X Artists’ Books
Opening: January 13, 2019
Exhibition Dates: January 13 – March 24, 2019
Curators: Alexandra Grant, Keanu Reeves
Artists: Benoît Fougeirol, Alexandra Grant/Eve Wood, León Ferrari, Sylvan Oswald/Jessica Fleischmann
In the afternoon on Sunday, January 13, the fifth episode of the Inside-Out Practice X Artists Book will open at the Inside-Out Art Museum.
With the bookshelf on the first floor of the museum, the Inside-Out Practice uses this main exhibition space to occasionally present a variety of practices by the artist, especially publishing practice. In the past two years, this space has seen four exhibitions, Stacks of Paper, Riot of Color: The Politics of Taste, Book≠Catalogue, Li Luming: Time of Publication, and Printed Matter.
X Artists’ Books (XAB) is a small artist book publisher based in Los Angeles, co-founded by the actor Keanu Reeves and the artist Alexandra Grant in 2017. Following the process of slow production and publication, XAB has released four books to date. Although they have different contents and diverse styles, they all highlight the creativity of individual artists. Among them, the one with the largest size is (ZUS), displayed in two formats with its bound version and scattered booklets. In the book, the artist Benoît Fougeirol takes the camera to investigate the “sensitive” urban zones on the fringe of Paris, focusing on 11 regions that form 11 booklets, scattered and displayed on the shelves at the space of the Inside-Out Practice. Alexandra Grant’s The Artists’ Prison conceives a magical reality, introducing 43 criminals in 43 short stories. These prisoners happen to be artists who end up in jail because their creativity may subvert social order. The black humor of the book seems to be a metaphor of a special era, and its unique narrative structure and mysterious illustrations open up a deeper narrative space for the textual expressions.
The Words of Others is the English translation of the Argentine artist León Ferrari’s previous work. The original book was created in 1967. Ferrari wrote this abstruse dialogue book in the form of “literary collage”, by collecting the texts by politicians, religious scripts and media coverages. In the context of the Vietnam War, it strongly criticized political and military intervention. High Wind by Sylvan Oswald and Jessica Fleischmann adopts much a softer tone, with different designs and colors on each page of the book. These artists’ books, as the potentially multiple meanings indicated by the symbol X in the XAB, open the space for artists to experiment with a variety of possibilities.
(Image courtesy of X Artists’ Books)