KIN and HISK are delighted to be co-hosting a book launch on September 20th at 6 pm of John C. Welchman’s Royal Book Lodge published by Hatje Cantz. Welchman will present on the art, actions, exhibitions and books of the para-collaborative Royal Book Lodge.
John C. Welchman, author of Royal Book Lodge (Hatje Cantz, 2023), introduces the history and achievements of this nimble and richly innovative international network of artists formed in the late 1980s in Berlin, Paris and Marseille, spearheaded by Juli Susin and Véronique Bourgoin. Known for its gorgeous and challenging artists’ books, Book Lodge collaborations have given rise to ceramics, photography, films and videos, paintings, sculptures and exhibitions; as well as to the formation of a collection and archive. Its spheres of activity range from European capital cities to projects in Iceland, LA, Miami, the Ligurian coast, and Paraguay. Welchman will discuss how the RBL collaborated with former members of the Situationist International, including Ralph Rumney, Pierro Simondo and Gianfranco Sanguinetti. He will lay out the leading ideas and practices of the formation as they have played out in the diverse cultural and political geographies of RBL affiliates and initiatives: narratives of displacement and migration; constructs of biography and fiction; notions of remote control; experiences and contestations of violence; and ideas around the remedial and ameliorative possibilities of art.
The presentation will be accompanied by an expansive selection of works, images and contextual materials; and is followed by a Q&A and book signing. Members of the collaborative will probably be there … in person, in disguise or by remote control.
ROYAL BOOK LODGE emerged in the late 1980s from a collaboration between artists Juli Susin and Véronique Bourgoin. Affiliates include Raisa Aid, Kai Althoff, Abel Auer, Linda Bilda, André Butzer, matali crasset, Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, Beate Günther, Tobias Hauser, Andy Hope 1930, Dorota Jurczak, Bruce Kalberg, Jochen Lempert, Roberto Ohrt, Jonathan Meese, Raymond Pettibon, Jason Rhoades, Lucia Sotnikova, and Gianfranco Sanguinetti … among others.
John C. Welchman is Distinguished Professor of Art History at the University of California, San Diego and Chair Emeritus of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. His books on modern and contemporary art and visual culture include: Modernism Relocated: Towards a Cultural Studies of Visual Modernity (Allen & Unwin, 1995); Invisible Colours: A Visual History of Titles (Yale, 1997); Art After Appropriation: Essays on Art in the 1990s (Routledge, 2001); Guillaume Bijl (JRP|Ringier, 2016); Past Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art (Sternberg, 2016) Catching Mayhem by its Tale, vol. 2, Paul McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates (Hauser & Wirth, 2019); Tala Madani: Shit Moms (Vienna Secession, 2019); After the Wagnerian Bouillabaisse (Sternberg, 2019); Ivan Morley (Kordansky, Los Angeles, 2020); Richard Jackson (Hauser & Wirth, 2020); and the innovative monograph Royal Book Lodge (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2023). Welchman is co-author of the The Dada and Surrealist Word Image (MIT, 1987), Mike Kelley (Phaidon, 1999), Kwang-Young Chung (Rizzoli, 2014), and Joseph Kosuth’s The Second Investigation (1968-72) and Public Media (Sternberg, 2024). Orshi Drozdik: Adventure in Technos Dystopium (ed.), Stopgap Measures: Writings on Mike Kelley, and Marcel Broodthaers: Pense-Bête are forthcoming in 2024.
Welchman is editor of Rethinking Borders (Minnesota, 1996), Institutional Critique and After (JRP|Ringier, 2006), The Aesthetics of Risk (JRP|Ringier, 2008) and Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art (JRP|Ringier, 2010); and of collected writings by Mike Kelley: Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism (MIT, 2003); Minor Histories (MIT, 2004); Mike Kelley: Interviews, Conversations, and Chit-Chat, 1988-2004 (JRP|Ringier, 2005). He has written for Artforum (where he had a column in the late 1980s and early 90s), Screen, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Economist; and contributed essays to catalogues and associated publications at Documenta, Louvre, Stedelijk Museum, Centre Pompidou, MoMA|PS1, Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool, Skulptur Projekte Münster, Reina Sophia, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum, Albertina, Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), LA County Museum of Art, Sydney Biennial, Venice Biennale, Vienna Museum of Contemporary Art, Haus der Kunst (Munich), Edinburgh Festival, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana.