Unbound. Agora Rethinks the Artist Book

Book Workshop at Agora CollectiveBook Workshop at Agora Collective

“Something very important and very weird is happening to the book right now: It’s shedding its papery corpus and transmigrating into a bodiless digital form, right before our eyes. We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture.”
Lev Grossman, New York Times

At this turning point in the history of the written word, a group of artists in Berlin unite to investigate what the book looks like today. The group show, Unbound, put on by the Agora Collective, opens at their space in Neukölln today from 7 to 11pm.

Artists include: Dylan Aiello, Shuah Brotherton, Jessica Cooke, Deeqa Ismail, Pedro Jardim, Antonio Sobral, Caique Tizzi and Petra Valdimarsdóttir.

Each artist re-imagines the book through a unique lens. Deeqa Ismail forsakes image and text, allowing string to guide readers through her layered construction. Petra Valdimarsdóttir will be showing the series of photographs for the first time that she took while working for several fish factories in China. Each image will fold down into a compact, informative pamphlet. Additionally, the collective will bind one bulging beast of a book, likely to take on an experimental form, with work from all of its participating members.

Agora is a new co-working space that has taken root amongst a cluster of apple trees at the base of a medieval-looking water tower in Neukölln. Founded by Brazilians Pedro Jardim and Caique Tizzi, the Agora Collective has quickly come to include writers, painters, and web and graphic designers and is the headquarters of Art Connect Berlin. The second floor of their industrial building houses this hive of creative workers.

The first floor is a many-windowed, open space. Its layout is in constant flux. Every few days the tables and walls on wheels shift to incorporate an art exhibition, workshop, yoga class or film screening. This weekend it unfolds into a leafy forest of pages to peruse.

The founders’ energy and insatiable creative drive permeates the space. On any given day, Pedro and Caique might be seen sprawled out on the floor scrawling man-sized manifestos on scrolls of brown paper, cooking up an elaborate co-op style meal, leading improvisational games or circled up with friends King Arthur-style for a brainstorming session.

Agora’s open-armed policy encourages academics, artists, performers and designers alike to join them in the spirit of creation and co-creation. This weekend they welcome you to grab a friend, pull up a chair and dive into a new kind of book.


Additional Information

“Unbound” – GROUP SHOW
Opening Reception: Saturday, Nov. 05; 7-11pm
Mittelweg 50 (click here for map)


Blog entry by Virginia Wagner in Berlin; Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.

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