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Symposium of the Research Association Artists’ Publications

Artists’ Publications – A Critical Approach to Historical and Contemporary Formats of Artistic Publishing

June 28-29, 2024: Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Research Association Artists’ Publications and the Centre for Artists’ Publications at Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst in Bremen, early career researchers have been invited to present their current work on artistic publishing with the goal of reinforcing the international network of researchers dedicated to this artistic format. Contributors will focus on artists’ publications from a variety of countries and academic perspectives, with particular emphasis on the work of female artists.

Artists’ publications – such as books, flyers, magazines, multiples, posters, radio art and records – have always been associated with alternative forms of production, often with an inherent critical potential. This is evidenced by the many contributions to the symposium that concern the subversive power and resilience of these mostly small artworks: participative and collaborative formats which, in most cases, are diffused independently of established institutions.

In the context of Mail Art, for example, artists used the postal system as a basis for building up a network for their artistic communication. For many artists living in totalitarian systems, Mail Art was a way of establishing contacts worldwide through the exchange of their artworks. They used all media that could be sent by post for their artistic correspondence. These distributed artworks represent new forms of aesthetic expression and networking and thus challenge the traditional channels and formats for the production and reception of art.

By addressing diverse publics in unconventional ways, artists’ publications reflect upon common modes of perception as well as dominant mechanisms within the art market. It is on the experimental field that the artists (in)voluntarily focus, thus positioning themselves in relation to the established art system: it is the “Dropping Out”, the “Thinking” and the “Writing beyond Sense” which becomes a “Revolutionary Act”. Their artistic response to an androcentric system in general or to a totalitarian regime in particular becomes a question of power.

The symposium aims to reflect on the open forms and aesthetics of artistic publishing, focusing on specific aspects of the working process and distribution strategies of individual and collaborative art production. Which media, materiality and format are chosen and for what reasons? What is the role played by the possible active recipient and how do notes, postcards, books, magazines or catalogs constitute social and/or political relevance? Concentrating on works from the “peripheral” zone of art history indicates the many research gaps, while simultaneously revealing the potential for further investigation.

Weserburg Blick in die Bestände des Zentrums für Künstlerpublikationen

in English language

28.06.2024, admission from 13:30, start: 14:00

29.06.2024, admission from 09:15, start: 09:45 am

Registration at the following e-mail address: [Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript], contact: Lia Brinkmann (Research Network Artists' Publications, Bremen)

Venue: Hans-Otte-Klang-Haus, Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen

No entrance fee


Conception and Organisation: Kathrin Barutzki (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen) and Franziska Rauh (University of Bremen), Moderation: Amelie Ochs (Mariann Steegmann Institute. Art & Gender, Bremen), Coordination: Lia Brinkmann (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen)



Friday, June 28th, 2024

2 pm Welcome

Janneke de Vries (Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen)

Anne Thurmann-Jajes (Centre for Artists’ Publications, Bremen)

2.15 pm Opening Remarks

Kathrin Barutzki (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen) and Franziska Rauh (University of Bremen): Artists’ Publications – A Critical Approach?

2.30 pm Presentation & Discussion

Anne-Grit Becker (Universität Siegen): Things to be Continued: Participation in the Artists’ Magazine Signals Newsbulletin

3.30 pm Presentation & Discussion

Marie Egger (FU Berlin/Universität Potsdam): Books about Important Matters? Tomasz Schulz’s COOP-Books (1979/80) in the Context of Mail Art

4.30 pm Coffee

5 pm Presentation & Discussion

Corinna Kühn (Universität Münster): “Never stop searching into the unexplored origin of Human Nature” (Wolf-Rehfeldt, 1973). Ewa Partum, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Katalin Ladik in the Mail Art Network

6 pm Presentation & Discussion

Sandra Križić Roban (Institute of Art History, Zagreb): Double, Invisible, Handmade, Experimental – Artists’ Books and Magazines from the Former Yugoslavia


Saturday, June 29th, 2024

9.45 am Introduction

10 am Presentation

Frida Sandström (University of Copenhagen): Dropping Out: Carla Lonzi’s and Lee Lozano’s Withdrawal from Art as Identity

10.30 am Presentation

Mela Dávila Freire (HFBK Hamburg): Thinking is a Revolutionary Act: Artists’ Publications by Marie Orensanz

11 am Talk

Francesca Valentini (ESA le75, Brussels): “Negotiating the Canon?” Responding to Frida Sandström and Mela Dávila Freire

12 pm Lunch

1.30 pm Presentation & Discussion

Regine Ehleiter (FU Berlin): Writing beyond Sense: Mirtha Dermisache’s Artist’s Publications of the 1960s and 70s

2.30 pm Presentation & Discussion

Ludmila Britto (Federal University of Bahia): Paulo Bruscky, Artists Books and Publications in Latin America: Some Considerations

3.30 pm Coffee

4 pm Presentation & Discussion

Marie van Bömmel (HU Berlin): Women Artists Publishing Women Artists: The Catalog Künstlerinnen international 1877–1977 as an Artists’ Book

5 pm Closing Remarks

Forschungsverbund Künstlerpublikationen

A project by the Research Association Artists’ Publications in cooperation with the Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, the IKFK. Institute for Art History – Film Studies – Art Education and the Mariann Steegmann Institute. Art & Gender at the University of Bremen.

Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst
Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, Filmwissenschaft und Kunstpädagogik
Mariann-Steegmann-Institut. Kunst & Gender.