Gunn, Berlin, designed by Roger Willems and produced with the support of AFK.
28.05.2016 Launch of HAIKU by Rafaël Rozendaal
Between 2013 and 2015, Rafaël Rozendaal formulated a series of haiku as non-physical artworks that jump from one medium to another. Written on his phone, they first appeared as tweets, then as posts on his blog and Instagram, and later as wall paintings in exhibition spaces and collectors’ homes. Published in conjunction with the exhibition ‘DOings&kNOTs’ at Tallinn Art Hall, curated by Margit Säde, this offset edition reproduces Rozendaal’s wry and terse commentary on various aspects of our digital age and society, from full inboxes, oversaturation of information, and hyper-capitalist drive, to mundane routines, desires, and frustrations.
26.05.2016 Launch of NAÏVE GOSSIP THEORY by Gianmaria Andreetta
| D | I | S | C | L | A | I | M | E | R |
(Artist) You should look carefully
and critically at the way your work
is turned into gossip
Making gossip is precarious but
it is indispensable
to the artist that works today
Gossip is crucial to
the career of the artwork
Many people will come to you
by the way of gossip
A hot dog walks into a bar and says:
– I’d like a beer.
The bartender says:
– I’m sorry, sir, we don’t serve food here.
14.05.2016 How To Show Up? No.1 Angharad Williams
How To Show Up? No.1 Angharad Williams
Performance starts at 6 pm onwards
For the last year we’ve been thinking about how to show up? What does showing up mean in relation to the spaces we occupy, the characters we play, and the work we make? We have invited artists to think alongside us by exploring the relationship between writing, speech and performance. Through a series of events, artists will present new work at San Serriffe in Amsterdam. Following words written and spoken aloud, How To Show Up? creates a space to test where the breath is headed.
How to Show Up? is a collaboration between Gianmaria Andreetta, Annie Goodner and Elizabeth Graham.
For event each we will publish a handout in collaboration with the artist, designed by Elisabeth Klement.