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Franco “Bifo” Berardi
And : Phenomenology of the End


Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s newest book analyzes the contemporary changes taking place in our aesthetic and emotional sensibility — changes the author claims are the result of semio-capitalism’s capturing of the inner resources of the subjective process: our experience of time, our sensibility, the way we relate to each other, and our ability to imagine a future. Precarization and fractalization of labor have provoked a deep mutation in the psychosphere, and this can be seen in the rise of psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, panic, and attention deficit disorder. Sketching out an aesthetic genealogy of capitalist globalization, Berardi shows how we have arrived at a point of such complexity in the semiotic flows of capital that we can no longer process its excessive currents of information. A swarm effect now rules: it has become impossible to say “no.” Social behavior is trapped in inescapable patterns of interaction coded by techno-linguistic machines, smartphones, screens of every size, and all of these sensory and emotional devices end up destroying our organism’s sensibility by submitting it to the stress of competition and acceleration. Arguing for disentanglement rather than resistance, Berardi concludes by evoking the myth of La Malinche, the daughter of a noble Aztec family. It is a tale of a translator and traitor who betrayed her own people, yet what the myth portends is the rebirth of the world from the collapse of the old.

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John C. Welchman
Past Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art XX–XXI, Vol. 1

 

This volume is a collection of dynamic and engaged writings by art historian John C. Welchman on a range of contemporary European artists: Vasco Araújo, Cosima von Bonin, Jan De Cock, Orshi Drozdik, Susan Hiller, Andy Hope 1930, Michael Kunze, Nathaniel Mellors, Miguel Palma, José Álvaro Perdices, Sascha Pohle, Thomas Raat, Nicola Stäglich, and Xavier Veil­han. Anchored in concerns that emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s, Welchman poses thoughtful and provocative questions about how these artists receive and negotiate the social and aesthetic histories through which they live and work.

Past Realization inaugurates XX–XXI, John C. Welchman’s two-part series on European art from this and the last century, which will be followed by a series on West Coast artists and one on the work of Mike Kelley.

Design by Metahaven

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The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict
Markus Miessen, Yann Chateigné (Eds.)

Markus Miessen, Yann Chateigné (Eds.)

Contributions by Stuart Bailey, Bassam El Baroni, Thomas Bayrle, Jeremy Beaudry, Beatrice von Bismarck, Beatriz Colomina, Céline Condorelli, Mathieu Copeland, Dexter Sinister, Joseph Grima, Nav Haq, Sandi Hilal, Nikolaus Hirsch, Thomas Jefferson, Christoph Keller, Alexander Kluge, Joachim Koester, Armin Linke, Julia Moritz, Rabih Mroué, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Alice Rawsthorn, Patricia Reed, David Reinfurt, Claire de Ribaupierre, Eyal Weizman, et al.

What are the processes that enable archives to become productive? Conventional archives tend to be defined through the content-specific accumulation of material, which conforms to an existing order or narrative. They rarely transform their structure. In contrast to this model of archival practice and preservation, the conflictual archive has an open framework in which it actively transforms itself, allowing for the creation of new and surprising relationships. Illustrating how spaces of knowledge can be devised, developed, and designed, this archive reveals itself as a space in which documents and testimonies open up a stage for productive dispute and struggle.

Exploring nontraditional archives, such as those of Harald Szeemann, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sitterwerk, and the publishing house Merve, The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict offers new perspectives on archival practice, interrogating whether archives need spatial permanence, and, if so, which design framework should be applied for the archive to take on more than a singular form of existence. The research project is a collaboration between the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design and the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève).

Copublished with Karlsruhe University of Art and Design and the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève)
Design by Jonas Fechner and Lisa Naujack

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Harumi Yamaguchi
Harumi Gals (Parco View 2)

 

First printing of the great “Harumi Gals” from 1978. Legendary over-sized, glossy, and long out-of-print airbrush artbook from the incredible Harumi Yamaguchi, published by PARCO in Tokyo.

Airbrush illustrator Harumi Yamaguchi was one of the world’s leading commercial artbrush artists of the 1970’s. Born in Matsue in the Shimane prefecture, Yamaguchi graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a degree in oil painting. After working for the publicity department of Seibu Department Stores, Yamaguchi begun her career as a freelance illustrator, participating in the advertising production for PARCO with its opening in 1969. Since 1972 Yamaguchi has depicted female figures using airbrush techniques, instantly establishing herself as an illustrator that symbolized her era.

The encounter between Yamaguchi and PARCO was an inevitable one. Tsuji Masuda whom served as the president of PARCO had established plans for creating a department store that functioned as a cultural facility, collectively combining platforms such as museums, theater, and publishing in addition to retail, and as a result had headhunted Yamaguchi for this endeavor. As could be seen in Masuda’s decision of appointing Eiko Ishioka for the art direction, Kazuko Koike as copywriter, and Harumi Yamaguchi for the illustration, PARCO had soon focused on ‘women’ as a major driving source behind Japanese society of 1970s and onward, further succeeding in diverting this power to the business sector. Yamaguchi’s female figures are far from notions of eroticism as portrayed allegedly through male eyes in the form of pin-ups. On the contrary, the women themselves appear to joyously celebrate their own sexuality and existence. Furthermore, the images of women partaking in boxing, baseball, and skateboarding which Yamaguchi had illustrated in the 70s, could be interpreted as an ironic gesture towards a male-dominant society at a time prior to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act in 1985; an era when women were unable to equally advance into society.

In the catalog published in correspondence to “Women of the 70s PARCO Poster Exhibition 1969-1986” that took place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2001, Chizuko Ueno had critiqued Yamaguchi’s works stating, “while appearing to adhere to the scenario of male-tailored eroticism, Yamaguchi deconstructs male desire through her exaggerative depictions. As a consequence, the female body is idealized to a realm unreachable by male hands.” (‘The Idea of the Woman’)

Alberto Vargas, famous for his pin-ups for Esquire magazine and Playboy, is notably the international pioneer of airbrush illustrations. However, in the context of early ‘70s Japan there were no pre-eminent illustrators working with the airbrush medium with the exception Harumi Yamaguchi. It is certain that Yamaguchi’s achievements will continue to receive acclaim as an inaugural figure of super-real illustration that took Japan’s advertising industry of the 70s and 80s by storm.

Alongside her huge collection of women, Yamaguchi’s great staged reference photographs are included, with photgraphy by Michiko Matsumoto and Hideki Hosoya and Graphic Design by the Tadanori Yokoo!

 

* Condition: Good (Good, tight copy with original obi-strip, general wear and ageing/discolouring for over-sized book) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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