2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair

An endless book club, an international symposium on typography, an Australian zine showcase and a Wikipedia edit-a-thon are among the fifty events of the third annual Melbourne Art Book Fair, which will take place at NGV International from 16 to 19 March.

Radim Peško, ‘Headlines from the New York Times’ in Larish Neue designed by RP Digital Type Foundry between 2001-2017

Opening the program for the inaugural Melbourne Design Week, the 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair will bring together established and emerging art publishers, artists, writers and designers for 50 diverse programs including free talks and discussions, workshops, book launches, performances and activities led by outstanding contemporary artists such as Brook Andrew, Ross Coulter, Zoë Croggon, Patrick Pound, and many more.

Nicholas Jones. Photograph: courtesy the artist

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, “The Melbourne Art Book Fair has become a highly anticipated event for publishers and lovers of art books, and is the largest program of its kind in our region. This year we move in a new direction with a particular focus on art book publishing practices in contemporary photography, design and typography.”. Sydney paper-engineer Benja Harney of Paperform has designed a large-scale installation for the NGV’s iconic Great Hall, which will be the setting for more than 200 stallholders presenting art, design, architecture and photography publications from around the world.

The weekend kicks off with an official opening event on Friday 17 March, 7.30pm. With after-hours access to international and local publishers and practitioners, guests can enjoy food, drinks and a live performance by DJ Cale Sexton.

2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair. Photograph: Daniel Herrmann-Zoll. Styling: Natalie Turnbull. Clothing courtesy Shifting Worlds

2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair highlights include:

Ross Coulter: Audience – Book Launch on Saturday 18 March, 12-12.30pm.
Ross Coulter’s Audience is a photographic series documenting audience members in 95 Melbourne galleries and museums in which there is no art, watching a performance that doesn’t exist. Visitors can see the exhibition at NGV International and then join the artist in launching the publication that showcases all 250 participants in a special two-volume book.

Zoë Croggon: In Conversation on Saturday 18 March, 12.30-1pm.
One of the featured artists of NGV Festival of Photography, Zoë Croggon, joins Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography, NGV to discuss her practice, in which images sourced from books and text-based ephemera are crafted into delicate collages.

Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition – Book Launch on Saturday 18 March, 1-1.30pm.
Through complex arrangements and installations of objects, predominantly found photographs, drawn from his expansive archives, Melbourne-based artist Patrick Pound’s work playfully and poetically explores the art of collecting, and the ways in which things can hold and project ideas. Published by the NGV, Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition features insightful texts by Maggie Finch and Geoffrey Batchen, alongside full-colour image reproductions.

Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred – Book Launch on Saturday 18 March, 3-3pm.
Brook Andrew is an artist known for questioning the dominant narratives associated with colonialism and modernist histories. Through museum and archival interventions, he challenges stereotypical notions of history, identity and race uncovering neglected and often conflicted histories, and proposes alternative interpretations. Published by the NGV, Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred unpacks the constantly shifting aesthetics and recurring themes of Andrew’s art practice over his 25-year career.

Endless Book Club with Self Publish Be Happy Nicolas Haeni and Thomas Rousset, Untitled, 2015. Photograph: Courtesy Self Publish Be Happy

What Makes A Great Photograph? – Sunday 19 March, 2-3pm.
The Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) presents a spirited event for which a sparkling panel have chosen one photograph each and will explain to the crowd what makes theirs great… with only five minutes each. CCP Director Naomi Cass will moderate the panel, which includes architectural photographer and artist John Gollings AM, publisher and director of M.33 Helen Frajman, CCP Curator Pippa Milne, Sāmoan and Persian artist, curator, writer and PhD candidate (MADA) Léuli Eshragi, international photographer and filmmaker Katrin Koenning, and Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator, Photography NGV.

If You See Something, Say Something: The Grammar of art Writing – Sunday 19 March, 3-3.30pm.
MONA calls it Art Wank; John Berger named it “mystification”. What is this mysterious language that people start using the moment talk turns to art? Are they possessed by adverbial spirits? Have they got a grudge against finite verbs? Why does everything happen in both ‘spatial’ and ‘non-spatial’ ‘space’?