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P74 Gallery

The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore

1 – 25 March 2018
P74 Gallery, Trg Prekomorskih brigad 1, Ljubljana


Foto: Nico Covre

You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore on Thursday, 1 March 2018 at 19.00 at the P74 Gallery in Ljubljana.

P74 Gallery presents MORE WORDSHIP, The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore, an exhibition of RK’s books curated by Kunstverein Milano.

Richard Kostelanetz (b. 1940, New York) is one of the central figures of the 1960s New York neo-avant-garde. Prevading his work is an unorthodox and critical spirit that is embodied in his visual creations through a combination of Joyce’s modern language, the automatic writing of the French surrealists, the cut-up technique of William Borroughs and the cultural critique of Marshall McLuhan. As is characteristic of the creators from the generation of the 1960s, his works are also marked by experimentality, excess and emancipatory practices.

Kostelanetz creates in a number of media, everything from drawings, photography, video, audio works, graphic prints and holographs, to artist’s books and computer art. His printed and graphic works are occupied by a radically formalistic approach utilizing unusually designed and editing of the text and typography on the pages of the books, surprising word plays, parallelism, alliteration, etc. Since 1976, he has been making video art, since 1977, film and since 1978, holographs.

Active not only as a visual artist, Richard Kostelanetz is also active as a poet, writer and critic. His early work The End of Intelligent Writing: Literary Politics in America (1974) experienced exceptionally tumultuous and contraversial reactions. He later published a number of books of poetry and fiction as well as lexicons and books about the history of avant-garde art, among them: John Cage, On Innovative Music(ian)s, Merce Cunningham, A Dictionary of the Avante-Garde. He also wrote about popular themes, such as the social influence of television (The Impact of Television), about rock music (Rock: The New Pop Music), among others.

MORE WORDSHIP hosts, and sells, many of RK’s publications as well as rare artefacts, audiovisual works, editions and smaller artworks, including the now very rare complete set of Assembling, twelve editions of “otherwise unpublishable” art and literature, including the Complete Assembling were produced between 1970 and 1982. Also available will be the many recordings and audiocassettes issued on RK’s own label, as well as critically acclaimed edited works on B.B. King, Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Gertrude Stein.

Richard Kostelanetz has participated in many international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art throughout the world. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, grants (from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Pulitzer Foundation, the American Public Radio Program Fund, DAAD, etc.), artist residencies and the author of a great number of books from the field of popular culture as well as avant-garde and experimental art.

The project Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore is retrospective exhibition that through the form of its presentation deftly avoids that genre, since it is conceived as a spatial installation in the form of a working bookshop. Its an exhibition format that proves itself to be very logical, since it is close to the spirit of the artistic strategies of self-production and samizdat, familiar to both the avant-gardists and neo-avant-gardists.

The chapter of Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore in Ljubljana is curated by Katia Anguelova & Andrea Wiarda, co-directors Kunstverein Milano – www.kunstverein.it