msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush

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orphan editions

ORPHAN EDITIONS are photobooks and photographic editions sourced from the Found Photo Foundation— a photographic archive for the study and care of orphan photographs. As an experimental publishing project, ORPHAN EDITIONS investigate how specific aspects of the photobook medium expand readings of orphan photographic archives that are sequential and trigger a story–telling/ documentary perspective.
Each work explores a particular approach to publishing the printed material on the Foundation’s collections.

ORPHAN #1:
BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY

Handbound artist’s book with four  volumes in a slipcase, pamphlet binding with sequential structure

ORPHAN #2:
LISBON VERNACULAR

Handbound artist’s book with unbound pamphlet in a deconstructed cover /case 

ORPHAN #3:
FLORAMCCALLICA

Handmade artist’s book, stab-bound spine codex with hanging colophon  

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OfficeKabbalah

Office Kabbalah
Photozine
32 pages | 20 cm x 14 cm | laser printed black & white on corona offset 120g | unbound
A collaboration with carpark magazine #13

Electric House
Electricity showrooms for County Borough of Croydon by Robert Atkinson 1939-42
Home Office and Ministry of Home Security public basement shelter  1941-1945
Remodeled for the home office UK Border Agency  1990-2013
Listed Grade II Heritage Building   1995
msdm studio 2018-2019 

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The past persists in the present

The past persists in the present in the form of a dream (participatory architectures, archive and revolution)

NEWSPAPERWORK
12 pages, colour, digital print,
 29cm ×38 cm 

outdated remains of a 20th century architectural utopia, a village developed as part of national housing project code-named SAAL, the experimental programme of peoples’ right to place emerged in the short experience of participatory democracy during the Portuguese revolution

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SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 2017 paula roush

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 2017 paula roush

SUPER – PRIVATE : SCENES  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Leporello bookwork in six volumes
Editing and design: paula roush
Photographic source: EPS + Al-Yom Collections /Arab Image Foundation
Inkjet and laser printing on Epson 189 gsm paper (leporello) and Corona offset 120gsm (folded insert)
30x11cm, expanding to 40-130cm depending on the volume
Hand-bound and published  by msdm publications
Second edition for infinite multiple

Super-private consists of photographs taken in the late 1940s, 1950s by a Lebanese banker known as RS, sourced from the Arab Image Foundation’s  EPS collection. Insert includes a newspaper photograph from the ‘Al-Yom collection’ (also held at the Foundation), showing the building where RS worked, damaged by a nearby explosion during the 1975-1990 Civil War, and a conversation between PR (paula roush) and EPS, who donated the ‘EPS collection’ to the Arab Image Foundation and wishes to remain anonymous.

scene #1 : RS (self-portrait by the flower curtains), 12 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 130 cm

  scene #2: Andrée (Beirut Hippodrome), 8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm scene #3: Rositta (Budapest, hotel room),  6 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 63 cm scene #4: Andrée (Show jumping),  8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

scene #5: Rositta (Beirut Corniche),  8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

scene #6: Rositta (Hamra, family home), 8 accordion folded pages 29.7 x 84 cm

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PAINTBALL FIELD [blue+yellow]

bookwork, 2018
printed with a Monochrome Océ Laser on Xerox Bond paper
shot with paintball gun (two tones) by GBH
118.9 x 84.1 cm each folio, installed on metal table with chipboard top

Paintball Field was made during a residency in the ‘schist’ mountain villages of Portugal. The area has become depopulated and is now being developed as a destination for tourists. The title of the work refers to a local recreation area where visiting families come with their children to play war games using guns firing balls of paint. The photographs conjure up a hunting scene in which a female figure wearing a cork mask – resembling those that were used by the original villagers during carnival – is being pursued. More than a simple ironic take on violence and war, the work draws on ethnographic connotations, evoking a dramatic encounter between the rural traditions of the past and present-day cultural practices.

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WASTELAND

Just around the corner from msdm studio, was one of Lea Valley wastelands, running east of Blackwall Tunnel Approach, between Gillender Street and River Lea Bow Creek.


24 pages, 20 x 28.5 cm, laser printed black & white on corona offset 120g
unbound + colophon insert
msdm publications

Just around the corner from msdm studio, was one of Lea Valley wastelands, running east of Blackwall Tunnel Approach, between Gillender Street and River Lea Bow Creek. Here, a few miles south of the Olympic site, lived homeless people in cars abandoned by the roadside, amidst massive accumulations of urban waste. Early October 2018 we all received news that our homes – from artists’ live/work warehouses to do-it-yourself street-level shelters- would be shut down. As construction teams started moving in, we found ourselves in the same side of ‘demolition road’. During the last days I kept revisiting the area for final images, always in the company of other visiting  photographers, attracted by the photogeny of the terrain vague, pulled by random beauty of excessive consumption and technological obsolescence.

Fujifilm instax camera photographs: constantine tsapaliras
Featured in issue 13 of CARPARK magazine: A STATE OF DISREPAIR 

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hypnotic highway

When mum called for help, I had no idea I would be coming home to a landscape of pills and hallucinations …the Hypnotic Highway…

HYPNOTIC HIGHWAY
16 x 22 cm / 108 pages / 33 photos with additional family photographs and media research, in 10 gatefolds, 5 folio sections and 1 photo insert (42 x 30 cm) / Coptic binding with linen thread and grey boards with sticker in case made of cardboard / black & white laser printing on recycled paper/ photography, text and design paula roush / First edition of 88 copies, published by msdm in June 2019 / £80 (incl. shipping)


Hypnotic Highway is a photobook about the hypnotics crisis. I travel regularly between London where I’m based and Lisbon, where mum lived on her own.  This time, when mum called for help, I had no idea I would be coming home to a landscape of pills and hallucinations …the Hypnotic Highway…The photos were taken between the Lisbon apartment and the hospital, witnessing the impact of Zolpidol, a prescription sleeping aid, on mum’s physical and psychological condition.

Zolpidol is another name for Ambien, a prescription drug whose devastating effects are well documented in countless case courts and press accounts.  Whilst I was looking after mum, I immersed myself in research, only to find out that her  G.P had made her dependent on the same prescription drug that killed Heath Ledger at 28 and wiped out five years of Eminem’s life  when he was in his 30s. The same drug that has transformed so many brilliant individuals into Ambien Zombies as they’re characterised in the press, people with no memories of their actions under the influence.

I read the report Living With A Prescription Drug Addict Mother Compelled Me To Fight Big Pharma and Win by lawyer Susan Chana Lask, on her Ambien Class Action I against Sanofi Aventis, the pharmaceutical company behind the hypnotics epidemic, and this helped me identify the politics surrounding the company whose logos  printed in  plastic bags I found lying around the house, with pills inside. I also was inspired by photographer Nan Goldin’s essay and collection of photographs detailing her addiction to Oxycontin and her campaign against Sackler’s family Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company behind the opioids epidemics.

Mum’s physical body didn't survive the hypnotics crisis and the journal I had started before her passing as a record of our time together, comes out now designed as a photobook masked as a personal photo-essay, but really meant as another call for action. As Susan Chana Lask wrote so eloquently The doctors who killed my mother still practiced after her death.  They never asked how she was.  They are drug dealers.

paula roush, London 2019

Hypnotic Highway in
Ragusa FotoFestival
Curated by Steve Bison /Urbanautica Institute
Palazzo Cosentini, Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
July 26 – August 25 2019


Available from
 STET – livros & fotografias, Lisbon
Atelier POP-UP Palácio Pancas Palha, Lisbon

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hhuugg1/2/3 + hhuugg remix

Once a week, like a ritual regularly enacted to keep a friendship alive, Hugo visits me in the studio.  He always brings a selection of clothes -found, vintage and new-  from his personal archive. Things collected here and there, like a prayer skirt from Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a Charles Jeffrey Loverboy kilt, or a pair of Tabi boots from a collaboration between Maison Margiela and DSM. 

hhuugg1/2/3 + hhuugg remix
Photography & design: paula roush 
Modeling & styling: hugo santos
Creative direction: msdm studio, London 

HHUUGG1
36 pages 29.7 x 21 cm
Laser print on fabriano paper, cover and a selection of pages are  individually customised with acrylic ink monotypes

HHUUGG
Once a week, like a ritual regularly enacted to keep a friendship alive, Hugo visits me in the studio.  He always brings a selection of clothes -found, vintage and new-  from his personal archive. Things collected here and there, like a prayer skirt from Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a Charles Jeffrey Loverboy kilt, or a pair of Tabi boots from a collaboration between Maison Margiela and DSM
When he’s dressed up and ready for a shoot, we drift around the three storey building, looking for inspiration. For HHUUGG1 we grabbed a bunch of wild flowers just harvested  from the neighbouring park. For HHUUGG2 we followed a ray of  sunlight striking a mouldy wall. And HHUUGG3 came about whilst Strange Things Series 3 streamed in the Reception room’s smart TV.
We play. We improvise. There is never a plan. We follow a manifesto we wrote with our friend Travis outlining three mindfulness principles in the studio’s practice.
Be grateful for the moment unfolding around us.
Follow the bliss of infinite creative source.   
Assume   the feeling of the wish fulfilled.
The results keep surprising us. When we decided to share them through a publication, our friend Constantine suggested Hugo as title, in the tradition of photographers’ zines named after their models. Hugo is actually the modern german form, the old name Hugh meaning Mind-Thought-Soul. It is so wholesome that we settle for HUG. Not just HUG though, but HHUUGG spelled twice  [HUG HUG]. For  Give me  hug, are 3 magic words we say each other every time we feel pure joy and we embrace to celebrate. And also, in deference to the kundalini yoga mantra har-har that sounds like hud-hud.  The vibration of the heart that has the power to clear all blocks  preventing one from manifesting prosperity and success in the world. Namaste.    
paula 



HHUUGG1
36 pages 29.7 x 21 cm
Laser print on fabriano paper, machine sewn, cover and a selection of pages are individually customised with acrylic ink monotypes

HHUUGG2
44 pages 29.7 x 21 cm
Laser print on fabriano paper, machine sewn

HHUUGG3
52 pages 29.7 x 21 cm, laser print on fabriano paper, + 12 pages insert 29.7 x 21 cm printed on tracing paper
A selection of pages are individually customised with cut-outs and collages
Machine sewn

HHUUGG remix
19 pages 29.7 x 42 cm
Laser print on tracing paper
Inside portfolio case, with labels and custom print title

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queer paper gardens or the wild life of symbols

Five softcover volumes, in customised, numbered and signed grey board slipcase, with a numbered and signed silkscreen
29.7 x 21 x 3 cm
colour offset printed in munken pure paper 150 gsm
edition of 100
All artwork & texts: paula roush & maria lusitano
Additional text: cristina duarte
Published by EDP Foundation with the support of Centro Portugues de Serigrafia as part of the exhibition Estranhos Jardins de Papel/ Queer paper gardens
Cinzeiro 8/ Museu da Eletricidade Lisbon June 7-September 8 2013


£80 (incl shipping) 

 

Queer Paper Gardens approaches the history of collage through a combination of artistic research and historic visual enquiry. Including an installation made up of a collage-salon, two double-screen video-essays and two large-scale charcoal drawings, the project explores travel and collage as interlinked cultural queer and feminist practices in its relationship to contemporary art.

The project focuses on several works of collage, created across three centuries, ranging from Flora Delanica (1772-1782), Mary Delany's botanical collage work considered a pioneering instance of collage on paper, to the photographic collages of the Victorian era and, finally, to the Modernist collage-novels that constitute the exhibition's fulcrum: Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonté (1934), and Valentine Penrose's Dons des Féminines (1951).

 

Revisiting all these works brings out a number of visual and textual narratives that explore the concept of journey: a journey through the history of collage and a delocalisation in time – something quite appropriate to the inherent features of the collage technique; This journey makes visible ways in which collage creates spaces that facilitate experiments with botanical taxonomies as metaphors for gender and sexuality and also a critique of the bourgeois domestic setting conveyed through escapist dreams and travel to exotic locations.

The relation between collage and art publishing is part of artists’ books history. Two relevant examples of small editions books are part of the exhibition’s material sources: Max Ernst’s A Week of Goodness (1934) and Valentine Penrose’s Dons des Feminines (1951). Both propose new perspectives on the relationship between found material and personal biography, collage and narrative, image and text. Departing from these and looking at early predecessors of the visual book- encountered in the Georgian hortus siccus (herbarium) and the Victorian photo album- the project explores:
– Working with found material: the author as editor with a subjective vision of an archive or collection
– A queer and feminist history of collage that looks at early precursors of collage amongst 18th century landscape female artists, female victorian photo-collage, the surrealist collage novel and contemporary collage approaches
– Visual storytelling when sequencing books: strategies that range from cinematic structure to the travel book.

Texts

Text (Vols I-IV) Les deux amies / The two girlfriends (Gifts of the Feminine), The mise-en-scéne of the unconscious (A Week of Goodness), The photoalbum in the drawing room (cardomania), the album of Madame B., The paper mosaick (Female cruising in the garden)   by paula roush and maria lusitano

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Text (Vol V) a journal of one’s own, a text dedicated to mary, margaret, valentine, alice, paula, maria and all the other women  by cristina duarte

 

Reviews

—-Luisa Soares de Oliveira
Mulheres fatais e outras que tais/ Fatal women and others as such: A visit to the surrealist museum through collage
Ipsilon Publico Magazine 23 August 2013 [portuguese] [english]

 

—-Celso Martins
Colagem e Colisao / Collage and collision An artistic collaboration around the dances and counterdances of gender, retrieves collage as a mode of associating images
Expresso Atual Magazine,  22 June 2013 [portuguese]   [english]

http://msdm.org.uk/archive/queer-paper-gardens-celso-martins-review-en.pdf

Curator text

—-João Pinharanda
Undermining the Surrounding World

https://www.msdm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/queer-paper-gardens-joao-pinharanda-text.pdf

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rositta

Rositta is the main character in RS’s photographs, a companion and muse, whose images remained private until I arrived in Beirut, for a photographic residency at the Arab Image Foundation, in the summer of 2015...

Coffee table book edition
to be used for display on a table and entertain guests
waterproof paper protects from coffee marks and food stains 
care instructions: wipe clean only 
9 pages 28.5 x 40.5 cm each
85.5 x 121.5 cm assembled

ROSITTA (Hamra, Beirut, RS family home)
editing and design  paula roush
photographic source   EPS Collection/ Arab Image Foundation
published by msdm

In 2005, two dozen rolls of undeveloped 35mm film were deposited at the Arab Image Foundation. Stored in a bespoke wooden box each film roll was carefully wrapped in tin foil and enclosed in individually fitted drawers, carefully protected against Beirut’s dampness. EPS had found them in the family house, and brought them in for conservation and preservation. They were his uncle’s work, a Lebanese banker know as RS, born in 1904, who died of a heart attack when he was 54.
Rositta is the main character in RS’s photographs, a companion and muse, whose images remained private until I arrived in Beirut, for a photographic residency at the Arab Image Foundation, 10 years later in the summer of 2015. One day I asked the librarian if there were any seedy… sexy…photographs, any collection troubling the archive that I could work with. She brought two ring binders labelled EPS collection, with A6 size snap prints.  She didn’t know much about “the family” in the photographs, just that something was not quite right. She also warned me that it was “super private” (she whispered her words). The mysterious atmosphere in the photographs is beyond strict family conventions – more like a photo-roman noir including road trips, jet flights and secretive hotel room encounters. Was RS following a script? Or did things just happen as life unravelled itself in a glamorous pre-war Beirut and Lebanon? What looked like an unconventional  family album was something else, well beyond expectations.
pr

rositta explores the conventions of the photobook genre: using one single image it is designed literally for the table, a humorous twist of the "coffe-table book." The photograph is rendered bitmap, a process usually leading to the photo silkscreen surface a condition that  is eschewed here in favor of high contrast laser printing, and waterproof paper to protect from coffee marks and food stains. 

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NOTHING TO UNDO

Nothing to undo, handbound artist's book with slipcase, japanese stab binding with gatefold structure, digital toner printing on uncoated matt paper, 29.7 x 21 cm (closed dimensions), 2015, ediiton of 250.

75  pages, 24 gatefolds, 2 inserts and 4 loose texts
29.7 x 21 cm (29,7 x 84 cm open)
48 colour photographs and 8 monotone images
Fedrigoni 100 + 300 gsm paper printed with HP LaserJet CP5225; Daler-Rowney tracing paper 60gsm, newsprint 60gsm and various found papers with Solid Ink Xerox Phaser 8560
Hand-bound with japanese stab binding, enclosed in vinyl silkscreened case
Photography, text and design: paula roush
Essay: Maria Lusitano
First edition of 250
Released 2015
Numbered and signed
msdm publications

A road-trip between Malmö and Stockholm, two friends on the road, self-consciously documenting their disembodied geographies. The book documents a farewell journey whilst essaying photographs and writing into the double vision of the migrants’ eyes. The journey in the diaspora is recreated in the photobook form through gatefolds and splits that fragment the photos in halves, a process that can be reverse-engineered through cross-referencing the photos to the indexical writing.

Awards
Winner of the Sheffield International Artist's Book prize 2015
Kassell Photobook Festival 2015

Library collections
The Brooklyn Museum
The Museum of Modern Art Library
The Metropolitan Museum Library
The Swarthmore College Libraries
The Boston Athenaeum Library
The School of Art Institute of Chicago Library

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FAKE NEWSPAPER


Newspaper work created for the exhibition And Then Again
curated by Ana Fonseca and Liz Collini
Pavilhao Preto Museu da Cidade, Lisbon 2010

8 pages, 500 x 350mm, silkcreen print on 120 gsm cartridge paper
printed in CPS studio, under the guidance of rui alves and joao prates
Edition: 90, numbered and signed
Published by msdm and Centro Português de Serigrafia

Cut and collaged by paula roush from a sample of Portuguese daily newspapers, in collaboration with nini (crochet patterns)  and additional material sampled from the essential Guide of the Portuguese Language for the Mass Media by Edite Estrela nd J. David Pinto Correia.

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SOS:OK KIT

SOS:OK EMERGENCY KIT contains:
SOS:OK guide + SOS:OK biscuit


SOS:OK guide
40 pages duo tone 12cmx18cm 120gsm matte uncoated paper
litho printing: aldgate press
graphic design by ajdin basic and paula roush based on real life experience of being fed w/ emergency food during the wars in bosnia and portugal. 
typeface gyro designed by domen fras
publication date: october 2004 
edition:1000
texts: zeigam azizov, alice park and paula roush

SOS:OK biscuit

Nutritional biscuit designed for mock and real emergency food relief operations Contains: butter, sugar and flour, pre-cooked and compacted into biscuit form
Can be eaten dry (as a biscuit) or in the form of porridge made by crushing SOS:OK into drinking water, milk, tea or coffee.
Distribute either in mock emergency training operations (food relief, anti-terror exercises) to test readiness for emergency food relief operation or in response to real crises when food must be distributed for immediate survival needs.
Can be used by both collective structures (art galleries, museums, temporary feeding centres and community organisations) or by families and individuals. Developed for all situations of food scarcity, real and imagined.
Use as biscuit: Targeted distribution to emergency exercise volunteers or general distribution to displaced populations in humanitarian crisis. Dry ration for children in feeding centres, survival ration in case of total scarcity.
Use as porridge: Crush the biscuits into boiled drinking water or milk, cold or luke-warm and mix well. Use 200 ml of liquid for 2 biscuits
Should be eaten slowly, well chewed. 
Article to be justified: Reserved for simulated food relief operations or real emergency situations.
Note: SOS:OK Emergency Biscuit should not be used as a replacement for customary daily food, or in long-term feeding programmes if ordinary customary food is available.
1st edition (for Coleman Project Space) Valid from: 08-31/10/2004



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BUS SPOTTING + A STORY

BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY 

BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY is a 4-part photo-essay.
Parts 1 and 2 (Bus Ride) comprise a sequence of 32 photographs in the form of twin books, split in images of double and single-decker buses. Far from being static, the collaged sequence suggests a bus ride through past time and spaces. The momentum stems from the varying points of view the constantly changing street scenes, as well as from the way complete and partial images alternate and run on from page to page, leading the reader’s eye back and forth.
Part 3 (A Story) engages with the narrative and fictional potential of found photographs –  a different approach to the material – using  text and image with reference to the genre of photo-romance.
Part 4 (Transport Enthusiasts) elucidates the raison d’être of the overall work, as well as the context in which the photographs were taken, through correspondence with one of the original photographers; additional material such as the reproduction of the copyright stamps at the back of the prints, as well as a letter dated 1971 between a photographer and a collector further highlight the tangible nature of the collection.

Handbound artist’s book with four  volumes in a slipcase, pamphlet binding with sequential structure
4 separate books (B&W, duotone and colour)
108 pages
21 x 30 cm (Parts 1, 2 ,4) and 14.8 x 21 (Part 3)
Laser printed on Fabriano 120gsm and 200gsm (slipcase)
Edited and designed by paula roush
Text by Mireille Ribière, with Colin Stannard
Photographs from the Found Photo Foundation by Colin Stannard, Douglas F. Parker, G. Mead, J. G. S. Smith, Phil Picken, Robert F. Mack, T.E.S., T. L. Jones, and unknown photographers.
edition of 250, numbered and signed, released 2016
msdm publications
£80 (free p&p)

BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY

BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY marks the launch of the Found Photo Foundation’s Orphan Series. Each work in the series explores a particular approach to publishing the printed material in the Found Photo Foundation collection. Orphan #1 BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY is the result of the collaboration with Mireille Ribière, author, photographer and scholar.

Further reading:

Jan Baetens
A Book, An Endless Love Affair
Cultural Studies Leuven, 10 August 2016

Erica Carter
Comments on BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY  presentation
at the launch of Order and Collapse: The lives of Archives
Personal email,  April 2016

Selected for:

The Photo-text Award at Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie, July 4- Sept 25, 2016
THE PHOTO-TEXT Award, supported by the Jan Michalski foundation for writing and literature, rewards the best work mixing images and texts, whether through the interweaving of text in the image, the preponderant place of writing within the dummy book or a writer's text that supports the photographic intention.

KALEID 2016 Oslo exhibition
at the KHiO Bibliotek curated by Victoria Browne, National Academy of the Arts Library, May 2016

"Rigorosamente Libri" IV Biennale del Libro d’Artisti
“Strictly Books...”  IV Biennial of The Artist’s Book
Selected by Maddalena Carnaghi and curated by Vito Capone & Gaetano Cristino 
Fondazione de Monte Uniti di Foggia 
June 1- July 15 2019

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FPF #1

Found Photo Foundation/FPF, newspaper
published for the exhibition
Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images?
Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen
2 December 2012- 3 March 2013
newsprint, colour, digital print, 29cm ×38 cm, 36 pages
Essay by Tanja Verlak: "An attempt at exhausting an archive / Found Photo Foundation"
msdm publications
available here

FPF #1 contributors: Will Ainsworth, Louise Bargus, Amy Bolland, Emma Chandler, Bradley Chippington, Sam Farman, Daniella Fedele, Valeria Gaeta, Melissa Kasilian, Lucinda King, Alexia Michalos, Liam Mulligan, Joshua Murray, Martyn Odell, Carlotta Paolieri, Rebecca Prideaux, Ieashia Sealy‐Jewiss, Sara Soupdemots, Ida Stigard, Lou Stevens, Tom Valentine, Laura Voss, Brogan Watt, Harvey Brown, Daniel Paul Davis, Sophie Green, Marija Protokova, Jennifer Browne, Holly Dawson, Yoana Doycheva, Sophie Engledew, Hannah Marie Maden, Malgorzata Sokolowska, Michelle Vickerman, Wesley Wise, Cara Morgan-Butler, Natalie Dawes, Laura Moss, Andreas Obexer, Daniel Olivier, Ivaylo Karaivanov, Louise Mcmorran, Tibor Pischinger, Vladimir Studenic, Vivian Truong, Rachel Moss, Ayla Theydon-Payne.

The found photo foundation, set up to rescue work produced by professional, amateur, and anonymous photographers,  has a focus on photography found in flee markets and car boot sales from Lisbon and London, whilst containing additional photographs found world-wide.

The photographs are organised in informal thematic archives, and open to the public in workshops where the contents are made available for editorial and  publishing projects. More about the found photo foundation here

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Orphan Series



Each work in the Orphan series explores a particular approach to publishing the printed material in the Found Photo Foundation collection. 

Orphan #3 FLORAMCCALLICA

Flora McCallica, photobook with collage of orphan photos sourced from Found Photo Foundation. A set dated 1958 found in Lisbon flea market and a 1920s herbarium (Herbarium Britannicum) discarded by London Kew Gardens. 32 pages  38 x 26 cm, laser printed black & white corona offset 120 gsm.
More about the photobook work here 

Orphan #2 LISBON VERNACULAR 

Lisbon Vernacular sources from three domestic porn photo albums, found in the offices of Lisbon’s leading telecommunications company and currently part of Found Photo Foundation collections. More info about the photobook work here

Orphan #1 BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY 

BUS-SPOTTING + A STORY is a 4-part photo-essay with photographs from the Found Photo Foundation. Parts 1 and 2 (Bus Ride) comprise a sequence of 32 photographs in the form of twin books, split in images of double and single-decker buses. Part 3 (A Story) uses  text and image with reference to the genre of photo-romance. Part 4 (Transport Enthusiasts) elucidates the raison d’être of the overall work, as well as the context in which the photographs were taken, through correspondence with one of the original photographers.108 pages
4 separate books (B&W, duotone and colour). More on the photobook here

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LISBON VERNACULAR

 

Orphan #2
Lisbon Vernacular
Edited and designed by paula roush
16 pages  with various gate folds and sizes
29.7 x 21 cm approx.
laser printed on a selection of uncoated matte papers including  corona offset 120 gsm
loose cover in grey bookbinding cloth and transparent film with title  stamped in golden foil
Edition of 25, numbered and signed
£30 (free p&p)

The images published by msdm publications in its Orphan series are from The Found Photo Foundation; each publication uses its own format so as to reflect the editor’s original approach to the material.
Orphan #2 is a selection from three photo albums  of domestic porn, found in the offices of Lisbon’s leading telecommunications company. A common practice in mid 20th century city life, office workers used their lunch break to visit one another’s homes and enact their fantasies for the camera.

 

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DECOMPOSITION

The Beauties of DECOMPOSITION
paula roush & Michael Hampton
Foil-stamped grey board box 32x23cm contains:
Unique handmade paper specimen 24x19cm.
Three laser printed books:
1.Decomposition: stapled colour 21x15cm, 40 pages, evercolor cream paper 80gsm, varied inserts.
2. Scanned record of paper specimens: #1-12 stapled b&w 27×19.5cm, 24 pages, corona offset paper 120gsm.
3.“thanks for the information and good news”: scanned b&w letters bound by a brass cylinder post: 18.5x17cm, canon paper 80gsm.
Colour photograph on gloss paper: 15×10.5cm.
Special edition of 12 copies accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the authors.
msdm publications 2017

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Concept-specific paper is a refined substrate in the world of the artists’ book. The logic of the work is materially inscribed in the fibres of handmade paper. In the case of THE BEAUTIES OF DECOMPOSITION the paper’s meaning is derived from ‘The Book Dispersed’ project. The special edition contains a paper specimen composed of pulp from the abortive funding application for ‘The Book Dispersed’ an exhibition devised by the collective Media Instaveis/Unstable Media, blended with pulp from Michael Hampton’s magnum opus Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artist’s book (author’s copy), together with extra pulp from Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help (a print on demand copy purchased on eBay). Here, in Chapter VI entitled ‘Workers in Art’, we found words to inspire us: to “force our way upward in the face of poverty and manifold obstructions”. The book, dedicated to the late Auto-Destructive artist and activist Gustav Metzger, is a work about dispersion in the form of a conversation between scattering and collecting/organizing.

Book 1, composed of an essay, cartoon and documentary photographs is a peek at the studio working process, placing it in a continuum along with other self-published books such as Smiles’s.

Book 2, aggregates the scanned records of the handmade paper specimens, verso and recto, viewing them as a series. Since they will be dispersed, each original specimen is included in one book of the edition of 12.

Book 3, contains the scanned letters that Gustav sent to Michael by Royal Mail Post (always first class), mostly trying to arrange meet ups at specific galleries to see exhibitions, and participate in symposia and other art events.

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A field of interconnected realities

A field (of interconnected realities), or, The week of mash-up goodness : roman, paula roush & maria lusitano. 5 newsprint volumes, colour, digital print, 29cm x 38 cm in a grey-board folio with DVD. HD, 34'45" colour, sound Edition of 10. London : msdm publica(c)tions, 2012. 

Available at the National Art Library: V&A Museum London. NAL is a public reference library.  NAL pressmark: 809.AP.0002  Registration for a reader card

"Commissioned by Living Room 10 Auckland 2010, presented at ISEA 11 Istambul 2011, published for Booklive! London 2012"--colophon.

"A project started in 2010 as the re-enactment of the artist's book Une Semaine de Bonté (A Week of Goodness, 1934) by Max Ernst. This was the first collage-novel to explore the unconscious as a series of traumatic tableaux in the book format, and a pioneering work in the ontology of the artist's book. The new publication and accompanying video piece (2012) extend our ongoing research onto the study of the modernist collage-novel. The main subject of the work is now Valentine Penrose and her book Dons des Féminines (1951). This pioneering collage-poem is both a re-enactment of Une Semaine de Bonté and a critique of "patriarchal hegemony" evoked in Ernst's work. Its poetic depiction of female friendship, combining elements of neo-gothic and surrealist verse and collage make it into an early precedent of the 'écriture feminine' with its claim for a language of female desire and transgression."

"The video essay ... is a 36-minute narrative collaged with fragments of film, painting, illustration and literature relating to the female gothic. Its departure point is Dons des Féminines and the backdrop story is Valentine's travels in India in the company of Alice Rahon."

Field #1 is for the first day of the week, Sunday, and its element is The winged domino. It presents a selection of historical portraits where Valentine Penrose posed as artist’s model. It is subtitled The muse’s productive mimesis and the centrepiece is The wings of history that we consider to be a series of genealogical portraits with a disturbance of meaning.

Field #1 is for the first day of the week, Sunday, and its element is The winged domino. It presents a selection of historical portraits where Valentine Penrose posed as artist’s model. It is subtitled The muse’s productive mimesis and the centrepiece is The wings of history that we consider to be a series of genealogical portraits with a disturbance of meaning.

Field #2, the day of the week is Monday and the element is Gay pulp (or the penny dreadful), mimicking Ernst and Penrose’s collage method that used cut outs from popular and alternative press. The example is Valentine and Alice become mothers, a fictional narrative that situates them in Lisbon in the 1980s, living together and trying to have a child by using a sperm donor. Vintage lesbian pulp is weaved with an intertextuality ‘a deux’ found in the writings of Valentine Penrose and Alice Rahon.

Field #2, the day of the week is Monday and the element is Gay pulp (or the penny dreadful), mimicking Ernst and Penrose’s collage method that used cut outs from popular and alternative press. The example is Valentine and Alice become mothers, a fictional narrative that situates them in Lisbon in the 1980s, living together and trying to have a child by using a sperm donor. Vintage lesbian pulp is weaved with an intertextuality ‘a deux’ found in the writings of Valentine Penrose and Alice Rahon.

Field #3, the day of the week is Tuesday, the element is the collage-novel and the example is Dons des Féminines. Traces from Dons des Féminines are projected onto the skin, exploring the moment when the virtual page disappears into the body. It is subtitled A feminisation of meaning, and functions as a dialectical speculation on time, memory and the future of the book.

Field #3, the day of the week is Tuesday, the element is the collage-novel and the example is Dons des Féminines. Traces from Dons des Féminines are projected onto the skin, exploring the moment when the virtual page disappears into the body. It is subtitled A feminisation of meaning, and functions as a dialectical speculation on time, memory and the future of the book.

Field #5 combines the three remaining days. For Thursday, the element is The will of the work of art and this is represented with the text Ghostly edges: the uncanny and after life in Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine de Bonté; For Friday, the element is Photography’s archival order and the example is The research scrapbook, a collection of visual material cut out and mounted on a four page spread. For Saturday, the element is The killing of aesthetic ideals and the example is the text Out there in the east: desire and gifts in Valentine Penrose’s collage-poem Dons des Féminines.

Field #5 combines the three remaining days. For Thursday, the element is The will of the work of art and this is represented with the text Ghostly edges: the uncanny and after life in Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine de Bonté; For Friday, the element is Photography’s archival order and the example is The research scrapbook, a collection of visual material cut out and mounted on a four page spread. For Saturday, the element is The killing of aesthetic ideals and the example is the text Out there in the east: desire and gifts in Valentine Penrose’s collage-poem Dons des Féminines.

A field (of interconnected realities) or The week of mash-up goodness, (2010-12), Installation at BOOKLIVE! 2012.

A field (of interconnected realities) or The week of mash-up goodness, (2010-12), Installation at BOOKLIVE! 2012.

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CLASSOP

Classop (papeis varios).
Bookwork for the exhibition “Classop (papeis varios).”
Ink-jet print on varied papers.
Edition: one bound volume, signed.
Research, drawing and text: paula roush and maria lusitano.
Published by: msdm publications

The artist book, produced in Lisbon in august 2010, is size A4, 29,7x21 cm, and was printed in an epson stylus sx105, using varied papers (including vegetable parchment, greaseproof and tracing papers, maps and file separators) found in the same library. A print on demand edition, with 180 pages and printed on premium (matte finish) paper is also available.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition  classop –papeis varios / varied papers  at the  sput & nik  Porto 2010 +  classop (varied papers) at Zavod P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. P74 Gallery, Ljubljana 2011.


The book-archive  classop (papers varied)  presents itself  as literature2, ie, two stages of a loop in the visual and semantic field of reading, in the flight from paper to electronic literature. The first stage of this project consisted of a residence in the archive of  l. Santos  in lisbon. The resulting artist’s book, later bound in malmö by a traditional bookbinder. is titled classop (an abridgement  for  the two portuguese words classe operaria / ‘working class’). It is a sampling of a unique library specialised in the so called PREC  - the period after the 25th april portuguese revolution. An archive of texts and images from books on architecture, urban planning and education, it reveals the influence of the historical events that marked the anti-fascist, May 68, student riots, and 1974 revolution of the carnations.

The second phase contains the virtual experience of the book, and this has been developed in working sessions using Skype and webcam. The networked library has expanded to create its own place based on a methodology of online meetings. A book about a library is an index which is also the construction of an epistemology about the book and the state of not-knowing. It is a fiction-book based on fragments of multiple realities, rehearsed representations of  concepts in a state of flux. One gets there traveling through the documents, from one shelf to another, following the call of the book spines, the attraction of the bookbinding and above all the materiality of the paper.

Feeling the entropy of the shelf, visible in its organization as an organic body, an accumulation of the now classic texts, mixed with icons of decades past, shrouded in the dust later entered through a window and testimony that life outside goes on. This layer of dirt gives the shelf a second skin, that makes my fingers dirty, contaminating my body with this biography which is the library’s biography, the personal narrative of its creator, now part of me, spot-map, a key for that labor intensive process of accumulation that resulted in this monument-archive, rhetorical and idealized. The library as place and non-place, site and non-site, relational space where the conversation is started, questions are raised, memories activated the myth of a country unfolded and entwined with that of others, in a critical and political intertextuality, made out of subjectivities and ideological representations. The cumplicity, the intimacy of that encounter that carries the bibliographic corpus from historical data into ghostly pixels.

Foreword by Louise Michel

Louise Michel (1981) is a writer and theoretician based in The Isle of Dogs. Michel is known for her theory of the book-archive, in which she makes the distinction between the book-book and the book-archive, connecting these to a meta-generation of books or literature 2 and examines the transition from the historical book to the optical book that circulates in superstructural rhizome of the Internet.

 access the reading room>

table of contents>

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Protest Academy: What Are We Doing / What’s Happening To Us / What Needs To Be Done / I Prefer Not To

Protest Academy:  ‘What are we doing? What’s happening to us? What needs to be done? I prefer not to’
vinyl , 4 tracks  with insert libretto,  edition of  500

The academy was launched in London in February-March 2005 as an audio-visual archive that developed throughout a three weekend period at the Elastic Residence. For the occasion, the guest delegates participated with works of tactical sound for the 4 part collective score of the academy’s inaugural lecture titled: ‘What are we doing? What’s happening to us? What needs to be done? I prefer not to’ which was performed and streamed live during the weekend of 26th and 27th February.  The audio archive is published as vinyl (ed 500) with insert libretto.
msdm’s Protest Academy was commissioned by elastic residency  and& heimat modern, london/leipzig, 2005-06,  part of General Panel’s introductory summer course on ‘Protest and Production of Urban Space’ [Leipzig, May –Aug 2005].

 

 

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areopagitica (milton’s nose)

Newspaper work
40 pages, colour, digital print, 38 cm x 29 cm with original text (12 pages booklet)
Edition of 100, numbered and signed

Areopagitica (Milton’s Nose) is a newsprint publication made of two earlier  publishing projects:  Russian Ballet Riot, a newspaper work about David Bomberg’s pamphlet Russian Ballet * and Areopagitica, a newspaper work about John Milton’s pamphlet Areopagitica. ** The resulting newsprint publication, titled Areopagitica (Milton’s Nose) blends collages from the pages of Russian Ballet Riot with collages from the pages of Areopagitica, plus additional documentation of the newspaper works with objects - clay noses created by St Paul’s school students- as a table installation at Milton’s gallery.
John Milton  (1608- 1674) was a student at St Paul’s School, and wrote Areopagitica in 1644 in defense of an unlicensed free press.
David Bomberg  (1890 – 1957) was a teacher at London South Bank University (Borough Polytechnic Institute) and published Russian Ballet (1919), inspired by Diaghilev'sBallets Russes for the company’s London performance.

* Published as part of the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection, at the Digital Gallery, London South Bank University, 10-12 December 2013
** Published as part of the exhibition Art in a Book Shell: A survey of artists working with and inspired by books, at the Milton Gallery, St Paul’s School, London, 26 February – 17 March 2015

Installation
table assemblage with newsprint publications Russian Ballet and Areopagitica with clay noses created by students at St. Paul’s School
80cm x 150 cm x 72 cm overall installation
Art in a Book Shell: A survey of artists working with and inspired by books exhibition
Milton Gallery, St Paul’s School, London 2015

Installation
table assemblage with newsprint publication Areopagitica (Milton's Nose) with clay noses
80cm x 150 cm x 72 cm overall installation.
Unbound exhibition, Herbert Read Gallery, University of the Ceative Arts Canterbury 2017


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Al-Yom / Today

Photo-text composed of photographs of a collection of damaged photographs from the Al-Yom newspaper [Al-Yom was founded by Afif el Tibi, the father of Lebanese journalism, in 1937 and closed in 1975 when an armed militia stormed the building] currently stored at the Arab Image Foundation and text sampled from Elie-Pierre Sabbagh L’Ombre d’Une Ville, a book about Beirut in the aftermath of the war.

48 pages
21x29 cm
Laser printing black & white
on coloured paper Favin Le Cirque 80gsm
Loose pages on kraft card stock folder
Photographs (of photographs) and design: paula roush
Source: Arab Image Foundation / EPS collection
Text: Elie-Pierre Sabbag, from the novel L’Ombre d’Une Ville
Hand-bound & manufactured
Edition of 300 copies
Published in Beirut in October 2015 by Plan BEY
Based on research at the Arab Image Foundation and developed with Plan BEY in September 2015 during an artist residency at Makan, Beirut Lebanon

Al-Yom / Today (torn folded curled) is an experiment with the genre of the photo-essay, an attempt to work side by side with a collection of damaged photographs from the Al-Yom newspaper photo archives found at the Arab Image Foundation and text sampled from a book by the Beirut-based writer and architect Elie-Pierre Sabbagh.
The Al-Yom collection has been temporarily held in storage boxes at the Arab Image Foundation waiting to be catalogued and re-housed in safe archiving material, until it is ultimately digitised and made available online for access.
Al-Yom was founded by Afif el Tibi, the father of Lebanese journalism in 1937 and closed in 1975 when armed militia stormed the building giving the staff half-hour to leave the building. The collection was brought in by AIF former director  Zeina Arida who found it amongst Walid El Tibi’s remains after the newspaper’s editor passed away and the apartment where he lived was cleared out.

Al-Yom/ Today, loose pages over wall text, powered by vintage fan, 214 x114 cm approx, exhibition (installation view) Makan Space Beirut Lebanon , 2015

 

Further reading:
Marwan El Tibi
paula roush fait revivre les archives du journal Al-Yom
Al Ayam Magazine, Beirut October 2015

Hala Tawil
paula roush residency with the Arab Image Foundation
Report to the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut 2015

Alejandro Acin & Isaac Blease
Activating the Archive
PH museum July 24- Sept 24 2018

 

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SCHISTIME

SCHISTIME (schist that has already been time) :  photobook by paula roush. 152 pages, 83 photographs, english text, 21 x 29.7 cm, hardcover, sewn binding, 160 gsm matte paper, ISBN 978-0-9553793-8-3, msdm publications.

SCHISTIME documents the memory of a place, deep in the mountain of Gois, in the centre of Portugal. The villages are almost deserted as the result of an authoritarian regime that planted the commons (a crucial resource for the locals’ cooperative way of life) with pine trees destined to private profit. This happened in the first decades of the 20th century leading to an abandonment of the area that still persists. Today the area is being rebranded as the schist landscape. The rebuilt houses stand side by side with the ruins, coexisting in a state of entropy, between decay and growth.

Link to introductory essay & colophon

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Pink Press

 

Pink Press, series of 17 hand-made collages with cut-outs from portuguese gossip magazines (imprensa rosa or “pink press”) on vintage paper, 35 x 28 cm each,

 

Photobookzine edition: 21x29.7cm unbound, digital print, 90gsm matte paper, 32 pages, edition of 100, msdm publica(c)tions b&w: £8; colour: £16 (free shipping)

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RS FILES

RS FILES London – Munich To Be Continued

Collective photobook,  based on a set of rules created for the workshop Self-Publishing and the Photobook, March 9th 2018. Design: paula roush and Jens Masmann
Featuring folios by:  Amelia Attle / Raluca Babos / Emma Bircham / Razvan Bronda / Iga Cegielko / Kate Gentry / Jessica Hansson / Isabella Hewlett / Peter Di-Mola Jordan / Kyle Jackson /Charlotte Joseph / Tomasz Klimara / Jai Mills / Daisy Morey / Micah Morgan / Regan Ross / Sam Sutton / Isaac Watson.
Loose binding with rubberband, within printed envelope containing  backstory infosheet. Fifty six A4pages, twenty four pages A5 and four pages A6.
HORS COMMERCE:   As the work includes photographs that do not belong to public property yet, this book is published NOT FOR SALE.

 

Gleaning the web using the words Russian Spy in multiple search engines led to online archives, news reports and Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook accounts of several news agencies. A selection of 87 gifs and jpegs including press photography, political archives and screenshots were archived in a single folder titled RS files. All the images were anonymised and given a number from RS-00.jpg to RS-86.jpg. A compilation of photographic cutouts from printed newspapers published in London that week was also made available. The workshop room was equipped with laser and inkjet printers, photocopiers, scanners and varied types of paper.

Workshop rules: Rule 1 – Each participant creates one folio with photographs from the RS Files. All folios to be assembled in one single signature book loosely bound with elastic. Rule 2 – Design to include varied: page size, image processing, printing method and paper type. Rule 3 – Participants to do their best to match their folios with the ones adjacent in the book structure, starting from the cover, proceeding to the next.

More on the project: RS Files, the back-story

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RUSSIAN BALLET RIOT

Russian Ballet Riot, 2012
newspaperwork, 64 pages, colour, digital offset on newsprint paper, 29 ×38 cm
and 20 pages booklet A5 size facsimile edition of Russian Ballet an artist’s book by David Bomberg published in London in 1919
Photography and design: paula roush
edition of 100
msdm publications
Commissioned by the Borough Road Gallery, London
Published as part of the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection, presented in the Digital Gallery, London South Bank University, 10-12 December 2013

 

Newspaperwork developed in response to David Bomberg's collected works in the Borough Road Gallery exhibition London’s Post War Art Scene: David Bomberg & The Borough Group  ( Nov 30 2012-March 23 2013) and shown in parallel to  David Bomberg: Objects of Collection  (Sep13 2013-March 29 2014) in the exhibition Photobooks: Objects of collection (photobooks commissioned by the Borough Road Gallery in response to the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection), Digital Gallery, London South Bank University, London UK
Collage brings together the world of the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (the historical context for Russian Ballet) and the protests in support of Pussy Riot following their 2012 arrest.
The work is inspired by traces of David Bomberg art studio in Borough road, now converted into the London South Bank University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries lecturer’s offices where paula meets her photobook publishing students for tutorials.

Researching the teaching and learning environment in the Borough Polytechnic “which was to become the centre of the most vanguard and adventurous art education in post-war Britain,” [1] the work is inspired by the traces of the former art studios in Borough road and the University archives.
Bomberg’s revolutionary teaching methods, informed by a search for the “spirit in the mass,” [2] that was keenly adapted by the Borough Group (1946-1951) as their modus operandis, precedes current practice-based approaches to art as research and comes alive in the new self-published work.
Bomberg’s early enthusiasm for self-publishing and his involvement with the performative aspects of modern culture was evident in his pamphlet-book Russian Ballet (1919) whose reinterpretation is part of the work.

Bringing side by side the Borough group’s artwork and the newly commissioned publication completes the circle that started with the radical educational approaches to modern art in post-war Borough Polytechnic and continue with contemporary discursive approaches to art in the University’s photographic arts teaching.

[1] Dominika Buchowska, 2011, Teaching Art In Post-War Britain: The Case Of The Borough Group 1945-1953, Polish-AngloSaxon Studies volume 14-15, pp. 107-129; [2] C. Holden, History of the Borough Group, date of access: 6 Nov 2012

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SCHIST | XISTO

SCHIST | XISTO 

Photographed during Schistories | Xistorias, documenting the trail through the Schist mountains and villages of Góis, Portugal, for the performance-installation and walk developed in collaboration with the local community.

36 pages
14 x 20cm
laser printed black & white
canon ivory paper 80gsm
hand-bound, 3-hole pamphlet stitch

photography and design: paula roush
edition of 100
released 2018
msdm publications

 

 

Further reading:

paula roush
Paintball Field: Time that has already been time – a preamble in two chapters
Excerpt from the presentation of the project
Seminar The Uses of Time,Feminist University
Lisbon December 18, 2013.

Xistorias: Performance digital nas aldeias do Xisto- A Beira Serra em streaming direto
O Varzeense
October  30 2013

Manuela Ventura
"Xistorias" apresenta historias das aldeias serranas de Gois
Diario de Coimbra
October  30 2013

 

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Bayroumi (4,600 questions)

Photobook made of a collection of images of photographic negatives - Bayroumi collection- held at Arab Image Foundation, in bags and boxes.
P
ublished in conjunction with the exhibition  Torn Curled Folded,  Oct - Nov 2015 at  Makan project space, Beyrut.

 

 

Scroll book
Size when open: 24 x 94cm
7 Pages with different sizes: 24x30.5/ 24x61cm/ 24x92cm
10 photographs of the Bayroumi Collection
Inkjet printing on Epson Matt Enhanced paper
Cover in card stock with sticker
Pages stitched with japanese stab binding and bound to a roll in an acrylic tube
Photography & book design : paula roush
Source: Arab Image Foundation/ Bayroumi Collection
Hand-writing: Charbel Saad



The Bayroumi Collection has been temporarily held in storage boxes at the Arab Image Foundation waiting to be catalogued and re-housed in safe archiving environment, until it is ultimately digitised and made available for online access. It was brought in by AIF member Akram Zaatari, from the studio of Mohamad Bayroumi in Saida, Lebanon and it is still being researched. It is a collection of approximately 4600 negatives of 35mm format, packed in cardboard boxes and plastic bags.

Part of the  Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar Artists’ books collection  on MENA [Middle East & North Africa] artists and region.


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Sex’n’database: a corporeal taxonomy

Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy
Hand bound artist’s book with folded paper structure
29,5 x 126cm colour inkjet print folded onto 6 pages
accordion structure  (29,5 x 21 cm closed)
Epson 189 gsm paper and black boards (cover)
Editing and design: paula roush
Photographic source: Arab Image Foundation
msdm publications, 2015-2020

“Sex’n’Database: A Corporeal Taxonomy” was produced in the context of the research grant project “Found Photo Foundation: Sourcing from the Arab Image Foundation.” From June 22 to July 2 2015, Found Photo Foundation was in residence at the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut. This residency was supported by the Centre for Media Research (London South Bank University). This residency was primarily focused at sharing archival methodologies used by the Found Photo Foundation in its exhibitions and publications and explore the potential of the Arab Image Foundation’s photographic collections as source for photobook publishing. Two of the Arab Image Foundation staff —Hala Tawil, archivist/librarian and Charbel Saad, collections manager— assisted me.

During the course of the residency, I also drew on the Arab Image Foundation’s online image database as source for an artist’s book. The work I created, “Sex’n’`Database: A Corporeal Taxonomy” is a photographic object comprised of creative data visualisation and a bookwork. Both showcase a series of experiments done whilst querying/queering the photographic database via textual keyboard input. To focus on a small sample, I utilised only search words related to sexualities and corporeality and documented linked photographic sources as they rendered live on screen. Words (taxonomy) and photographs (collection) were captured via screenshots, and collaged to showcase the operating system crashing on overload. The resulting “panels” evidence the tension between two simultaneous processes: taxonomy (cataloguing practices) and photography (photographic practices), whilst also rendering visible gaps in the building of institutional collections.

My next step was to investigate how screen-based photography transfers to the structure of the book. One single (126 cm) inkjet print, with a panoramic collage of screen-captures, was  folded into a six folds accordion. The case also has an accordion spine that sustains the book vertically and stores it as a six pages codex. This artist’s book sets up an interactive experience and the emergence of a quasi-narrative relationship between the screen-capture and the print translation. The accordion structure, allowing the reader to expand more than one spread at a time, creates a time space sequencing that contrasts with the flatness of the screen.  Both works have become media archaeology, for the image database has since then been replaced by an open access platform with a very different interface.


 

 

"Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy is part of :  

Activating the Archive 
PH museum online exhibition, July 24- Sept 24 2018
Curated by: Alejandro Acin & Isaac Blease, 
Activating the Archive presents the work of 10 artists that explore and question the malleable nature of visual archives and the many ways that they can be activated through contemporary practices.

Membrana magazine 3
Cabinet issue: Collecting Photographic Images
Editor: Jan Babnik
Sex’n’database: A Corporeal Taxonomy features as the issue's commissioned photo- essay
Ljubljana, April 2018