A three-day encounter around publishing projects
Villa Romana, Florence
10 - 12 November 2011
“One by-product of alternative publishing is the possibility of alternative reading.”
Alternative Readings was a congregation inviting readers, publishers and writers to discuss topical issues in the field of art publishing today. The meeting was conceived as a series of interventions exploring strategies on and around art publishing, with a focus on the Middle East and Europe. The encounter considered the publication not merely as a physical object but also through the different stages - material and immaterial - and configurations leading to its production. Forms such as the reading group, the library, piracy projects and the revisiting of historical publications are all strategies deployed within the art world that uncover, test and explore the publication and its potential. What discourses, forms and possibilities of engagement can publishing projects offer today? Judith Raum was invited to present different approaches to self-education and the appropriation of discourses which the Contemporary Arts Library Pristina/Berlin has worked with since 2007.
The diversity of invited guests provided an array of perspective on publishing practices in Europe and in the Middle East. Revisiting archival material (98weeks; Archive Books), performing the magazine or the text (Mounira el Solh; Marwa Arsanios), thinking about the temporality of reading in relation to the production of knowledge (Ghalya Saadawi), or rethinking strategies of circulation and distribution (Eva Weinmayr, Judith Raum), Alternative Readings offered different perspectives on publishing, specific to cultural and social contexts.
Hosted by the Villa Romana in Florence, the meeting was open to the public upon registration and was moderated by Mirene Arsanios (98weeks). Parallel to this encounter, the Villa Romana Pavillion hosted a temporary bookshop, which was open to visitors during the meeting’s three days.
# 98weeks (Beirut): Research on Historical Arab Magazines
# Archive Books (Berlin): Chiara Figone
# Judith Raum (Berlin): The Contemporary Arts Library Prishtina/Berlin
# Eva Weinmayr (London): AND publishing / The Piracy Project
# Ghalya Saadawi (Beirut)
# Mounira AL Solh (Beirut): NOA magazine