CONF May 20, 2024

Artists’ Publications (Bremen, 28-29 Jun 24)

Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Jun 28–29, 2024
Registration deadline: Jun 26, 2024

Franziska Rauh

Artists’ Publications – A Critical Approach to Historical and Contemporary Formats of Artistic Publishing.

Symposium of the Research Association Artists’ Publications.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Research Association Artists’ Publications and the Centre for Artists’ Publications at Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst in Bremen, early career researchers have been invited to present their current work on artistic publishing with the goal of reinforcing the international network of researchers dedicated to this artistic format. Contributors will focus on artists’ publications from a variety of countries and academic perspectives, with particular emphasis on the work of female artists.

Artists’ publications – such as books, flyers, magazines, multiples, posters, radio art and records – have always been associated with alternative forms of production, often with an inherent critical potential. This is evidenced by the many contributions to the symposium that concern the subversive power and resilience of these mostly small artworks: participative and collaborative formats which, in most cases, are diffused independently of established institutions.

In the context of Mail Art, for example, artists used the postal system as a basis for building up a network for their artistic communication. For many artists living in totalitarian systems, Mail Art was a way of establishing contacts worldwide through the exchange of their artworks. They used all media that could be sent by post for their artistic correspondence. These distributed artworks represent new forms of aesthetic expression and networking and thus challenge the traditional channels and formats for the production and reception of art.

By addressing diverse publics in unconventional ways, artists’ publications reflect upon common modes of perception as well as dominant mechanisms within the art market. It is on the experimental field that the artists (in)voluntarily focus, thus positioning themselves in relation to the established art system: it is the “Dropping Out”, the “Thinking” and the “Writing beyond Sense” which becomes a “Revolutionary Act”. Their artistic response to an androcentric system in general or to a totalitarian regime in particular becomes a question of power.

The symposium aims to reflect on the open forms and aesthetics of artistic publishing, focusing on specific aspects of the working process and distribution strategies of individual and collaborative art production. Which media, materiality and format are chosen and for what reasons? What is the role played by the possible active recipient and how do notes, postcards, books, magazines or catalogs constitute social and/or political relevance? Concentrating on works from the “peripheral” zone of art history indicates the many research gaps, while simultaneously revealing the potential for further investigation.


Friday, June 28th, 2024

2 pm Welcome
Janneke de Vries (Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen)
Anne Thurmann-Jajes (Centre for Artists’ Publications, Bremen)

2.15 pm Opening Remarks
Kathrin Barutzki (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen) and Franziska Rauh (University of Bremen): Artists’ Publications – A Critical Approach?

2.30 pm Presentation & Discussion
Anne-Grit Becker (Universität Siegen): Things to be Continued: Participation in the Artists’ Magazine Signals Newsbulletin

3.30 pm Presentation & Discussion
Marie Egger (FU Berlin/Universität Potsdam): Books about Important Matters? Tomasz Schulz’s COOP-Books (1979/80) in the Context of Mail Art

4.30 pm Coffee

5 pm Presentation & Discussion
Corinna Kühn (Universität Münster): “Never stop searching into the unexplored origin of Human Nature” (Wolf-Rehfeldt, 1973). Ewa Partum, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and Katalin Ladik in the Mail Art Network

6 pm Presentation & Discussion
Sandra Križić Roban (Institute of Art History, Zagreb): Double, Invisible, Handmade, Experimental – Artists’ Books and Magazines from the Former Yugoslavia

Saturday, June 29th, 2024

9.45 am Introduction

10 am Presentation
Frida Sandström (University of Copenhagen): Dropping Out: Carla Lonzi’s and Lee Lozano’s Withdrawal from Art as Identity

10.30 am Presentation
Mela Dávila Freire (HFBK Hamburg): Thinking is a Revolutionary Act: Artists’ Publications by Marie Orensanz

11 am Talk
Francesca Valentini (ESA le75, Brussels): “Negotiating the Canon?” Responding to Frida Sandström and Mela Dávila Freire

12 pm Lunch

1.30 pm Presentation & Discussion
Regine Ehleiter (FU Berlin): Writing beyond Sense: Mirtha Dermisache’s Artist’s Publications of the 1960s and 70s

2.30 pm Presentation & Discussion
Ludmila Britto (Federal University of Bahia): Paulo Bruscky, Artist’s Books and Publications in Latin America: Some Considerations

3.30 pm Coffee

4 pm Presentation & Discussion
Marie van Bömmel (HU Berlin): Women Artists Publishing Women Artists: The Catalog Künstlerinnen international 1877–1977 as an Artists’ Book

5 pm Closing Remarks

Conception and Organisation: Kathrin Barutzki (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen) and Franziska Rauh (University of Bremen), Moderation: Amelie Ochs (Mariann Steegmann Institute. Art & Gender, Bremen), Coordination: Lia Brinkmann (Research Association Artists’ Publications, Bremen)

Please register at the following e-mail address until June 26th, 2024:

Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst
Hans-Otte-Klang-Haus, 4 ½th floor (wheelchair accessible)
Teerhof 20, 28199 Bremen

A project by the Research Association Artists’ Publications in cooperation with the Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, the IKFK. Institute for Art History – Film Studies – Art Education and the Mariann Steegmann Institute. Art & Gender at the University of Bremen.

CONF: Artists’ Publications (Bremen, 28-29 Jun 24). In:, May 20, 2024 (accessed Jun 20, 2024), <>.