Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
curated by Yale Union
Sept. 12 – Nov. 7, 2015
June 26 – Aug. 1, 2015
Authors don’t write books. They write on pages or on screens, but not the ones readers will hold. Their texts need proofreaders, editors, typographers, graphic designers, paper makers, printers, binders, as well as softwares, presses, and other machines before they become books. Yet sometimes, authors do make books. Maybe this doesn’t seem so unusual today, and it has become harder to understand what it means for a text to pass from the body of the author to that of the composer setting up letters and characters, and to leave the world of language for the space of the sheet of paper. There’s a world of difference when the hand that writes also prints and the materiality of the text measures itself to the surface of the page, inscribing, covering, scratching, cutting into it.
Between the early 1970s and the mid 1980s, Orange Export Ltd. was a peculiar adventure in French publishing, where such an experiment was conducted. Raquel, who was first of all a painter, and poet Emmanuel Hocquard, first decided to publish a book together, Le Portefeuil, using silkscreen. From then they developed their imprint with a group of poets, writers and artists – friends who gathered in Raquel’s house, in the suburbs of Paris. Her studio became the workshop where the books were made, meaning: conceived, written, typeset, printed and bound, by hand, by Hocquard himself. A few copies at a time.
Poets Claude Royet-Journoud, Joseph Guglielmi, Jacques Roubaud, Anne-Marie Albiach, Alain Veinstein, Denis Roche, among others, and in collaboration with artists such as Lars Fredrikson or Thérèse Bonelalbay, would meet at 52, avenue Pierre-Brossolette in Malakoff, to talk, to drink and to work together. This community was less drawn by an ideal than by a shared concern for the false evidence of the book, and the work process it needs to exist as such. The slim, intimate volumes were often elaborated through the collaboration between a writer and an artist. Sometimes they were composed of photographs as well as texts. Others contain more blank space than words.
What’s left from this enterprise is not only an impressive collection of titles – in which features almost the whole French poetry scene of the 1970s and early 1980s. It’s also a way of conceiving books (the “livres d’écriture,” to use Emmanuel Hocquard’s expression) through their making; and a passion for this physical process so strong that we end up wondering: what if this was the production line of happiness? How far are the pragmatics of publishing and the dynamics of friendship related? How to deal with a public, when you know you can only print 9 copies of a book a day? If, as Hocquard wrote, printing books meant learning again how to write, should we now, connecting Orange Export Ltd. to our screens and keyboards, learn again how to read?
Paraguay Press is the publishing house of castillo/corrales. Browse the catalogue of our publications since 2009 and purchase them online. Read more about our series The Social Life of the Book and castillo/corrales today.
CLÉMENT RODZIELSKI – AUBE
REVOLUTION: A READER / reprint
LILI REYNAUD DEWAR – MY EPIDEMIC
LOVE YOUR PARASITES (BAROQUE EDITION)
Edited by Camilla Wills
AFTER DARK (The Provence Summer Reader)
HISTORY AND LOVE, PLEASURE AND TIME
CCT#8 by Martin Beck
SLOB #6 – THE LIBRARY OF HELEN CHADWICK (2015)
Section 7 Books is castillo/corrales’ bookshop. Installed in the back space of the gallery, it is open on regular hours: 2pm to 7pm, Wednesday through Saturday.
You can also delve into a new online shopping experience…
Wait & See.
Karel Martens Reprint (Roma Publications)
Justin Lieberman The Corrector’s Custom Pre-Fab house (Le Confort Moderne)
Wade Guyton WG 3031 (Jrp)
Silvia Prada Generation X (Triangle Books)
Jutta Koether f. (Sternberg Press)