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“Artists’ Publishing Practices: From the Studio to the Library (and back again),” Bibliotheque Kandinsky’s Summer University (Paris, 2-13 Jul 18)

The Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s Summer University is a Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou research program installed on the very premises of the museum. It focuses on modern and contemporary art primary sources: archives, documentary materials (both written and visual), interviews, records, as well as new forms of artistic appropriation and documentary production. Interdisciplinary in format, the Summer University brings together young researchers: historians, art historians, anthropologists, sociologists, artists, critics and curators who share a collective reflection with art professionals and various scholars around primary source materials. It will be held in one of the museum rooms, around a conference table, used at the same time as a workspace and an exhibition device for the display of documents. Facsimiles, reproductions, and archival material will be unfolded in the space during the working sessions. Several writing workshops will rhythm the program, as well as visits to various documentary collections. Editorial work is at the heart of the Summer University: a new issue of the “Journal de l’Université d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky”—conceived both as a critical anthology based on the debates during the sessions and as an experimental production—will be released at the end of the session.

For its fifth session, Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s Summer University will address the plural phenomenon of publishing in the art field in all its diversity. It will seek to capture the various networks, exchanges, contexts, and the multiple geographies that inform the creative decisions at stake in this variegated production. It will also echo the recent reflections on the status and evolution of the artists’ book caught between the imperatives of digital turn and alternative editorial strategies, and discuss the contours of an extremely versatile genre. Indeed, artists’ publications resist any restrictive classification, as one can’t help but notice, amongst their specificities, the formal singularities and unremitting ingeniousness of their varied production methods.

Flexible in nature, artists’ publications and editions will be confronted to different approaches: history of the book, media studies, visual communication theories, graphic design… Rather than fixing a dynamic field, these disciplines have opened up new fields of investigation, dealing with production methods and exhibition strategies, amongst other examples. The communication proposals will have to address the very multiplicity of formats, techniques and mediums that are essential to the art of publishing: artists’ books and periodicals, fanzines, underground production, multiples, photobooks, architecture books, catalogues conceived by curators, ephemera and hybrid editorial practices, digital experiments, e-books by artists, DIY and self-publishing. Cases studies are expected on historical productions, producers and/or institutions, while alternative propositions are welcomed, dealing with the positions artists can take—notably as publishers—, their editorial practices, as well as the complex status of printed matter in art, in relation to the different artistic and technical cultures which are negotiated on the very body of the book.


The Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s Summer University is aimed at young fellows (PhD candidates, PhDs, PostDocs): historians, art historians, anthropologists, sociologists, curators, librarians, graphic designers and artists at large.

Application file:
– written proposal (4,500 characters/700 words) either in English or in French, in PDF format.
– CV which should clearly assess the candidate’s language proficiency. In order to apply is important to have a good command in both English and French.

Candidates are expected to bring along a selection of sources used in their research.

The proposal dossier will be sent to:


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