— Project Space

10414044_240247599505559_1050999834_nViniita at the Ennis House, Los Angeles 

Viniita Moran, Owl Cave Books (San Francisco) 

by Ryan Ming

Artist and bookseller Viniita “Neet” Moran is the founder of Owl Cave Books, a bookshop and travelling library devoted to selling a curated selection of international contemporary art, cultural theory, artists’ ephemera and vintage books—a selection of which will be on view at the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book Fair. Taking its name from a location in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks, Owl Cave began in London in 2008 and is now based in San Francisco.

Project Space: How did Owl Cave Books get started back in London, UK, in 2008 and what are you doing now?

Viniita Moran: In 2008 I was invited by my friend Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (then known as Spartacus Chetwynd) to participate in her exhibition at GSK Contemporary at the Royal Academy of Arts. During this time I was also the Bookshop Manager at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, so my working life was complete immersion in contemporary art and theory books. I decided to do a feminist book swap and performance based on The Stepford Wives. Over the course of the three events, so many people came up to me excited about my selection of books and wanting to know what other book-related events I was organizing, and it really grew out of that. It was my way to explore book- and publishing-related ideas that I didn’t see happening other places.

Owl Cave is a travelling bookshop and library, focusing on event-specific and collaborative incarnations. We have never had a permanent retail space; instead, we work with artists, exhibitions and spaces for specific collaborations and then move on to the next project. These can include temporary shops, pop-up libraries, publications and events. We also have an online store and blog, which acts as a kind of archive of the publications we have sold.

In 2010 we relocated to San Francisco, where we have had a number of exciting collaborations with Bay Area artists and spaces, including a residency at artist-run space 667 Shotwell, and a year-long storefront collaboration with Little Paper Planes, which was our longest retail space to date. We’re currently organizing our next collaboration and focusing on building the feminist library. And of course getting ready for the Vancouver Art/Book Fair!

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IMG_3716Ryan Smith wearing a shop apron from the now defunct Ho Sun Hing Printing that was located in Chinatown for 104 years

Ryan Smith, Brick Press (Vancouver): Do it Yourself

by Ryan Ming

Ryan Smith, Founder and Operator of Brick Press, presents on do-it-yourself publishing practices that are based on salvaging equipment from closing print shops at 1pm on Sunday, October 5 as part of the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book Fair. Two years ago, in the summer of 2012, I met Smith at his installation project Ryry’s Bodega. In this very small space Smith combined the consumerist sensibilities and aesthetics of an urban convenience store, replete with buckets of Costco candy, disposable lighters, zines and a functioning Risograph printer that he used to produce all manner of printed materials from live music event handbills to whatever passing customers requested a facsimile of. Fast forward two years , and I caught up with Smith to learn more about his practice of sourcing affordable print production/binding machinery and his publishing operation Brick Press.

Project Space: How did you come up with the name Brick Press?

Ryan Smith: I came up with the name Brick Press in 2012. I’d already amassed a small collection of printing equipment and needed a name to publish work under. At that time I was manning my conceptual installation Ryry’s Bodega—an appropriation of a convenience/copy shop. I also was (and still am) working at Foundation restaurant and that’s where I came up with the idea for the name Brick Press. I re-appropriated my logo from the bottom of a veggie bacon box—it is the packaging company’s logo, a stack of cardboard boxes. It also looks like a 3D brick cube. I also associate bricks with graffiti—something I spent many years doing.

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Rachel Gontijo Araujo, A Bolha Editora (Rio de Janeiro):
Fortunately Language, Like Fucking, is Not Pure

On Saturday, October 5 at 2pm, as part of the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book FairRachel Gontijo Araujo speaks about working in collaboration with artists and makers from Brazil and around the world in an effort to break open dialogues of what we read, how we read and how books reach us in places where distribution has been historically limited.

by Chelsea Rooney

Think of a bubble. Blown long and large from an oversized wand. Expansion and float. Soap sheen, iridescence. Bob, bob, bob. Pop. Silent to our ears. But it must make some sound. How does the image make you feel? Is there innocence? Elation? Nostalgia? Or something more sinister. For charm of a powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

For Brazilian writer and artist Rachel Gontijo Araujo, and American writer and artist Stephanie Sauer, cofounders of A Bolha Editora, the bubbles they blew from their wands—a bit of fun Americana whilst completing their MFAs at the Art Institute of Chicago—represent that special indifference to expectation one must possess in order to make art. A Bolha Editora translates into Just a Bubble Press, and Gontijo Araujo envisioned her publishing as “playful and agile, not interested in maintaining the commodity-driven nature of commercial publishing… Bubbles may be small and unassuming, but they have the capacity to create much unease and excitement, as well as cause movement.”

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The Part of No Part Catalogue Launch and Reading
Thursday, July 17 at 7pm
221A, 100-221 E Georgia Street, Vancouver

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Je Suis Petit Chevalier (Felicia Atkinson of Shelter Press)
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8pm
Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

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Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2014
Saturday & Sunday, October 4 & 5, 12-5pm
Vancouver Art Gallery Annex, 750 Hornby St., Vancouver

We are thrilled to announce our line-up for the third annual Vancouver Art/Book Fair, which is now up on our website.

This year, Project Space members will gain exclusive first access to the fair at our Members Only Preview on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Members will also be eligible to receive limited-edition tote bags, postcards and artist editions featuring work by artists participating in VA/BF. Keep in touch for details and the announcement of the launch of our membership campaign. After the Preview, everyone is invited to join us at the VA/BF Reception at UNIT/PITT Projects, which will take place later that evening at 9pm.

We are also facilitating a parallel series of events, Artists’ Books Week (formerly “Weekend”) from September 29 to October 5, during which Project Space Press will co-host a reading with Real Vancouver Writers Series and Landfill Editions where we will launch Un/inhabited,  a new artist book by First Nations poet Jordan Abel that features a text by Kathleen Ritter and design by Tania Willard (co-published with Talonbooks). There is still time to register your artist publishing event as part of Artists’ Books Week (for more information, please contact sean@vancouverartbookfair.com).

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The Culture Industry and the Propaganda Factory
by Dan Starling

by Stéphane Bernard

Dan Starling is both an international multidisciplinary artist and a sessional faculty member at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. In October of 2012, he began a research residency at Malaspina Printmakers that culminated in the exhibition Dan Starling, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory & the Return of the Repressed that took place from January 4 to February 3, 2013. The show included a series of artist books that progressively reinterpreted Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a run of 55 successive etchings, hung in a continuous frieze, that adapted the original illustrations for our contemporary context.

Most recently, Starling has made the longlist in the West Coast/Yukon category of the coveted Sobey Art Award and he has released an edition titled The Culture Industry and the Propaganda Factory through New Documents in Los Angeles, which launched on Sunday, July 6.  

Project Space: Having both seen your original show at Malaspina Printmakers and read your new book, I am wondering: how does writing relate to your wider artistic practice?

Dan Starling: Through the course of my practice, I’ve used the process of writing in two ways. For a long time now, I have related to writing artistically, in the sense that I have used books as a medium in itself. The book as an object can be engaged with visually by altering it, changing its configuration, by deleting words or by replacing a fictional character with an alternate, historical figure.

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Artspeak - “Where Does it Hurt?" - Cathy Busby, David MacWilliWhere Does it Hurt?
Cathy Busby, David MacWilliam, Rachelle Sawatsky, Krista Belle Stewart
Curated by Jonah Gray
June 7 to July 26, 2014
Artspeak, 233 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC

by Mel Trojkovic

Where Does It Hurt?, which takes its name from Cathy Busby’s 1996 solo show at The Banff Centre’s satellite gallery in Calgary, is currently on view at Gastown’s Artspeak Gallery, reinvigorating Busby’s exploration of therapeutic analogies in relation to art and artistic encounters. Curated by Jonah Gray, the presented works, by four artists in total, address not only the established methodologies of art as treatment, but playfully allude to the broadly understood (misunderstood?) role and sensitive intersection of art and therapeutic intention.

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ISSUE magazine, vol. III

by Stéphane Bernard

Nearly thirty years after the publication of its second volume, ISSUE magazine re-launched this past April at UNIT/PITT Projects in Vancouver. The magazine, which originally launched in September 1983 and was published by the aforementioned artist-run centre, is a self-described magazine of “mostly local culture.” At the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book FairEditor and contributor Brynn McNab joins Founding Publisher of Fillip Jonathan Middleton and artist Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte in a panel discussion about artist-run publishing in Canada. In the meantime, she looks forward to the launch of ISSUE, vol. III, no. 2 in July. 

Project Space: It’s been close to thirty years since ISSUE magazine folded. What was the impetus for bringing it back?

Brynn McNab: To revive it thirty years down the road… That is something that has been talked about around here at UNIT/PITT Projects for a while now and the decision to keep this history alive was made in January.

Surprisingly enough, very few people know about the original series and the first two volumes are extremely hard to find. Apart from the Emily Carr University’s archival collection, I belive the Crista Dahl Archive at VIVO Media Arts Centre has a few copies as well. We don’t even have a complete set of the original fourteen issues.

As far as content goes, I like the way the original was very contemporary in the sense that it covered exhibits that were being presented in Vancouver that weren’t necessarily talked about in the Georgia Straight, which tends to cover the larger shows in town. It was more of a niche magazine that could even be a bit gossipy at times.

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Review: Temporary Reading Room at 221A

by Sarah Davidson

What better place to contemplate utopian design than from a lounging-appropriate, “hippie-idealist,” parachute-covered, 1970s-style couch? This particular couch, in the entrance way of 221A, previously lived in a Dan Graham exhibition (for which the artist asked John Chamberlain to recreate a design from 1970). It was recently donated to the artist-run centre, and its current iteration as a sort of spatial intervention feels fitting.

The couch, and 221A, is the site of a public reading room focused on design, with texts ranging from Hal Foster to Le Corbusier, and topics spanning modernist furniture, math fiction and public art, to name a few. The reading room runs in conjunction with the current show, And He Built A Crooked House, on until July 26.

The arrangement is cozy and clever, and came with a free breakfast at the launch on Saturday morning. Visitors mowed down some seriously sweet thick toast, topped with Hainanese Kaya and condensed milk, which is “classic Hong Kong style,” according to Special Projects Director Michelle Fu.

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The breakfast was also the launch of an artist book about breakfast, the result of a series of breakfasts put on in 2012 by Jaz Halloran and Anna Gukov. For each meal, the artists and attendees would create a poster.  These look strangely spare and geometric, and directly reference the food eaten. My recommendation: stop in sometime and read, look at the picture books and maybe think about what you would have been doing on the couch if it was 1970.

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